How I got into making marshmallows is a long story, the short version of which is that I got some gnarly food poisoning over the holidays that left my stomach in a major state of disrepair. As I’ve spent the last month since trying to rebuild my insides, I’ve been craving gelatin like mad. I’m not someone who tends to eat many animal products (though I cook them regularly for clients), so the craving has been super weird for me. I’ve made and consumed gallon upon gallon of bone broth and I’ve plowed through over a lb of grass fed gelatin. In the search for foods that contain as much gelatin as possible, I came across marshmallows. Yes, those gloopy gloppy sugary childhood chunks of sin that most of have not eaten in MANY a year. They can be re-vamped into a healthy treat, they are freaking delicious, and I’m placing bets that once bone broth hits critical mass and the general public becomes aware of its endless health benefits, gelatin based derivatives like marshmallows are going to be huge.
I didn’t invent a paleo recipe for marshmallows; thankfully the internet was already full of them, and they ‘re all comprised of water, either honey or maple syrup (you can find recipes for stevia but they just don’t hold up well), gelatin, and maybe some vanilla. Not much of a vanilla girl, I set forth straight away to the land of better and more interesting flavors. On this ride I’ve made cinnamon maple, salted bourbon butterscotch, and now the best of all: cara cara orange and Levity red asparagus root extract. Not only are these crazy yummy, they are also full of feel good chemicals to create a joyful mindset. I used some sweet orange essential oil to up the orange flavor and health benefits, as orange oil is good for everything from mood to digestion. Longevity Power Levity is something I’ve spoken at length about: it tastes like caramel and it feels like magic. Together these ingredients combine to create a delectable dessert that is as good for your gut health as it is your mental health.
All the recipes I’ve found for paleo marshmallows proclaim repeatedly, “These are so easy to make!!!” so I am going to be the first honest human to tell you, these guys are a pain in the butt. They are messy to make, messy to clean up, and messy to cut, they take about a half hour, and timing for each step is critical. They’re just damn good tasting enough to be worth the effort.
Cara Cara Orange & Levity Marshmallows
If cara cara oranges aren’t available near you, or it isn’t winter when you’re reading this, regular oranges will work fine. If you prefer all maple syrup or all honey, that’s fine too. If you’re familiar with paleo marshmallow recipes, you’ll notice that mine is a 50% increase over the standard. One reason is because this quantity fits perfectly into a 9×13 pan, and another is that if you are going to go through this effort, you should have as much to show for it as possible.
1/2 cup boiling water
juice of one cara cara orange, approximately 1/4 cup
1/3 cup grass fed gelatin powder
2 tbls Levity powder
zest of one orange
pinch of salt
4 drops sweet orange essential oil (organic, therapeutic grade only!)
Pour boiling water over remaining ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and stir well. Gelatin will lump up, which is ok. Leave to soften as you work on the next step, and return every few minutes to stir gently and help gelatin break down. If after you’ve completed the below syrup making you still have any gelatin chunks that can’t be smushed down, just remove them.
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup maple syrup
Combine in a saucepan over medium heat and boil until soft ball stage, 240 degrees. Do not stir. As bubbles arise, poke them down with a fork.
Once you have soft ball stage syrup, remove from heat and begin pouring over ingredients in mixing bowl in a slow stream with mixer on low. Once combined thoroughly, move mixer up to high and beat until mixture looks like marshmallow fluff, 8-10 minutes.
Grease a 9×13 baking sheet with coconut oil, and if desired, coat with a dusty powder such as arrowroot, corn starch, cinnamon, or cocoa powder, and/or additional orange zest. Pour marshmallow fluff into pan and refrigerate until firm and ready to cut, 3-4 hours.