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US Forest Service Asks: How Does Your Marshmallow Roast?

Posted by Kathryn Sosbe, Office of Communication, U.S. Forest Service in Forestry
Feb 21, 2017
S’mores, a treat whose recipe first appeared in the 1927 Girl Scouts Handbook, is a staple of National Roasted Marshmallow Day (Aug. 30). (Think Stock/Getty Images)
S’mores, a treat whose recipe first appeared in the 1927 Girl Scouts Handbook, is a staple of National Roasted Marshmallow Day (Aug. 30). (Think Stock/Getty Images)

Some wonderful memories are born around a fire ring. But whether you are camping, “glamping” or sitting with friends and family in your backyard, waning evenings typically include one campfire staple: marshmallows.

So, on the eve of National Roasted Marshmallow Day (Aug. 30), we pay tribute to the sweet ingredient that makes any form of outdoor gathering, well, sweeter.

For some, the best use of marshmallows is as the gooey main ingredient of s’mores. Take a graham cracker, place a section of chocolate on it, and then carefully place a freshly roasted marshmallow on top of the candy bar. Top the marshmallow off with another graham cracker, carefully squeezing the campfire dessert sandwich together as the hot marshmallow melts the chocolate.

According to the National Confectioners Association, the history of s’mores is anyone’s guess. However, the s’more recipe is first found in the 1927 Girl Scouts Handbook and some people speculate the organization coined the name.

But as many national forests and grasslands visitors know, there is more than one way to roast a marshmallow.

First, let’s talk safety. Never start a campfire when there are fire restrictions in place. The restrictions are put in place for your safety and for the safety of others. If campfires are allowed, use an existing fire ring or pit. Be sure you are at least 15 feet from tent walls, trees or other flammable objects.

Most importantly, ensure you work closely with children and talk to them about fire danger, proper behavior and rules – then expect nothing less. No one knows how many children are burned in campfire incidents; however, you don’t need statistics to know precaution is a key to great camping experiences. Some experts advocate a 10-foot rule between young children and a campfire. For more information about campfire safety, let Smokey Bear guide you.

Madelyn Morrissey (left) and Katie Roth roast marshmallows near the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest. (Courtesy Adrian Roth)
Madelyn Morrissey (left) and Katie Roth roast marshmallows near the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest. (Courtesy Adrian Roth)

Now, let’s get to the marshmallow basics. Use a roasting stick of at least 30 inches in length. The degree a marshmallow is roasted runs the gamut, from the barely cooked, light caramel-colored outer layer to the flaming marshmallow that contains a gooey interior wrapped by a crispy, blackened shell. From there, most people graduate to s’mores and rarely move on.

But there are some innovative ways to roast the little white treats that can help cut down on the amount of sugar intake by the kids, thus making bedtime a little more doable.

Think fruit.

Even if the kids – including us older ones – insist on more traditional s’mores, there are some healthy tricks. Grill thin slices of pineapple and substitute chocolate for the sweet, warm fruit. You will still get a tasty treat but by substituting with fruit, it is healthier – as long as you watch the amount of marshmallows used. If you want to cut down even more on calories, try using slices of angel food cake instead of graham crackers.

You can also get a little inventive and move away from s’mores.

Grab a small bag of chocolate or peanut butter chips – or a combination of the two. Take a banana and slice one side open, exposing the fruit but leaving the peel intact. Slice the banana, add a few chocolate chips then top with tiny marshmallows. Or substitute the chips for blueberries from the local farmer’s market. Place the banana in aluminum foil and wrap tightly. Place the foil-wrapped fruit next to but not on the flames. Wait five to 10 minutes or enough time for the chips and marshmallows to melt. Open and enjoy with a spoon.

Another way to limit the amount of marshmallows used is to substitute them with marshmallow crème, a spreadable version of marshmallows that helps you more easily regulate portion. For healthier treats, use large strawberries, apple slices, banana chucks, pineapple or other fruit. Put a piece of fruit on a roasting stick, dip quickly in the crème and roast over indirect heat until a delicious golden brown. You’re still having campfire fun, but the focus is on a healthier evening snack.

There are many ways to make the end of your camping day a memorable time with snacks. How does your marshmallow roast?

Madelyn Morrissey blows on a roasted marshmallow near the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest. (Courtesy Adrian Roth)
Madelyn Morrissey blows on a roasted marshmallow near the George Washington/Jefferson National Forest. (Courtesy Adrian Roth)
Category/Topic: Forestry

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Comments

Darlene West
Sep 05, 2014

Bite me! You cannot solve the national debt, control street gangs or terrorists. Or bring our soldiers home but you want to tell me how you think I should eat a smores??? Really? Because I would think the government has more better things to do than that.

Dan
Sep 05, 2014

Wow, get off the Michelle Obama bandwagon of telling Americans what they should or should not eat. Don't you have better things to spend my money on then crap like this story?

Mike McGough
Sep 05, 2014

Really, MooChelle has not infiltrated the US Forest Service. Note to Government we will feed our kids what ever we darn well please. Run the government, run your agencies and leave us alone.

Kerry
Sep 05, 2014

Don't tell me how to eat! Quit wasting money on stupid stuff.

Elspeth
Sep 05, 2014

Since when are marshmallows healthy? Last I checked, chocolate has redeeming qualities, marshmallows do NOT. I get that this post relates to Marshmallow Day or some such nonsense, but seriously, why not tell the public to replace the milk chocolate with DARK chocolate if the goal was to go healthy? The idea of replacing chocolate with fruit but leaving the most unhealthy part of the snack, the marshmallow (graham crackers are typically made with WHOLE grains while angel food cake is typical made with white flour btw)makes the post STUPID beyond belief...and open to ridicule and attack, by the media, by conservatives, and by people with just half a brain.

Doc
Sep 05, 2014

And people wonder why so many of us want to shut down 90% of the federal government. America is doomed with nanny do-gooders infesting every aspect of American life.

happy
Sep 05, 2014

I feel so much better knowing that the government is in charge of making S'mores. There is no way we mere citizens could possibly figure out how to do this without the USDA providing detailed instructions. It is wonderful that all our taxpayer dollars go to something like this. (eyes rolling) Seriously, think of how much money we would all have in our pockets if we didn't have to pay government workers to sit around writing silly "blogs" and advice columns (or worse), making twice the salaries WE normal folks make.

It's a sad, sad world.

Oh, and why take out the only HEALTHY part of a S'more. Chocolate, if the good stuff is purchased (low sugar dark chocolate), is filled with antioxidants! While marshmallows are high fructose syrup pieces of crap. Graham crackers are GMO wheat with high fructose corn syrup. Even fruit is filled with sugar. Stop trying to tell us how to eat.

Fru'mores lol!
Sep 05, 2014

I, personally, have enjoyed the comments, minus the last 4 or 5, more than the article itself!

Veritas
Sep 05, 2014

Don't you have better things to do like close scenic overlooks we've already paid for and monuments to our war heroes so they can't visit them?

B
Sep 05, 2014

And the next time you hear about a national park being closed or someone falling off a cliff because there was no money to fix a fence, remember this article. There is no reason our governmnet needs to be spending a single cent of tax payer money to blog about switching the chocolate to fruit in a campfire smore. Stick to the important things, like getting rid of meth labs and illegals on Federal lands and leave our smores the hell alone.

Deserted
Sep 05, 2014

Ridiculous! This is completely outside the mission of the Forest Service and a waste of taxpayer money. Spend your time managing public lands, not telling people what to eat.

Dan
Sep 05, 2014

Really? Hey Forest Service ... keep your opinions to yourself, last thing we need are you buffoons making dietary suggestions. Maybe keep to watching the trees and birds ..

You liberals crack me up, keep up with the Kool-Aid.

Jerry Foster
Sep 05, 2014

Didn't you USDA people learn anything about using your government blogs for social engineering when we got the intern fired last summer for bad mouthing meat consumption?

How soon will Forest Rangers start confiscating choclate bars at camp site?

I have a mother and a wife. So I don't need to Forest Service or Michele Obama to tell me what to eat or to monitor my diet.

Jerry Foster
Sep 05, 2014

Xii, the real reason we can't have nice things is because we are over taxed to pay for too many over-compensated government employees doing work that doesn't need to be done. This blog is an example.

john
Sep 05, 2014

It amazes me that some people think this crap is a good use of tax payer money, If you really need help in camping, stay home.

Persephone
Sep 05, 2014

For crying out loud. I'm a woman, but turning into an anti feminist with all these obviously female government employees with their nonstop advice on what we all should do. Control control control. Get off it. Go home and eat all the fruit you want.

Sangelia
Sep 05, 2014

Guys, chocolate in it's own way IS healthy. As in antioxidents, lowers cholesterol, among other things.
Plus, one only lives once in the body we have at the time.

H20s1
Sep 06, 2014

Hey Forest Service, stick to watching trees, we'll stick to raising our own kids and what we eat.

Stacy Law
Sep 06, 2014

Hey Bureaucrats: don't tell us about fruit on smores. Stick to your mission and leave the American pastimes alone. WE DON'T NEED YOUR ADVICE.

sean1
Sep 06, 2014

I have ceased to be amazed at the idiocy of certain bureaucratic parts of the United States Government. Now Smokey the Bear has been turned into a libertool.

Chuck
Sep 06, 2014

Hah! I think we should celebrate National Roasted Marshmallow Day by cutting about 250k dollars out of the USFS's budget next year, seeing that they OBVIOUSLY have too much time on their hands.

And for all those that are chanting "much ado about nothing", as a botanist, I can think of dozens of things the USFS could be doing right now that is far more worthwhile than suggesting ways to make healthy smores.

Charles Shinn
Sep 06, 2014

I would highly suggest that you use the tax dollars that I have entrusted into USDA's hands to do the job that you are supposed to be doing which does NOT include writing nonsense like this!

Dr. Jo
Sep 06, 2014

The article and the responses are so telling of our society and culture. What is especially interesting is how much the libs love government and how much they hate conservative people. It really is extraordinary. They think the government bureaucrats will save us from ... Everything! By which we do not mean those who intend to harm us or use us but things like s'mores on a camping trip if not done properly (the govt way). And how typical they so quickly imply that those who found this blog wasteful are against fire safety. (Yet another false dichotomy) Remember how fast these forest employees wanted to arrest joggers and tourists during the shutdown. And flotus telling kids that some very healthy foods must be banned. Sheesh

S'morons
Sep 06, 2014

WOW! Chill out!

People are REALLY bitching about wasting tax dollars on this article? This is probably written by a summer intern, hence the bad grammar and light-hearted subject matter.

And these are SUGGESTIONS, you right wing nut jobs! SUGGESTIONS!!! I for one am always open to new ideas and twists on old favorites.

And Terrorists? REALLY?! Since when does the US Forest Service combat terrorism?

I just really can't Republicans anymore.

MH
Sep 06, 2014

FRUIT??????Are you freakin' kidding me????? GTFO!!!! CHOCOLATE is what makes a S'more a S'more. Fruit would make it a No Thank You. As much as I love fruit, it has no place in a S'more.

Jim Webster
Sep 06, 2014

Every day I get reminded how stupid conservatives really are. Lighten up!

J.T.
Sep 06, 2014

SHUT UP! We don't need instructions on s' more building and don't appreciate Michelle Obama's food police around our campfires. Healthy S' mores? Really? Get a real job!

Dean
Sep 06, 2014

Smokey the Bear - food monitor. Only WE can prevent obesity by telling you what to eat!

BigBrother
Sep 06, 2014

Why does the government have to tell us how to pursue happiness . If we want to eat chocolate we will eat chocolate. There are so many other issues you should be working on . Secure the borders for one

Carl Fuglein
Sep 06, 2014

Shouldn't you be out in the forest protecting a tree? #idiots

Carl Fuglein
Sep 06, 2014

dhusk: yes. they should be planning to go back to the moon or mars. There's plenty of people on the internet to tell you how to use a backyard telescope.

Serious?
Sep 06, 2014

Wow, thanks Federal Government. I was unsure of how to have a safe but yet good time with my kids while camping, only to once again be saved by the guidance and intuitive Government coming to my aid with something I'm utterly shocked we all pay for. I think all Federal workers should have to wear a red cape with a big "FG" on the back and make whooshing sounds as they walk around with their arms out. That way we know who'll save us from all our negligent ignorance.

John Knox
Sep 06, 2014

..that is how it starts, government suggestions turn into regulations and laws. People suggesting stuff and before you know it they're intervening in your life. Quit wasting our money and don't tell us how to eat.

mamacat
Sep 06, 2014

Makes NO sense! Graham crackers, marshmallows, marshmallow creme are nothing but processed chemicals. Angel food cake is pure sugar. Chocolate does have real health benefits!! Our government is NOT qualified to give us advice on nutrition. They should do some research FIRST before posting these unfounded "healthy eating" ideas on a blog.

Ray
Sep 06, 2014

Why was I not informed about National Roasted Marshmallow Day? Nevertheless, I sincerely hope Ms. Sosbe will produce a followup on how to roast hot dogs and suggest some healthy substitutes; maybe carrot sticks or I don't know maybe zucchini or some other healthy alternative. An in depth analysis of how to pay campground fees, the right way to interact with campground contract concessionaires, and maybe how to park my Winnebago would be great.

WiseGrandmother
Sep 06, 2014

Dear USDA: MYOB!

Chocoholic
Sep 06, 2014

And what, exactly, do marshmallow-roasting and S'mores have to do with agriculture? Oh, yes, must be linked to Obamacare. Of course, this administration is "do as we say, not as we do". Just look at the school lunch program and compare it to what the First Family is eating.

Thomas Luedeke
Sep 06, 2014

Wow, I thought I had a personal physician, but apparently the USFS now feels the need to tell me what to eat, and precisely how to cook it, and the dietary implications. Is Michelle Obama perhaps a USFS dietary consultant?

How about the USFS head off and go pound sand? Unless my campfire is setting the national forests on fire, then how or what I cook on them is precisely 100% none of their business.

Next thing the USFS will be checking all campers to make sure the contents of the s'mores and the length of the stick are consistent with federal law, and writing citations to six year olds...

Patriot
Sep 06, 2014

This government witch isn't going to tell me how to do anything! Get a real job, lady. Good luck, though. You obviously have no marketable skills which is why you are a governmental bureaucrat.

mitch
Sep 06, 2014

Mind your own business!smores for every one!!!!!

ray
Sep 06, 2014

Hell no how dumb how many people have smores daily and then u suggested foil how great is that for the environment if u have millions using spoons and foil. Dumb thinking leave us the heck alone u keep your thoughts USDA its not changing go away i will let my kids have smores when we camp like 1-2 a year this is the most dumb blog

R Page
Sep 06, 2014

What the check are you idiots have to do with S'mores? Get out of people lives. Quit trying to be food police. It isn't any of your business. You can't even run your corrupt organization. I know, I wired fir you and know how incompetent you are.

Darth Invader
Sep 06, 2014

50 years ago you would have never seen a brochure like this. 1- Government thinks we're all stupid. 2- Government thinks it knows what's best for us. 3- Government has the best ideas. Hey Forest Service, when people go camping, it usually consists of hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, hunting and other OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. Come on be honest , it was the woman in the White House that told you to do this right? wonder how many people got paid to fabricate this nonsense????

Darth Invader
Sep 06, 2014

How about we substitute this article for a map of great campsites

I. C. Stride
Sep 06, 2014

I wonder how many marshmallows we could have bought and roasted with the 26 million (And Counting) the USFS spent to put out the 32,000+ acre Eiler Fire in Northern California, which, by the way, they allowed to burn unchecked for two whole days before taking action. Thank you, For Service, for making sure that kids aren't eating too much sugar while allowing our most plentiful renewable natural resource to go up in smoke.

DJ
Sep 07, 2014

The government can go to hell.

Ply
Sep 07, 2014

Hows about all the flaming liberals stop trying to defend another intrusion into my diet, and leave the Forest Service to taking care of "Our" Forests! They want to be dietitian's then get the heck of the woods!

Jim Miller
Sep 07, 2014

Just how screwed up are you people who think smores are to be vilified? Light hearted? it is intended to discourage and shame parents who indulge kids on a camping trip pure and simple.

katie bump
Sep 07, 2014

Dear Smoky, Fire safety is well within the Forest Service bailiwick but I am surprised to find you involved the food wars. Who ever thought to go there should have their head examined. Get out and stay out, it is unwinnably beyond your territory. Ask, how does this story further the mission of my agency? Let this be a lesson to you, When national weanie roast day comes, don't pass judgement on the hot dogs and their consumers. Just worry about the campfire and maybe the weanie sticks.

P.S. Give me facts. Is a piece of fruit Really less sugary then a piece of chocolate- especially dark chocolate? Have you got a gram for gram carb count? Antioxidant count? I suspect the real culprit is the marshmallow itself followed by the graham cracker.

Dawn
Sep 07, 2014

News flash: the best way to cut down on sugar is to remove the marshmallow, which is pure sugar. But, we wouldn't dare say that on National Roasted Marshmallow Day, would we?

The whole point of a s'mores treat is to indulge.