Are marshmallows gluten-free?
If you want to learn more about are marshmallows gluten-free, then read on!
Are Marshmallows Gluten Free?
If you have ever wondered whether or not your favorite candies are safe to eat, then this post is for you. There’s no need to worry anymore because the answer is yes!
Are they really safe?
Well it depends on what kind of candy you’re talking about. For example, there are many different kinds of corn chips out there. Some are made from corn that was grown with pesticides and herbicides; some aren’t. You may even be eating them right now! But if you were to buy a bag of those corn chips off the shelf at the grocery store, chances are good that they weren’t sprayed with any chemicals or fertilizers either. They just came from a field where the farmer didn’t use harmful chemicals on his crops.
So why would you think that something like a marshmallow is going to be any different?
The short answer is: Because they look so darn similar! And don’t forget, most people do eat marshmallows every once in awhile. However, you probably wouldn’t eat one of those corn chips everyday. That’s because corn chips come from a factory where the corn was treated with toxic chemicals before being packaged up and sold to you. Corn itself is a very hearty crop that grows easily without much help. It was only after World War II that it became customary to treat the crops with all those chemicals.
That’s not to say that you can’t find organic corn chips on the shelf either, but why take the chance when there are other more natural options out there?
So yes, marshmallows are much more likely to contain a whole lot of additives and fillers than your common bag of corn chips.
But, the good news is that gluten isn’t one of them!
And why wouldn’t it be?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains and it’s what gives those chips (and breads) their chewy texture. More on that in a moment though. First, let’s talk about what marshmallows really are.
What Are Marshmallows? And What’s In Them?
A marshmallow is a sweet, soft, light-brown candy that most people enjoy to eat by roasting it over a fire (a campfire or the fireplace at home) and then wrapping it in s’mores! However, if you tried to make your own marshmallows, you’d quickly find that they’re not easy to come by. That’s because they’re one of those rare candies that actually contain no chocolate. But if you love eating hot s’mores, then you’ll probably love eating these sweet little treats too. After all, they were made for roasting over a fire in the first place.
The main ingredient in marshmallows is…wait for it…the marshmallow plant!
More specifically, the root of this plant called Althaea officinalis. Not surprisingly, this root is extremely sticky and it has a rubbery texture, which explains why your marshmallows are also so light and airy. To make them taste just right (and much sweeter), manufacturers also include a variety of other ingredients, including corn syrup, sugar, gelatin, and even some thickening agents.
It’s the gelatin that gives marshmallows their bouncy, pillowy texture. While this substance is made from animal byproducts (mainly the skin and bones of cows), it’s actually considered to be a vegetarian food because gelatin is ultimately processed to a point where it is no longer considered to come from an animal origin. That’s right, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can still enjoy marshmallows every now and then. Though you may want to avoid some of those crazy gourmet marshmallows on the market today!
Where Do Marshmallows Come From?
Of course, you have probably been enjoying marshmallows all your life and you didn’t even realize that they had a plant origin!
But how does this manufacturing process take place, and where are all these marshmallow plants anyway?
Well, you might be surprised to learn that marshmallows aren’t made from just any old marshmallow plant. In fact, there is only one true marshmallow plant…and it lives in a very uncommon place.
If you want to make marshmallows, you have to go all the way to the swamp! In fact, the only place on planet Earth where you’ll find Althaea officinalis is in the shallow waters of the Atlantic coast of North America. It’s a very hearty plant that can survive in shallow water, but it can also grow up to be a tree that stands 15 feet tall or more. This plant grows in the wild in a very specific area along the Atlantic coast of the United States and it’s native only to this region.
The root of the marshmallow plant has been used by Native Americans of this region for hundreds of years, but it wasn’t until after the arrival of Europeans that it caught the attention of the rest of the world. That’s because when settlers started moving into this area, they started getting sick. It just so happened that the swampy area was a perfect breeding ground for all types of diseases, and many people started dying. It wasn’t long before someone had the bright idea to start making medicine out of the local plants, including the marshmallow plant.
Native Americans had been using this plant as a source of food for years. They would simply pick the white, puffy root and eat it like we would an artichoke. Today, manufacturers often dry the root and turn it into a powdery substance that can be mixed with other ingredients to make marshmallows. Some marshmallows even contain bits of the actual marshmallow root!
Nowadays, marshmallows come in all different flavors, colors, and shapes. They are made from a variety of ingredients and can even be found in a solid or liquid form. They’re used to add texture and flavor to all kinds of assorted sweets and treats. But no matter what type of marshmallow you prefer, it’s interesting to think about where this substance came from and how far it has come!
Sources & references used in this article:
Study on foaming, rheological and thermal properties of gelatin-free marshmallow by M Mardani, S Yeganehzad, N Ptichkina, Y Kodatsky… – Food …, 2019 – Elsevier
Diet Intervention and Autism: Implementing the Gluten Free and Casein Free Diet for Autistic Children and Adults-A Practical Guide for Parents by M Le Breton – 2001 – books.google.com
Kids and the gluten-free diet by MK Sharrett, P Cureton – Practical Gastroenterology, 2007 – med.virginia.edu
Marshmallow Root For Acid Reflux by S Hood – howtotreatheartburn.com
Details of the gluten-free diet for the patient with dermatitis herpetiformis by LH Rottmann – Clinics in dermatology, 1991 – Elsevier
marshmallow root infusion by J Patti – deductiveseasoning.com
Recipes brought to you by Coles by GFB Mix – search.informit.com.au