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June 29, 2013

The Vegan S’More

by Anne Paddock

July 4th is right around the corner and for most people the celebration will include a barbecue, fireworks, and hopefully, a campfire. Traditionally, we sit around the campfire, roast marshmallows and either eat the gooey mess au natural or pile the partially burned white blobs on graham crackers with chocolate bars to make the classic campfire treat:  the S’More. But, when you have a vegan in the family, making a S’More is a challenge.

Gone are the days when we could purchase commercial graham crackers from the supermarket (they have honey and vegans don’t eat anything with honey because the honey should be left for the baby bees to eat). Forget the widely popular Jet Puffed Marshmallows whose number one ingredient is corn syrup, followed by sugar, dextrose, modified food starch, water, gelatin, tetrasodium pyrophosphate (whipping aid), artificial flavor, artificial color (Blue 1). Comparatively speaking, the chocolate is easy to get because most dark chocolate is vegan (just check the label to make sure no animal products are added).

All of a sudden, the traditional campfire treat is not so easy….until I discovered Sweet & Sara – a company based out of Long Island City, NY that makes a variety of vegan products including marshmallows that are rich, creamy, mouth-watering, and completely gelatin-free. The company also makes handmade vegan all natural graham crackers that are a delicious alternative to the commercially produced types. Crisp, crunchy and flavorful, the graham crackers are not overly sweet, as if they were meant to be paired with dark chocolate and marshmallows. Both products have impressive ingredients:382463_10150888692351463_935906415_n

Vanilla Marshmallows: contain tapioca syrup, cane sugar, water, non-GMO corn starch, carrageenan (an extract from seaweed that acts as a natural thickener), Non-GMO soy protein, acacia (a tree shrub of the pea family), pure vanilla extract, sea salt, locust bean gum, and organic confectioner’s sugar. Truly, the marshmallows of marshmallows.

Graham Crackers:  contains wheat flour, non-hydrogenated spread (an oil blend of soybean, palm, canola, and olive oil), water, salt, natural flavor, soy lecithin, lactic acid, annatto extract, evaporated can juice, whole wheat flour, molasses, filtered water, and baking soda. One bite and you’ll never buy the commercial variety again.

The vanilla marshmallows can be purchased in the refrigerated prepared food section at most Whole Foods or directly from the company via their website (listed below). A 6 ounce container is about $5 or a 2-pound bag is $15. The graham crackers are $3.50 for 8 ounces (10 thick graham crackers).264529_10151412124386463_876407147_n

Sweet & Sara graham crackers and marshmallows (and your favorite dark chocolate square) take the S’More from a traditional campfire treat to an intoxicating, decadent, and classic dessert that will have everyone oohing and aahing with delight. For those times, when a campfire is unavailable, a S’More au natural (with the marshmallows cut in half) is equally as delicious as an afternoon snack.DSC_0119

Sweet & Sara
4331 33rd Street, #4
Long Island City, NY 11101

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