Most of us love marshmallows, those pillow-soft bits of goodness we put on top of cocoa, between graham crackers, and used to sweeten our holiday yam and sweet potato dishes. But did you know that most marshmallows contain gelatin, a gelling agent that contains collagen from animal by-products? That means, vegans and vegetarians probably want to shun them. (And some of us non-vegans too.) But take heart because Chicago Vegan Foods is now producing marshmallows made with tapioca, a starch made from cassava root, not animal products.
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows taste like, well, marshmallows. They’re air puffed, which gives them the traditional marshmallow pillowy texture and flavor. And they can be used like any other marshmallow—in s’mores, to make crisp rice treats, roast over a fire, or you in your favorite candy or holiday side dish.
Dandies Marshmallows contain no gelatin, dairy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, gluten, fat, or corn, including high fructose corn syrup. They’re made in a Kosher dedicated vegan facility and are Non-GMO certified.
So if Dandie’s Marshmallows don’t have all the bad stuff in them, what do they contain? They’re made with tapioca syrup, cane sugar, tapioca starch, filtered water, carrageenan (sugars extracted from red edible seaweed), soy protein and natural vanilla flavor.
Dandies Vegan Marshmallows cook up just like ordinary marshmallows. I tried them on s’mores broiled for a short time in my toaster over and they were perfect.
And, just in time for fall, they’ve come out with Dandies All Natural Pumpkin-Flavored Marshmallows. They contain the same ingredients as the classic vanilla flavor only with natural pumpkin flavor and Annatto (an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from seeds of the achiote tree) added.
What do Dandies All Natural Pumpkin-Flavored Marshmallows taste like? You guessed it, sweetened pumpkin. The pumpkin flavor isn’t overwhelming, but it’s definitely there. In fact, the mini-pumpkin marshmallows are so good, I have to stop myself from popping handfuls into my mouth!
Around the realfoodtraveler.com offices, a favorite fall treat is something we call Mellow Elixir, a combination of warm milk, vanilla, a little sugar, and spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. It’s a comforting drink and a great before-bed elixir. I decided to try Dandies All Natural Pumpkin-Flavored Mini-Marshmallows on top of my Mellow Elixir. On my first try, the mini-marshmallows half melted and, because they’re sweet, made the drink too sweet. On the second attempt, I cut nearly all the sugar out of the milk and sweetened it with the pumpkin mini-marshmallows. The result was a creamy and slightly pumpkin-flavored fall Pumpkin Mellow Elixir. It’s going to become a favorite around here.
Pumpkin for Pooches Too
Speaking of pumpkin, the same folks who sent us the Dandies Marshmallows thoughtfully sent along some Zuke’s Mini Naturals Pumpkin Patch Turkey and Pumpkin Recipe treats. Like the folks at Chicago Vegan Foods, Zuke’s focuses on making healthy treats, only for dogs and cats.
The Zuke’s Pumpkin Patch Turkey and Pumpkin Recipe treats contain turkey and pumpkin as the first two ingredients. Then they add products that don’t have 12-letter names, including ground rice, malted barley, vegetable glycerin, tapioca, cherry, natural flavor, gelatin, sunflower oil, salt, lecithin, Zinc and vitamin E.
And while Zuke’s treats may be good for pets, the truth is in the tasting and my two mini-doxies, Jaz and Buddy, go crazy for these moist miniature dog treats. In fact, Miss Jaz has learned a new treat she calls “statue” in which she sits up, not moving a muscle, until she gets her Zuke’s Pumpkin Patch Turkey and Pumpkin Recipe treat. We’ve also effectively used these tiny treats to discourage her from barking and happily it’s working. – Bobbie Hasselbring, RFT Editor