Whenever I have the conversation with people about the fact that I’m a vegetarian, 99% of the time the response is “why?” and the other 1% goes something like “Don’t you miss meat? Wait – you still eat bacon.. right?”
I love eating a vegetarian diet: I thrive eating a mostly plant-based, whole foods diet and I’m healthier and happier as a result. I fully understand that eating meat is a natural human behaviour and I certainly don’t condemn those who do – most of my friends and family are carnivores, I know that our ancestors have been eating meat for thousands of years – but it isn’t the right choice for me. I don’t miss bacon – believe it or not – or any sort of meat or fish at all.
There is one thing I do miss – marshmallows.
The foamy, light, spongy, sweet confection made mostly of corn syrup, sugar and gelatine. Gelatine; which is made from the collagen extracted from pork skins, cattle bones and split cattle hides. I just… Shudders.
Vegetarian marshmallows are easily found but they’re so damn expensive and whilst I’ve missed foamy delights swimming on top of my hot chocolates I haven’t been able to convince myself it’s worth the extra money. What if they were disappointing? I took the plunge anyway and ordered online, with my fingers crossed that I hadn’t just wasted £8.90, a massive pack of Dandies Marshmallows. I had read that they’re the most authentic vegetarian version in existence: that they melt, toast and are just as fluffy as their non-veggie counterparts. All I had to do was wait.
Upon first taste I knew I’d made the right choice. They are just as good as regular marshmallows – without the gelatine! I set to work developing a graham cracker recipe and it worked brilliantly first time around – believe me when I say that these really are foolproof and so versatile too! Think crumbled on top of fruit and yoghurt, a graham-cracker crust for a tart, smothered in jam, dipped into tea or coffee…
Or, of course, for s’mores.
VEGAN GRAHAM CRACKERS
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp agave nectar
- 1/2 tbsp ground flax or psyllium husk
- 150g wholewheat flour
- 150g oat flour
- 2 tbsp coconut palm or raw demerara sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp ginger
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof.
- Combine the coconut oil, molasses, almond milk, agave and ground flax.
- In a larger bowl, combine the flours, granulated sweetener, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, ginger and nutmeg.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until it comes together as a ball of dough.
- Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll out the dough to about half a cm thick.
- Cut the crackers into square shapes with a bevel-edged cookie cutter, placing each piece onto the prepared baking sheet. Poke a few fork holes into each cracker.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each cracker over with a spatula and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
- Transfer crackers to a cooling rack until fully cool.
VEGAN S’MORES (for 1)
- 2 homemade graham crackers
- 3 vegan marshmallows
- 1 square dairy free dark chocolate
- Simply layer the chocolate and marshmallows on top of one of the crackers and place under a pre-heated grill until the top of the marshmallows are toasted and melted.
- Top with the second graham cracker and devour whilst warm and deliciously melty.