Spring is here, and with it comes one of the most recognizable candy confections to grace the supermarket shelves…Marshmallow Peeps. Those little pastel colored puffs of artificial flavor fill many Easter baskets and young tummies each year. But perhaps it’s time to consider what those little bunnies and chicks are actually made of. As we discussed last week, it’s also important to recognize artificial colors and their suspected effect on children. The pink Marshmallow Peeps are colored with Red 3, which according to Ruth Winter, M.S. in her book A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, “in 1996…was found to be a cancer-causing additive and may contribute to breast cancer.” Apparently, according to the same book, the FDA has considered removing Red 3 as an optional food colorant, but has yet to do so. What are they waiting for?
THE COMPARISON: Marshmallow Peepsvs. Out of the Box Food All Natural “Peeps”
(All ingredients followed by an * can be referenced at www.wikipedia.org by clicking on the ingredient. Please feel free to reference the ingredients on other reputable sites for further information.)
- corn syrup*
Contains less than .5% of the following ingredients:
**All listed product ingredients are taken from product’s package label. Though Out of the Box Food makes every effort to provide complete ingredient information, please check the package for the most current information.
Out of the Box FoodSM All Natural “Peeps”
Special Equipment: cookie cutters, 9″x9″ or 9″x13″ pan, small bowl, whisk
- 1 recipe Out of the Box Food Maple Marshmallows
- 1 C granulated sugar
- 2-3 drops Out of the Box “Dinner and Dye” Natural Beet Food Coloring (or a natural food coloring may be substituted)
- Prepare marshmallows according to recipe.
- In a small bowl, whisk 2-3 drops of food color into granulated sugar.
- If marshmallow are completely dry, wet a paper towel and gently wipe the top of the pan of marshmallow. Cut marshmallows out with cookie cutter.
- Roll the marshmallow cut-outs in the colored sugar.
Last week I received a question about the prepared beets in the refrigerator section of Trader Joe’s as an alternative to roasting the beets yourself. I looked into those and though I’ll always encourage making them fresh, those look to be a good alternative. Plenty of juice in the package to dye large amounts of frosting, yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, beverages, etc. Until next week…
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