A Heathier Spin on S’mores
A Good Old Camp Fire Treat Receives a Makeover:
Written by: Tara AhQuin from Abba’s Set Apart Remedies/ Patient @ Align Utah
We are presently in the midst of summer. Many of us are taking an opportunity to spend more time outdoors. Admiring and appreciating the gorgeous and scenic landscapes of the great outdoors, enjoying the weather and beautiful sun-shiny days. In our family, summers are centered around camping. It’s one of the fun activities that our family looks forward to and takes a great deal of pleasure in. Some of the most memorable moments we can remember have been spent camping in nature. Sitting around a campfire, enjoying each other’s company, talking stories, having a laugh, and of course savoring a gooey sweet treat. For some, camping just wouldn’t be the same without the experience of roasting marshmallows by the fire, and sandwiching it between two crispy graham crackers dripping with chocolatey goodness! That was the main reason I went out searching for a heathier alternative to S’mores. Also for those in my family who choose to eat real food rather than manmade foods! More than anything I wanted my youngest daughter to be able to have the campfire S’more experience and not feel excluded from the festivities! I want to instill in her “real food” eating practices and principles, so she doesn’t have to sacrifice her health in the long run and still have the opportunity to eat delicious and amazing food!
Grain Free Graham Crackers
NOTE: These are best when allowed to cool about 30 minutes. Reminder: these are made with coconut flour and won’t be as crisp as you might find with almond flour or even grains. But they were a nice alternative!
- 1/2 cup pastured butter, softened
- 1 whole free range egg
- 1/4 cup raw honey or stevia (or sweetener of choice)
- 2 tsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 – 1 cup coconut flour
- 1/3 cup arrowroot powder
- 1 1/2 tsp aluminum-free baking powder
- 3 tsp cinnamon (more or less depending on your preference)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients using only 3/4 cup of the coconut flour.
In a mixing bowl, blend together the softened butter, honey, vanilla and molasses. Add the egg and beat until incorporated into a soft batter.
Add in half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then slowly add in the other half. If the dough is still wet and batter-like, then add more coconut flour, a tablespoon at a time. The dough should come together into a ball. When it does, you are done and can stop adding coconut flour. I used 3/4 cup and then added 2 more tablespoons.
Remove your ball of dough and cut it in half. Place each on a piece of wax paper. The dough can now be refrigerated overnight if you plan on making the crackers another time.
When you are ready to use the dough, remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature.
Place silicone baking sheet or wax paper on your counter and place one of the dough discs on top. Then place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap sheet on top of the ball, roll out with a rolling pin until the dough is 1/4 inch thick. This method will allow you to simply place the silicone sheet or wax paper on your cookie sheet to bake.
Use a pizza cutter to draw lines on the dough about 2 inches apart. Use a fork to prick small holes in the dough. This will give it the authentic graham cracker look and feel and also help you separate the crackers when they are done baking.
Bake at 300-325 degrees F for 12-18 minutes (time may vary depending on oven). Check crackers periodically to ensure they don’t burn and to adjust for cooking time. The crackers will still be soft when you remove them from the oven but brown at the edges (allow crackers to cool down a bit on cookie sheet before removing to cooling rack). When they cool they will harden and be firm up.
Once cooled, break apart and store in an airtight container for about a week or so.
Heathier Homemade Marshmallow Recipe
Note: Besides the non-food toxic ingredients in regular store bought marshmallows there’s another ingredient that’s also found in them that most people aren’t aware of. The gelatin that is used in the majority of processed foods, including marshmallows, is derived from “PIG” meaning it’s a pork product. So if your trying your best to stay away from eating pork because of its uncleanliness, scan through labels and try not to purchase food products with gelatin unless it specifically states it’s from a bovine source and even more importantly that it’s a grass-fed gelatin (if that’s important to you).
- 8×8 pan for large marshmallow squares or 9×13 pan for smaller marshmallow square
- parchment paper
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- candy thermometer
- mixing bowl
- 3 Tbsp. grass fed beef gelatin
- 1 cup filtered water, split in half (Option: as an alternative to plain water, tea can also be used here to add a specific herbal flavor, such as green tea or peppermint tea etc…)
- 1 cup maple syrup or honey, or half of each
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optionally you can use 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract and 1/2 tsp. another extract for flavoring. Peppermint, chocolate, almond, orange, lemon, etc. are all great options)
- arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, toasted coconut flakes, etc. for dusting the finished marshmallows (optional – you can leave the marshmallows plain too, you do not have to dust them)
- Either grease your pan (8×8 for large marshmallow squares or a 9×13 for smaller marshmallow squares) or line it both ways with parchment paper. If using parchment paper, you can easily remove the marshmallows from the pan using the “handles” that the parchment paper makes. If coating the marshmallows, spread a thin layer evenly in the bottom of the pan.
- In your mixing bowl pour in 1/2 cup water and whisk in the gelatin, set aside to let the gelatin bloom.
- In a medium saucepan combine the other 1/2 cup water, maple syrup and/or honey, and salt.
- Heat over medium to medium high heat, bringing to a boil. Using your candy thermometer, let the mixture boil until it reaches 240 degrees, or soft ball stage. Remove from heat. (If not removed in time, and the mixture gets too hot, your marshmallows might not fluff up and will be denser)
- Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, turn it on low at first, breaking up the bloomed gelatin. Very SLOWLY pour the syrup/honey mixture into the gelatin mixture, while slowly turning up the speed on your mixer to high.
- Allow mixture to whip on high for 5-10 minutes (this is where it’s nice to have a stand mixer) until a thick marshmallow whipped cream is produced.
- Transfer the marshmallow whip to your prepared pan and smooth down with the back of your spoon. If using a coating, sprinkle on top of the marshmallows and pat down. If you are not using a coating, grease your hands, to prevent sticking, and pat down smooth. You can alternately use a piece of parchment paper on top to smooth out the marshmallow, and leave it on top to cover it while it is setting.
- Leave your marshmallows out uncovered to set (not in your fridge, that will create moisture which will destroy the marshmallow) for 6-8 hours or even better overnight (in my experience leaving overnight to air dry is best!).
- Using a knife, cut marshmallows in long strips, and then into squares from there. Dust marshmallows, on all sides, in your powder of choice, or leave natural without any dusting.
- Store marshmallows up to a week on your counter top in a sealed container. You can leave them out open to dry even longer. The longer you let them dry the better for toasting over a fire!
NOTE: You can use the fluffy whip to frost cupcakes, rather than putting it into the 8×8 pan. The Fluffy whip stage would also be the stage to add your organic rice krispies when making rice krispee treats, rather than melting the marshmallows for them. This will make for the best krispee treats! Next time I’d like to share a recipe for a simple sugar-free DIY dark chocolate that you could also use in combination with these two recipes…Bon Appetit!! (: