More s’mores! More s’mores! More s’mores!
As a child, I was never was a big fan of marshmallows… I never liked them in Rocky Road ice cream and it felt like a curse to receive Peeps in my Easter basket, but when it came to s’mores… s’mores were the exception. There’s just something about the combination of a fluffy, gooey marshmallow atop melting chocolate, sandwiched between two sweet, crunchy graham crackers.
So, I was pretty bummed when I learned that marshmallows were made with egg whites (some of the time) and gelatin (most, if not all of the time). Gelatin is a protein obtained by boiling skin, tendons, and bones of animals (usually cows or pigs, sometimes fish) in water. It’s used in many shampoos, cosmetics, puddings, Jell-O, marshmallows, vitamin capsules, and photo film.
Thankfully, there are a few brands that offer vegan marshmallows out there, and I was lucky enough to snatch some at the local healthy grocer (Whole Foods and Mother’s Market sell them along with smaller businesses). The brand I got is called Sweet and Sara. These marshmallows are so delicious, I have to muster all the strength I’ve got to restrain myself from eating them all straight from the package- yep, these are the only marshmallow that I can eat straight from the package. Not only are they great tasting, but they melt just beautifully.
They’re more expensive than your typical marshmallows, but completely worth it. There are 16 marshmallows in each pack, and I guarantee they’ll be blissfully gobbled up. In the past, I’ve never had the means or desire to use up an entire bag of typical marshmallows, and I’ve always ended up throwing them away because they get chalky and hard. No way with these guys.
On top of being divine, there are many different flavors to choose from, including: toasted coconut (my fave), vanilla, strawberry, cinnamon pecan, and more. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but seriously, friends, … they’re SO good! And, you can order online! [Lifetime customer here…]
Ok… so we’ve gotten as far as the marshmallows. Onto the graham crackers and chocolate (I promise, I’ll make it short… hehe).
Since we try to stay away from processed foods and we don’t eat honey, I decided to make my own graham crackers by following this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen. They were pretty sweet, because I used maple syrup instead of molasses, but all the more scrumptious! I was caught by surprise because they came out of the oven a bit soft in the middle– I was actually a little disappointed– but as soon as they cooled off, they hardened into crisp cookie/crackers. Just perfect!
The next time I make them, if I use maple syrup, I’ll decrease the amount of sugar and will roll them out a little thinner.
Chocolate …my (everyone’s?) favorite part of a s’more!
Vegan chocolate has been pretty easy for me to find… I’ve happily discovered many brands that don’t use milk powder or butter in their dark chocolate. Unfortunately, most cane sugar is refined using bone char from cattle (yuck). Good news though- organic sugar in bone char-free (vegan) and so is raw sugar. So, to be safe, buy organic dark chocolate and just check the label for milk/butter. It’s been pretty easy and *enjoyable.
*because organic dark chocolate is so delectable!