Squishy, yet fluffy – it’s hard to beat the tempting texture and flavor of marshmallows. These childhood treats never get old and, when campfire season comes around, you’re going to need to stock up on them! But wait just a minute… are marshmallows vegan? Here’s what you need to know and which brands you can trust.
The Simple Answer: Are Marshmallows Vegan?
Before you start tucking into some deliciously good homemade s’mores, there’s sure to be one question on your mind. Are marshmallows vegan or not? The simple answer here is sometimes. Whether the fluffy treats you eat are vegan-friendly will depend entirely on the brand that you choose to buy. To find out more, you will have to check the ingredients.
Should a marshmallow brand contain gelatin, you might want to pass. According to PETA, this tricky ingredient is used in a variety of products, including marshmallows. So, what actually is it? (Warning: the answer not for the faint of heart!) Gelatin is a protein that you get when you boil up animal skin, ligaments, tendons, or bones.
It doesn’t end there. There’s another pesky non-vegan ingredient that you should be on the lookout for. Albumen (egg whites) is also a commonly occuring product here. For instance, one of the leading brands – Fluff – actually contains eggs. Yikes.
The good news is that not all marshmallow brands contain gelatin or egg whites. In fact, thanks to the recent rise in both veganism and vegetarianism, many leading manufacturers offer marshmallows that are entirely free from these particular ingredients. That’s a relief.
Next up, let’s take a look at the main marshmallow ingredients. While these may differ slightly from product to product, the core ingredients are often times the same. It should come as no surprise that the main ingredient in marshmallows is sugar.
Other key marshmallow ingredients include syrups, flavorings, and cornstarch. To make 100% sure that your marshmallows are vegan, you will need to check the label on the packaging. If there are any ingredients of which you are unsure, quickly searching for them online will help you determine what they are and whether they are vegan. Simple.
Best Vegan Marshmallow Brands
As you can see here, whether marshmallows are vegan is something of a gray area. Luckily, if you’re on the hunt for a guilt-free sweet snack, we might have just the thing for you. Let’s take a moment to look at some of the best vegan marshmallow brands.
Trader Joe’s Mini Marshmallows
Both vegan and gluten-free, the Trader Joe’s Marshmallows could be the perfect snack for you. These ones are also flavored with vanilla and happen to contain no extra artificial flavors. Win-win. Why not try popping them into your hot chocolate for a treat?
Dandies Marshmallow Mini
If you’re after an affordable and tasty candy, you might find that Dandies is the answer. Dandies is a Chicago-based company that sells ‘all natural marshmallows’. They are also free from common allergens, such as nuts.
Ananda’s Gourmet Marshmallows
Looking for a luxury vegan marshmallow brand? Ananda’s Gourmet Marshmallows (UK based) could be the answer. These come in a wide range of flavors including chocolate, caramel, raspberry, and more. Whatever your taste, you’re certain to find something you love.
The Bottom Line
Marshmallows can be a tricky topic for vegans and – if you’re strict – you should always check the ingredients here. However, there are many excellent vegan-friendly products out there on the market. While we’ve covered just three of the best, you should also do your own research and look into independent companies and stores in your area.
Feature photo: Phil McDonald/Shutterstock.com