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Saturday
Sep032011

S'mores! Gluten-Free, Dairy-free & Vegan, The Campfire Beckons.

The Real Things are So Much Better Than Rice Cakes


I recently asked this question on The Tender Palate Facebook page:

Since you have been diagnosed with food allergies, what do you miss eating the most? 

I received answers ranging from tomatoes to pizza to just plain bread and butter; to oreos.  For me, I miss S'mores (and pizza and really, really good bread, and cheese...).  For a couple of summers I attempted to make one mamouth S'more using two giant rice cakes.  As I smushed the cakes together, and closed my eyes in anticipation, this genius substitution made the chocolate and marshmallows disappear.  It took about 8 marshmellows and a 1/2 package of chocolate chips to balance the size and texture of the rice cake.  Plus I always wound up with rice in my mouth and chocolate and marshmellow on my face.  I kept this up for the sake of my love of S'mores, until I found S'moreables.  I thought of all Tender Foodies who might be missing S'mores like I did, and came up with a few options for the Labor Day Weekend.

 

Graham Cracker Options

S'moreables by Kinnickinnick

These are tasty little grahams are like a cross between cookies and graham crackers.  But they do the trick for their namesake.  They are indeed, S'moreable (adorable and devourable).  One nice thing about them is that they are a little tougher than the "real" thing and they don't crumble when you press the hot marshmallow down on the chocolate.  We likey.

Free of gluten/wheat, dairy, eggs, treenuts, peanuts, and yeast.  Made in a dedicated gluten and nut-free facility (since June 15, 2009) that does use soy, eggs and sesame seeds. 

 

 Jules Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Mix

I have not had the opportunity to try this graham cracker mix (yet), but I have used Jules' all purpose flour in the CEO Maple Cornbread Muffins - and it is fantastic.  Jules Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour works exactly like regular all purpose flour.  The flour has a lighter, starchier feeling when you first use it, but there was no difference whatsoever in the texture, taste or behavior of the flour when baking and tasting.  The many taste testers I employed after many batches agreed with me.  Jules graham cracker mix also got a rave review from Washington Post Food Writer Kim O'Donnel, so I would expect nothing less than success in making Jules grahams.  In fact, Ms. O'Donnel called the mix a "cookie miracle".  You can use this mix to make graham crackers or ginger bread cookies (which was what she raved about). Jules Gluten-free Graham Cracker Mix is  gluten-free, egg-free, soy-free and dairy-free.

 

Marshmallow Options

Jet Puffed Marshmallows

We all grew up with these tasty, sugary, yummy pillows that morph into a taffy-like substance when you put them in the microwave and that have become an expected campfire companion like no other.  Jet Puffed Marshmalows (the regular kind) are touted on many blogs and being gluten-free and dairy-free.  Though we don't have specific facility, testing or ingredient sourcing information, we do have the ingredient list and this statement sent to me from Kraft on 8/3/2011:

The vast majority of our products clearly identify the eight major food allergens (eggs, fish, shellfish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts and wheat) in common terms familiar to consumers in addition to the more technical terms required by food labeling laws. We've worked hard to implement common terms on all our labels.

 Jet-Puffed does, however, contain gelatin, so for a vegan option, please look at what's next.

Dandies Vegan Marshmallows

Most marshmallows use gelatin, which is an animal product.  So for vegans with food allergies, these marshmallows are a great option.  They are gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free.  Don't use if you have soy allergies, they do contain soy, but it is non-GMO soy, which we love.   Read the ingredients and compare against your allergen-free needs.  Here is their allergy statement:

We operate in our own independent manufacturing facility, giving us ultimate control over what ingredients come into contact with our products. We can say with certainty and conviction that there will never be dairy, eggs, shellfish, tree nuts, or peanuts in our plant.

 

 Make Your Own:  with Ina Garten's Recipe

I love Ina Garten.  Her recipes always work and they are surprisingly adaptable (more on that later).  If you are concerned with food colorings in commercial marshmallows or are allergic to soy, making your own with Ina is a great option.  Try this marshmallow recipe, but leave out the toasted coconut for a true s'more-worthy marshmallow.  Although a s'more with toasted coconut would be amazing, wouldn't it?

GLUTEN & VEGAN NOTE:  use a gluten-free vanilla extract.  Most extracts are made with gluten-grain alcohol.  Most of the gluten protein is distilled out of the alcohol, but some people can still be sensitive to the traces of gluten that might remain. Also, this recipe uses gelatin, an animal product. Thus it is not the best recipe for vegans.

 

Chocolate Options

My favorite dairy-free chocolate, bar none (pun intended), is Callebaut Bittersweet.  Callebaut tests for dairy, and currently has a nut-free and gluten-free facility (but does not test for these allergens).  Enjoy Life Foods is a wonderful company who also makes really good chocolate.  They started out serving the Big 8 allergen-free community and doing it right. They have a dedicated facility that is free from soy, dairy, gluten, peanut, treenut, egg, fish, and shellfish.  Although the semi-sweet chocolate chunks tend to be more sweet than the Callebaut, they are very good and make a nice option for s'mores (and all baked goods).  Another nice chocolate is Rice Dream.  Although this is quite sweet (a little too much for me, so I prefer the bar wtih crisps) it is creamy and smooth.  It is also dairy-free and gluten-free.

 

S'mores Recipe

If you have never made a s'more... seriously, I've actually met people who haven't ,.. the recipe is simple. 

1.  Remove the graham crakers from the package and separate into sections that are 3 inches (or so) square. 

2. Place 4 (for example) grahams on a plate and place the chocolate on top of two of the grahams. Have the other two at the ready.

3.  Put 2 marshmallows on a stick and roast the marshmallows over a campfire, turning until they are golden brown... or burnt, however you like them.

4.  Put 1 hot, toasty marshmallow onto the chocolate covered graham and quickly cover with the awaitng graham.

Devour

 

S'mores in the Oven (oh yes you can)

Craving S'mores in the dead of winter?  Use the oven.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Place the graham crackers on a cookie sheet (you can line with parchment).  Put the chocolate on the graham cracker.  Carefully rest an uncooked marshmallow upon the chocolate.  Repeat according to the number of guests you are serving or the in line with the size of your craving.  Offer thanks for this beautiful creation, then place in the oven until the marhmallows are melty and a little toasty.

*If you want your mallow super toasty, ou can do the same thing under the broiler.  Just watch closely, it only takes about 30 seconds. *

Remove from the oven and place another graham cracker on top, or simply enjoy open-faced (and on your face).

 

 

As always, this is a guide.  Please regularly check the websites of all suggested products since ingredients, facility practices and sources for ingredients could change the allergen information.

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Reader Comments (4)

Almost all of the ingredients here aren't vegan. Gelatin is in all but the vegan marshmallows, which is not a vegan ingredient (it's made from animal parts and bones.). Please be careful before you post articles like this - hopefully, most vegans will know before they trust your post.

That being said, I can commiserate on missing s'mores. I'm vegan and have a soy allergy, so haven't found anything yet that will work. Good luck with everything :)
May 17, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTeri
HI Teri,

Thanks very much for you note. I did make a note about gelatin on the vegan marshmallows, but I can see how that isn't enough! I added a vegan/gelatin note to the Jet-Puffed entry, and to the recipe for Ina Garten's marshmallows as well. S'moreables do not contain gelatin, neither does Jule's GF graham cracker mix, which is also labeled as vegan. The chocolate is also dairy-free and does not contain gelatin, so hopefully everything is more clearly notated for vegans, now. Thanks again for letting me know that this needed to be clearer!

Boy, I searched far and wide for a vegan and soy-free marshmallow and haven't come up with anything, but I might try again. If I find one, I'll add it here.
Sweet & Sara Vegan marshmallows are gmo and gluten free. I've used them with the smoreables plenty. I do not like the texture or flavor of those cracker cookies; eager to make my own graham crackers using that mix now!
June 26, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterQtsp00k
Thanks for the Sweet & Sara suggestion, Qtsp00k! Will check them out and I'm sure readers will, too! Let us know how you like the cracker mix from Jules. Love your feedback!

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