If you can’t have milk products and are about to eat a delicious s’more, you might be wondering - are marshmallows dairy free?
Yes, they are! Marshmallows are safe for anyone on a dairy free diet.
What are marshmallows made from?
Typically, marshmallows are made from sugar, corn syrup and gelatin. Not a lot of ingredients, right? Some brands may also add colourings or flavourings to change things up, but marshmallows are pretty basic.
They get their light and fluffy texture from air - gelatin locks air bubbles into place and keeps them there. At room temperature, the gelatin network is in place, so marshmallows are squishable and a bit foamy.
Heat up the marshmallows and the gelatin breaks down, turning the marshmallow into a gooey, sticky mess. Perfect for Gluten Free Rice Krispies Treats!
Do marshmallows have eggs in them?
The texture of a marshmallow is similar to a meringue, which is made from egg whites and sugar. Since they are so similar, you might also be wondering if marshmallows contain eggs.
Nope, they don’t! Marshmallows use gelatin to get their fluffy texture, so they are safe to eat for anyone who can’t have eggs.
Are marshmallows vegan?
Marshmallows are dairy free and don’t contain eggs, but unfortunately, most brands are not vegan.
Gelatin is used in most products, which comes from animals. It contains collagen and acts as a binder, thickener and holds the marshmallow structure together. Any marshmallows containing gelatin are not vegan.
But don’t fear! There are brands of vegan marshmallows on the market. Some vegan products use carrageenan or agar agar, which are plant-based gelatins derived from seaweeds.
Be sure to check the product labelling to see if a particular brand of marshmallows are vegan.
Marshmallow brands and products
- Are Kraft marshmallows dairy free? All Jet-Puffed Marshmallows from Kraft are dairy free. They contain gelatin, so they are NOT vegan.
- Are Campfire marshmallows dairy free? Yes, all of their products are dairy free. They do contain gelatin, so they are not suitable for anyone also on a vegan diet.
- Are Dandies marshmallows dairy free? Yes - Dandies are dairy free and also vegan. They use carrageenan instead of gelatin.
- Is Marshmallow Fluff dairy free? Yes, it is dairy free! It uses dried egg whites, though, so it is NOT vegan.
- Are Peeps dairy free? Peeps are not considered dairy free, as they have a “may contain milk” warning. They are not vegan.
All of these products are also gluten free, for anyone who is on a gluten and dairy free diet.
Dairy free labelling
What if the marshmallows you want to buy aren’t labelled as dairy free? Should you still purchase them?
There are two things to look at: the ingredient listing and any warnings.
- If you read the ingredients and determine there is no dairy and you feel comfortable with that assessment - go ahead and purchase them.
- Watch out for any warning labels. If the ingredient listing looks like it’s dairy free, but there is a ‘may contain milk’ warning - the product is not considered dairy free. Don’t buy it.
- If the product doesn’t have any milk ingredients or any warnings, but you’d like to get more information, I would recommend contacting the manufacturer. Not all companies will include dairy free labelling or warnings on their products.
Any products with dairy free labelling on them will be safe for anyone on a dairy free diet. These are the best choice if you aren’t comfortable with reading labels.
How long do marshmallows last
It may come as a surprise, but marshmallows don’t last forever! Since they are made with lots of air, they will lose their fluffy texture and become hard if they aren’t stored properly.
- How to store them at room temperature: Marshmallows are best stored in a sealed bag or container, in a cool dry place. They’ll last for 1-2 months if stored this way. (I always put them in the pantry.)
- Can you put marshmallows in the fridge? Yes! Place them in an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 months.
- Can you freeze marshmallows? You sure can! Place them into a sealed freezer bag or airtight container and place in the freezer for about 4 months. They won’t freeze solid.
Recipes that use marshmallows
All this talk about marshmallows has got me hungry for a sweet treat - how about you?!
If you’re craving something sticky sweet, Rice Krispies Treats are always a classic! This version is also gluten free, and can easily be made dairy free by using a dairy free buttery spread like Earth Balance or Melt Organic.
Have a craving for s’mores but don’t want the sticky mess? Make some S’more Pudding Cups! It’s the best way to bring the campfire to your kitchen! Be sure to use dairy free chocolate chips in the recipe.