Camping trips just aren’t complete without roasting marshmallows around the fire. But do vegans have to miss out? Of course not! Whether you prefer slowly roasted or quickly charred, this quick guide shows you how simple it is to make vegan s’mores.
Up until a few years ago, you couldn’t find vegan marshmallows without gelatin. Gelatin is a sneaky substance obtained from the bones, skin and organs of animals which creates the gel-like texture of traditional marshmallows and other products. Fortunately, there’s a heavenly boom in the vegan sweets market. In place of gelatin, plant-based ingredients such as carrageenan (derived from edible seaweed) and guar gum, from the guar bean, are used as thickeners and gelling agents. And yes, all of these brands are fluffy, pillowy and will ooze and melt just like real marshmallows for the perfect vegan s’more.
- Sweet & Sara sells decadent handmade marshmallows that are available online, at many Whole Foods locations as well as some health food stores. Often found in refrigerated ‘sweets-to-go’ section and should be kept cool until you are ready to eat.
- Dandies makes shelf-stable marshmallows and minis in multiple flavors (including the seasonal pumpkin!) that are also available online or at select grocery stores, including some national chains like Stop & Shop.
- Trader Joe’s just introduced gelatin-free marshmallows to their stores in May. They cost just $2.99 a bag, but are a seasonal item item so stock up!
Honey-free Graham Crackers
To many, graham crackers are synonymous with ‘honey-graham’ and indeed most brands do list honey in their ingredients. Even varieties not branded as honey-flavored, such as cinnamon grahams, include the gooey sweetener. Fortunately, one of the most common brand names, Nabisco, makes a bee-free graham, the ‘Original.’
Marshmallows may be the star of this sandwiched snack, but it just wouldn’t be as epic without the chocolate. Vegan chocolate is easy enough to find, especially in dark varieties. However, not all dark chocolate is vegan so you will have to do a quick review of the ingredients. Trader Joe’s carries vegan dark-chocolate bars so pick them up while you get the marshmallows, but if you’re looking for something a little more unusual, here are a few great brands to try.
- Endangered Species Chocolate offers quite a few vegan bars, including the the dark chocolate varieties simply dark, peppermint crunch and chocolate espresso. To top it off, 10% of each purchase goes towards protecting- you guess it- endangered species.
- No Whey Chocolates has a line of vegan bars including milk chocolate and white chocolate. Plus, all their products are free from the eight most common allergens!
- Lulu’s Raw Chocolate bars are truly something to savor. In flavors like Maca Love, Coffee Crunch and Sea Salt Almond, Lulu’s on your s’more will put all other vegan s’mores to shame.
By now you might be a little overwhelmed by the abundance of vegan marshmallows that exist today. Just take a few deep breaths and plan your next fireside outing. Be sure to stock up on marshmallows because you won’t want them just to make vegan s’mores this summer! You can add them to brownies, hot cocoa, krispy-style treats and whatever else your sweet tooth craves.
Many more vegan sweets likely available in health food and grocery stores near you, and definitely a slew of other brands can be found online, such as the Vegan Store.