Citing years of rejection at the hands of zealous paleo dieters and other low-carb activist types, marshmallows around the country are celebrating National Toasted Marshmallow Day today with a show of unity, sources have confirmed.
“Make a marshmallow happy,” said a squishy, jumbo marshmallow who asked to remain anonymous. “Roast that sucker.”
The Marshmallow: A Brief History
Originally, marshmallows were made from the sweet sap of the mallow plant that grew in salty marshes near large bodies of water. Ancient Egyptians harvested this gooey, delicious stuff and used it to make candy similar to the modern marshmallow treats we enjoy today. (Those ancient Egyptians. They thought of everything!) This marshmallow candy was a special treat, reserved for royalty.
The type of marshmallow we know and love these days first emerged during the mid 19th century. Today’s marshmallows are less of a mallow plant and more of a sweet concoction of corn syrup or sugar, gelatin, gum arabic, and flavoring. We don’t know who first impaled a marshmallow on a stick and set it on fire, but it was an inspired idea.
I asked Hannah Brilling, Co-op Nutrition Specialist, for a unique twist on a marshmallow treat, and as usual, she didn’t disappoint. Hannah is a big fan of the all-things-fit philosophy to eating, insisting that a healthy diet can include even the sweetest foods in moderation, including the yummy, sugary marshmallow.
A popular marshmallow treat is the fabled s’more, a sandwich made of marshmallow and chocolate between two slices of graham cracker. Hannah said she likes to give her s’mores a bit of a healthy kick.
“We put marshmallows in tortillas last summer and they were wonderful,” Hannah said. “So if you choose corn or whole-wheat tortillas, you’re adding a whole grain to your s’more.”
Whole Grain S'mores
Semi-sweet chocolate chips Marshmallows
Place tortilla with semi-sweet chocolate chips in a cast iron pan.
Warm tortilla and chocolate over an open fire. Place marshmallow on your stick of choice and roast over fire. Place roasted marshmallow in tortilla with chocolate. Make it like a sweet taco, and enjoy!