Why blackstrap molasses is ready for a comeback

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I’d put money on it: soon we’ll be drinking blackstrap coffee, adding molasses powder into smoothies, and using treacle enemas.

Ok that might be going a bit far, but I do predict a glorious comeback for this nutrient powerhouse that has gone quietly out of fashion over the past few decades.

How can it be a superfood if it’s made from sugar?

Blackstrap molasses is the product of the third boiling of the sugar cane (which is highly nutritious in its raw form). The crystallised sugar is removed in the process, so blackstrap molasses contains all those incredible nutrients without the high sucrose content. Winning!

Back in the 1950s, everyone had blackstrap molasses in their pantry, and if we go back a little further to 500 B.C., the people of India had it in their pantry too. If there’s anything I’ve learnt about food, it’s that if it was good enough for people 2,500 years ago, we should probably still be eating it today.

Photo by Sonja Langford on Unsplash

What does it taste like?

Those dark honey-like looks are deceiving. It’s a bit like eating Vegemite and expecting it to taste like chocolate spread; molasses is very rich, bordering on savoury, and lends a deep flavour that means you can often cut down on sweeteners in recipes.  

My kids fight over licking the spoon, which is pretty much how I gauge the flavour of most things. This one gets a tick.

How do you use blackstrap molasses?

Blackstrap molasses is unbelievably versatile. You can use it in savoury recipes like baked beans and stews, you can use it to make biscuits and pancakes, and you can literally dissolve it in some warm water and drink it as a tonic.

I add a teaspoon to our green smoothies (it goes beautifully with cacao/chocolate flavours) and at least once a month I make a batch of these amazing blackstrap molasses gingerbread biscuits for the kids’ lunchboxes.

7 reasons you and your kids need blackstrap molasses in your life:

  1.  Blackstrap molasses contains high levels of vitamin B5, manganese, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium and selenium. Essentially, the building blocks to a healthy body.
  2. It’s crazy good for women because it’s chock full of bioavailable iron, which we need more of thanks to our monthly cycles. It also keeps uterine muscles healthy, which helps with dreaded PMS symptoms.
  3. Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index and actually helps to improve blood sugar levels (unlike its refined sugar byproduct) and is high in antioxidants, which help prevent cancer. Diabetics can often tolerate it better than other sweeteners.
  4. This stuff is a miracle for healing cuts and scrapes faster because it promotes the growth of healthy tissues, and its liptic acid content has been shown to help improve skin conditions like acne.
  5. Best buddies calcium, iron, and copper help make bones stronger, heal broken bones faster, and reduce the risk of brittle bones later in life.
  6. Research has shown that children with ADD/ADHD can be deficient in magnesium, calcium, zinc and iron. And while white sugar will stimulate trigger behaviours, blackstrap molasses provides all those nutrients and minerals without the sugar effects, as well as Vitamin B.
  7. It will make your hair shinier and thicker! Okay yes, that’s because of the iron content, but it’s a pretty delicious way to gloss up your mane (just please don’t put it on your hair!)

Blackstrap molasses is readily available in supermarkets, health food stores and online. Look for an organic, unsulphured brand and get creative with adding it to everything and anything that goes on in your kitchen.

I’ll be trying the coffee idea, but maybe not the enema…

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