By Brenna O’Dea
Gather round the campfire! The sun has set. The fireflies are buzzing. The wood is burning and waiting for you…to roast your marshmallows. But are you feeling bored and blasé about the usual marshmallow+chocolate+graham cracker creation? Well I’ve got 10 ideas that are sure to push your s’more making abilities to the next level.
Have you ever plunged head first (or spoon first) into a jar of peanut butter only to realize a few too many episodes of Game of Thrones later that you have hit the bottom? (C’mon, admit it, we’ve ALL done it). Spread some of that LOVE on your s’more this summer with the amazing addition of Wild Friends Nut Butters. Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and even nut butters with an extra whey protein BOOST. With flavors like cinnamon raisin, chocolate coconut, sesame cranberry, and honey pretzel, just one dollop combined with that ooey-gooey toasted marshmallow will without a doubt transform your s’mores into drool-worthy delights.
Haven’t had enough nut butter? This addition is simple, salty, and sweet all at once. Toss the regular chocolate bar. Instead, swap in one (or two…shh no one is looking) Justin’s peanut butter cups. These babies are straight up DIVINE. Thankfully they come in packs of two for those of us with less than admirable self control in the chocolate department. Something special about these bundles of joy, they contain absolutely ZERO dairy or gluten, and they are certified USDA organic.
This one is for those looking to get a bit more creative in the kitchen…and maybe even get the kids involved in the cooking! Try making your own marshmallows! Better yet, try making STRAWBERRY marshmallows! This recipe involved plenty of pouring and stirring – perfect for little hands with less culinary experience. Even your kindergartner will love to help mix up that bowl of pink GOOEY GOODNESS and they will be even more excited to see (and eat!) their final creation.
Not a fan of the typical graham cracker? Maybe you struggle to find gluten free options for your s’mores? We have the answer…and it is DELICIOUS. Pop a few of Van’s gluten free waffles into your toaster, or warm them up right on the fire! These toasty treats will add an extra crunch and crisp to your chocolatey marshmallowey sandwich. High in protein and fiber, low in sugar and mysterious ingredients you can’t pronounce, these waffles will turn your measly average s’more into an energy packed snack. It might take a few extra laps running around the campfire to wear the kids out…but hey, it’s summer after all.
Feeling fruity? Try slicing some fresh fruit right onto your s’more – look for bright berries at your local farmer’s market, they are sure to add a juicy tangy bite. SWEET strawberries pair perfectly with melty chocolate, and ripe bananas aren’t a bad option either. Adding fruit to this dessert will give it the health boost it has been waiting for. Berries and bananas are some of the most beneficial fruits around, and they open up the door for some easy peeling and chopping for your little ones.
If you don’t have time to pick up fresh fruity additions, a dollop of fruit preserves will be just as delicious. Opt for jams over jellies to avoid added sugars and a watered down flavor. If you’re feeling super adventurous, make your own! These recipes for raspberry and blackberry chia seed jam are quick, easy and fun for the whole family. Spend the morning in the sun picking your favorite berries, then spend the afternoon smashing and stirring until you have jars and jars filled with your very own HOMEMADE superfood boosted jams! As for nighttime…well s’mores of course.
Speaking of superfoods…you don’t have to make chia seed jam to reap the benefits. Simply sprinkle on your favorite nuts or seeds and your s’mores will be extra crunchy and healthy too! Crushed up peanuts or slivered almonds add great texture to the soft, smooth marshmallow and chocolate. Set up a s’more bar with all of the ingredients and toppings laid out around the campfire. Your little ones will LOVE creating their own unique desserts…and they might be more open to the idea of trying vitamin and mineral packed nuts and seeds when they are combined with melty marshmallows and chunks of chocolate.
Looking for a little more spice in your life? Well sprinkle away! With easy additions like cinnamon, nutmeg or ground ginger, your s’mores will taste sweeter and spicier than ever before. To kick it up one notch further…grab the cayenne or paprika for a mighty HOT and metabolism boosting bite. Not a fan of spice but still looking to take your tastebuds on a wild ride…fresh herbs will do the trick! Add a few leaves of mint or basil to pump up your chocolate and satisfy your savory cravings.
For the animal lovers who don’t love the idea of eating gelatin filled marshmallows, don’t fret, there are certainly vegan options out there waiting to be devoured. Pick some up at your local Trader Joe’s or bring the kids into the kitchen and make your own. We’ve got you covered for ALL of your vegan marshmallow needs with recipes for both the square and fluff varieties! Even without the gelatin, these babies will taste sweet and chewy just like the real deal.
Last but certainly not least, for the kitchen connoisseur, swap out your graham crackers for sourdough, drizzle on some olive oil, and sprinkle on some sea salt. You heard me, sourdough, sea salt, and olive oil, oh and we can’t forget the chocolate. This sinful indulgence is inspired by one of, if not the most AMAZING dessert I have ever sunk my teeth into…and drooled over. Ada Street offers a dessert of these four simple ingredients and it is something truly magical. This sweet, salty and sourdough filled s’more combination will leave your belly happier than ever before. Plus, we’ve heard that sourdough and dark chocolate offer some surprising health benefits. Bread and chocolate for health? Don’t say another word.
So forget about the stale s’more recipes you’ve been munching on for decades. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about tradition and classic food combos that will probably be part of American food culture until the end of time…and rightfully so, I mean who doesn’t LOVE chocolate+marshmallow? But there is always room for a little extra sweetness, spiciness and creativity in the kitchen. If you start with s’mores, your kids are sure to try out some new foods and flavors in the future.