Care of Amy Symington
When thinking of molasses we’re often reminded of the stick-to-your-ribs, molasses rich baked beans, grandma’s sticky date spread or hot porridge on a cold morning topped with heaping spoonfuls of the sticky stuff – past memories of our childhood. Even now, most packaging found in the baking aisle screams old timeyness. However, one should not be fooled by the nostalgia of it all; molasses has never been more “now.”
Derived from cane or beet sugar, molasses is most commonly used in baked goodies. This holiday season, molasses more than surely made a guest appearance on the dessert table in various spiced cookie and cake forms. However, its deep, rich and bold flavour can sneak its way into the most unfamiliar areas of the kitchen and we should be joyful that it does. Molasses has a great deal of (gasp) nutritional benefits to note; blackstrap molasses in particular. It is obtained after the third extraction during sugar processing and has the lowest sugar content of all the extractions (the first and second are lighter molasses and have higher sugar contents).
Blackstrap molasses is an excellent source of manganese and copper, as well as being a very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Some even use it as a natural supplement for these minerals. Although, before throwing out all of your supplements, a quick check with the doc never hurt anyone. In addition to uping your energy, and supporting healthy bones and hearts, molasses is also a good source of B6 and selenium, which respectively, helps that nervous system do its job as well as clear your system of free radicals!
So when reaching for sweeteners for hot bevies, sweet and/or savoury sauces, or your Christmas baking, remember your deliciously viscous old friend, molasses – overloaded with minerals that other sugars and artificial sweeteners are often stripped of. Mo’ molasses, please!