Homemade Marshmallows & Herb-infused Finishing Salt

Looking for some last minute homemade holiday gift ideas or a fun hostess gift… anytime of year? Or maybe, you want to get creative in the kitchen during the winter break with your kids or grandkids? Today, I am sharing 2 fun projects that I think you might enjoy.

Every holiday season, I like to get in the kitchen and make a couple DIY gifts. My first creation: homemade marshmallows:  plain and toasted coconut marshmallows (YUM!)


Rather than re-create the wheel, today’s marshmallow recipes are courtesy of one of my favorite authors, Ina Garten! Find the recipe for the toasted coconut marshmallows here and the regular marshmallows here. 

The recipes do call for corn syrup. But, remember, this is not high fructose corn syrup. The marshmallows can be cut into any size. If you can’t tolerate a lot of sugar, make the marshmallows smaller!  I typically cut into a  2 x 2 inch square…but they also can be made into bite size marshmallows. To make the marshmallows gift-ready, I placed 3 into a cellophane bag and then gussied up the bag up with some fun holiday swag. I found Sillycow Farms glass jars of hot chocolate mix that are so adorable and free of milk. These could be used by a FODMAPer–just add suitable lactose free milk of choice.  I found the jars of hot cocoa locally at Roche Brother’s Market and their small concept store, Brother’s Marketplace. The hot chocolate mix is gluten free too.  There are other hot cocoa mix options online too to pair with your homemade marshmallows–or you can whip up my colleague, Toni Fiori’s low FODMAP Spiced Hot Cocoa recipe found here.homemade-cocoa-and-marshmallows

I also made a variety of herb-infused finishing salt made with Maldon Sea Salt Flakes (regular and smoked). If you haven’t used Maldon sea salt flakes before…you will soon learn they make everything taste a bit more special. You can find Maldon products online, at most markets and even Target. The DIY herb infused finishing salts are a fun gift too. My friend Michelle and I got together this week to mix up the salts and package them up, making them gift-ready.

seasoned-saltWe made a fun lavender salt using a grey celtic salt and culinary lavender.  This salt is a unique salt to sprinkle lightly over a suitable low FODMAP brownie mixture prior to cooking to add a hint of lavender and salt to your chocolate treat OR even sprinkled lightly over homemade chocolate bark, such as this fun bark made with quinoa!  We also make a variety of herb infused salt blends with thyme, rosemary and other suitable low FODMAP herbs. Since Maldon Sea Salt Flakes also comes in a smoked salt variety, we made an interesting smoked salt blend with red pepper flakes and dried citrus peel, creating a lime chili salt blend. This blend would work nicely on salmon, chicken or a pork tenderloin that has been brushed with Dijon mustard. For recipe inspirations for salt blends, check out this site here. 

And remember, try your very best not too be so busy during the holiday that you don’t have time to take good care of yourself. Put yourself on top of your to do list. Get in that walk, take a nap, drink plenty of water, and enjoy the holiday season.