No campfire is complete without a circle of good friends, a crackling fire, a few cozy blankets and, of course, roasted gooey marshmallows. Even your gluten-free friends will be delighted to get the green light on this dessert.
For the most part, marshmallows are gluten-free and safe to enjoy during your next camping trip or cookout. As with all foods, though, you'll want to double-check the marshmallow packaging to ensure you choose a variety that has tested gluten-free.
If you're buying pre-made marshmallow desserts, keep an eye out for gluten ingredients, or play it safe and prep your own right at home.
Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free?
Generally, marshmallows are formulated without any of the main gluten-based grains, including wheat, rye, barley and their derivatives, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Marshmallows are mostly made up of processed ingredients like corn syrup, sugar, modified corn starch, gelatin and artificial flavorings, according to the Campfire Marshmallows website. While they're not the most nutrient-dense dessert, marshmallows are often gluten-free and made without any of the major allergens.
Are You Taking in Too Much Sugar?
While many marshmallows are free of gluten-based ingredients, they don't necessarily all have a gluten-free label. Kraft, a popular marshmallow brand, doesn't label its marshmallows gluten-free, despite that they don't list gluten ingredients on the ingredient label or allergen listing, according to the Kraft website.
These are probably OK (since they're made without gluten-containing ingredients) but you may want to play it safe and go with a brand that's labeled gluten-free, like Campfire or Dandies.
A popular Easter option, Peeps & Company produces both gluten-containing and gluten-free marshmallow products. Before you buy just any package of peeps, browse the company's gluten-free options.
Marshmallow products aren't necessarily gluten-free either. Marshmallow cereals, marshmallow krisp bars and s'mores products are often made with refined wheat or other gluten-based ingredients. So, make sure to double-check those labels, too.
How to Verify Your Marshmallows Are Gluten-Free
As with all processed foods, you'll want to read the nutrition facts label before purchasing. Keep an eye out for any obvious gluten-based ingredients. Also, take a look at the allergen listing for either wheat or gluten.
If the bag is free of gluten ingredients, verify the product has a "gluten-free" label on the packaging, too. Cross-contamination is always a risk to consider and occurs when foods come in contact with gluten ingredients, either through manufacturing or preparation, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
If a food has a gluten-free label on the package, you can safely toss it into your shopping cart. These labels signify that the product contains 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten or less, meaning the food is generally safe for those with gluten sensitivity or intolerance, according to the FDA.
Some packaged foods may also have a Certified Gluten-Free seal. These marks mean that the food has been tested by a trusted third-party organization. The Gluten-Free Certification Organization is one of the most common third parties that uses strict standards, certifying foods that contain only 10 ppm of gluten or less.
Gluten-Free Marshmallow Brands to Try
Searching for a bag of gluten-free marshmallows? Try these gluten-free options from trusted brands.
1. Campfire Giant Roasters Marshmallows
Campfire Giant Roasters marshmallows are gluten-free and fat-free. Plus, the extra-large size makes them perfect for satisfying s'mores — just remember to choose gluten-free graham crackers.
Buy It: Walmart; Price: $2.48
2. Dandies Vegan Marshmallows
Dandies' vanilla-flavored mini marshmallows boast that nostalgic flavor you crave without all the artificial junk. They make the perfect topping to hot cocoa, a homemade latte or even a creamy cocktail.
Buy It: Amazon; Price: $14.94 per 2-pack
3. Peeps Yellow Chicks
Peeps are a holiday classic but you can eat them year-round, too. These marshmallow chicks are free of gluten and fat.
Buy It: Amazon; Price: $6.51 per 3-pack
DIY Gluten-Free Marshmallow Treat
You may be surprised (and disappointed) to learn that Rice Krispies cereal (and their marshmallow treats) aren't actually gluten-free because of the malt flavoring. Instead, try making your own gluten-free treat right at home in your GF kitchen.
Gluten-Free Rice Crispy Squares
All you need is 30 minutes and a few ingredients to whip up a batch of gluten-free rice crispy squares for your next bake sale or sporting event. When choosing a rice cereal and vanilla extract, make sure to choose a brand that's gluten-free, and opt for one of our GF marshmallow brands above.
Get the full recipe at The Spruce Eats.