Immune boosting Elderflower marshmallow fluff makes for a special treat when the cold and flu season hits. The floral taste and medicinal benefits of elderflowers together with their soft and fluffy texture make this marshmallow fluff special in its kind.
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You can hardly see sweets or sugary candies in our home. Our kids have the discipline to not require daily sweets. The exception is marshmallows. My son was introduced to marshmallows for the first time at school when he went camping with his class. The only thing they needed to bring was marshmallows for the campfire. When he came back from the trip he was so excited about the whole marshmallow experience that since then every time we made a barbecue or went camping he took his marshmallows with him. His love for marshmallows gradually transferred on the rest of our kids so I can say that marshmallows have been fully integrated into our family.
I am not against sweets as long as
- their ingredients come from a healthy natural source and are not full of chemicals
- I like ingredients that have some healthy properties.
When it comes to commercially sold marshmallows you can't find any nutritious ingredients in there. The only solution is to make them homemade.
Well, what are the ingredients to make healthy Elderflower marshmallow fluff?
A well-known herb full of antiviral and immune boosting properties, Elderflower also helps treat inflamed nasal passages. A popular cold and flu fighter, elderflower tea also helps ease coughs, running noses, and a sore throat. Elderflower tea is a natural source of vitamin C and antioxidants.
Made up of collagen, gelatin is acquired from the skin and bone of animals. Don't let this put you off, as its medicinal benefits are impressive to say the least:
- Maintains strong bones and is very effective in bone healing (1) Gelatin contains calcium, magnesium, and silicon that prevent fractures and bone loss.
- Improve digestion and gut health (2) - if you suffer from acid reflux, bloating or indigestion, gelatin helps restore a healthy stomach.
- Protect joints and ease the symptoms of arthritis (3) - people taking gelatin experience less pain in the joints and muscles and less inflammation.
- If you suffer from insomnia, gelatin can help you fall asleep faster and improve the quality of sleep.
- Worried about wrinkles, stretch marks or other signs of aging? Consume gelatin as it has a positive effect on cellular rejuvenation and the renewal of skin cells.
- Gelatin acts as an antidepressant by lowering stress hormones and increasing happy hormones. As a result, gelatin is a booster for a clearer and calmer state of mind
- Eating gelatin helps you control hunger hormones and therefore keeps your weight under control (4)
- Gelatin is also good for your heart as it neutralizes methionine - a compound that we acquire from eating meat (5) So when eating meat it’s important to also eat gelatin that is present in joints and bones rather than just pure muscle meat.
Immunity booster with antiviral and antioxidant properties, elderflower cordial will always find its place in our household. Moreover, kids just love it!
As I will explain later, sugar plays an irreplaceable role in making marshmallows, especially its texture. So instead of using white processed sugar, we will use its healthier alternative - raw sugar, but feel free to use brown sugar or arrowroot powder instead.
Good to know before we start
To achieve a fluffy and soft texture we need to understand the physics associated with marshmallows.
Traditional Marshmallows are in fact a foam made of sugar, air, water and gelatin. Marshmallows are aerated foam made up to 50 % of air.
In order to make the desired foam we need to incorporate air into the sugar mixture. This is the role of gelatin that formates and stabilizes the dispersed air. It’s also gelatin that creates the “melt in the mouth” effect. The melting point of gelatin is 97 F (36 degree Celsius) = body temperature so when gelatin touches the tongue it starts to melt. Gelatin is therefore very important in the whole process.
Sugar and syrup ratio affect the final structure of marshmallows. If you aim for a grainy texture of marshmallows, add more powdered or fine crystal sugar. If you prefer fluffier, softer and less sweet marshmallows then increase the amount of syrup. also, the greater the concentration of sugar, the higher its boiling point, thus it will take longer for the marshmallow to melt in your mouth.
Elderflower Marshmallows fluff
By reducing the amount of gelatin (from 3 tablespoons to 2 tablespoons) you can make Marshmallow “fluff” – a whipped, spreadable version of puffy marshmallows used in making fudge, frostings and other confections.
Usually, marshmallow fluff contains raw eggs. For some people like kids, pregnant women or older people it is not recommended to consume raw eggs. This is an alternative that works really well.
Step by step instructions to make Elderflower Marshmallow Fluff
1 step: Place cold elderflower tea in a large bowl of a stand mixer, sprinkle the gelatin over it and allow it to soak for about 10 minutes.
Step 2: While waiting for the gelatin to soak mix elderflower cordial, raw sugar, salt, and the remaining tea into a medium saucepan. Cook for 10 minutes until the mixture reaches 240°F (115 C)
Step 3: Pour the syrup into the bowl with the gelatin.
Step 4: turn the mixer to high and whisk for another 10-15 minutes or until the mixture is stiff. It should form soft peaks.
Step 5: Line the baking dish with parchment paper, leaving some on the sides to be able to pull up.
Step 6: When you finish with whipping, pour the marshmallow mixture into the lined dish and smooth evenly.
Step 7: Let it rest overnight or at least 4 hours.
Step 8: Flip on to a cutting board and cut with a well oiled knife.
Step 9: Store in an airtight container on the counter.
Are there any options for vegetarian Elderflower marshmallow fluff?
As a vegetarian option I suggest using agar-agar seaweed instead of gelatin: the powder gets mixed with the liquid elderflower preparation and heated until it boils and then when it cools down, the agar-agar does its effect and gelify.
How long do homemade Elderflower marshmallow fluff last?
Marshmallow fluff have a nice, long shelf life. If kept in an airtight container they should last for up to 3 weeks at room temperature.