Are Marshmallows Gluten-Free? (Updated May 2016)

They're almost all safe

Are marshmallows gluten-free?. Heather E. Binns/Getty Images

There's good news when it comes to marshmallows on the gluten-free diet: Even if you pick up a bag of marshmallows randomly in the grocery store, it's very likely to be safe. That's because the vast majority of marshmallows on store shelves are gluten-free.

In the U.S., the marshmallow industry is dominated by two main companies: Kraft Foods Inc. and Doumak Inc. Both manufacture only gluten-free marshmallows.

Companies that Make Gluten-Free Marshmallows

Kraft makes Jet Puffed marshmallows in sizes ranging from mini (perfect for adding to your gluten-free hot chocolate) through jumbo (ideal for roasting over a campfire). Kraft marshmallows are widely available in stores — we use them at my house, and reach for them in stores when friends are having an impromptu cookout.

Kraft will disclose all gluten-containing ingredients on its labels, and while it doesn't label its marshmallows specifically "gluten-free" or test them for trace gluten, a company representative reports that they're not subject to gluten cross-contamination in production.

Doumak, meanwhile, makes only marshmallows, and all of its products are gluten-free. The company bills itself as "The American Marshmallow Company," and there's plenty of truth to that claim. Campfire brand marshmallows are made by Doumak, and the company also makes marshmallows for private store brands, including Walmart's store brand and CVS Brand, according to a customer service representative.

When you're browsing the grocery store for marshmallows (sadly, they're usually found in the baking section, occasionally right next to the flour), you may see several different brands of marshmallows, including Kraft, Campfire, Jet, and store brands. But the odds are, everything there is made by either Kraft or Doumak ...

and is safely gluten-free.

Marshmallow Peeps Gluten-Free, Too

When it comes to marshmallows, many people also think of Marshmallow Peeps, once sold only around Easter but now produced in multiple shapes, colors and themes for many different holidays.

Peeps are made by Just Born, which labels them "gluten-free" unless they're made in a factory that also processes gluten-containing foods (see Just Born's gluten statement here). Therefore, you should rely on Peeps' packaging — if it says "gluten-free," it's safe to eat. Note that the food starch used in Peeps is derived from corn.

Note that in recent years, Just Born has introduced a variety of new Peeps flavors and shapes, including Peeps on a stick. Many of these, unfortunately, are not gluten-free. The bottom line: Always look for a prominent "gluten-free" designation on Peeps boxes, which you will find printed in bold near the products' ingredients lists.

What Can You Do with Marshmallows?

Marshmallows are a very versatile treat, and it's even sweeter that they're almost all gluten-free.

Gluten-free crispy rice treats are easy to make and a perennial kids' favorite. Starbucks even offers a gluten-free rice treat as one of the company's few nods to the gluten-free community.

If you're planning a classic campfire complete with s'mores, my article Gluten-Free Graham Crackers and S'mores explains where to get gluten-free graham crackers and safe chocolate bars.

Finally, no matter how much you like chocolate, it's tough to beat plain toasted marshmallows on a stick, over a campfire. Just make sure you follow the rules for a safe gluten-free cookout, including the use of safe charcoal.

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