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halloween marshmallows

Healthy Halloween Treat: Naturally Dyed Pumpkin Marshmallows

Course Dessert
Cuisine American


  • 1 cup fresh butternut squash puree*
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup organic beef gelatin
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 cups local honey
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 drops each red and yellow natural gel dye, optional


Do this first so it's ready:

  1. Prepare an 9 x 11 casserole dish by placing a piece of parchment paper long enough to cover up the sides as well as the bottom. The parchment paper won't lie down until the marshmallow is weighing it down but once they're dry, the paper will just peel off the marshmallows.

Then the bloom:

  1. Put the gelatin and first 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of your mixer bowl. Slightly stir it to make sure all the gelatin is submerged in the water. This will cause the gelatin to "bloom" (or poof up a bit).

Mix it up:

  1. Once gelatin has completely soaked into the water and has bloomed, add the squash and mix thoroughly in the bowl.

  2. Heat the honey, 2nd water and salt in a medium saucepan on medium heat until boiling.
  3. Gently boil honey while constantly stirring, until candy thermometer reaches 225F/107C degrees. The honey should bubble, froth and turn a deeper caramel color.

  4. Once temperature is reached, immediately remove from heat. Turn your mixer on low/medium (use the whisk attachment), and slowly mix honey mixture into squash mixture. Drizzle the honey down the inside of the bowl at a slow, steady rate.

  5. Mix to incorporate, stopping to scrape down sides a few times.
  6. Once honey and squash are mixed, put the collar on your mixing bowl (if you have one). Place a towel over the top of the bowl to prevent splashes.

  7. Turn the mixer to high and check it often until it turns into marshmallow fluff. The mixture will lighten in color and thicken. This can take anywhere from 8-20 minutes.

  8. If you decide you'd like to add some more color, do it now. Mix until incorporated.

  9. Spoon the marshmallow cream into your prepared dish with a greased scraper. Smooth the top and lightly cover the top with a piece of parchment paper. Don't let the paper touch the marshmallows or it will stick.

  10. For softer marshmallows, let them set up for 4-6 hours. For dryer marshmallows, let them set up for 8-24 hours.
  11. Use a greased pizza cutter for streamlined sizing OR you can use greased cookie cutters to cut your marshmallows. Once they're cut out, dust your marshmallows in powdered sugar. Other ideas include cinnamon, cocoa , coconut flour or roll them in chocolate chips, chopped nuts, cookie crumbs.

Recipe Notes

*To make butternut squash puree:

  1. Cut the ends off of one squash. 
  2. Remove the skin with a sharp knife.
  3. Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. 
  4. Compost the debris. 
  5. Place the halves of squash face down in a glass baking dish with one cup of water. 
  6. Bake uncovered at 350F/177C for 30-40 minutes until the flesh is soft enough to easily pierce with a fork.
  7. Mash with a potato masher or use an immersion blender to puree the squash.