Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The wordmolasses comes from the Portuguese word melaco, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for “honey”.The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet, the amount of sugar extracted, and the method of extraction. Sweet sorghum syrup is known in some parts of the United States as molasses, though it is not true molasses.
Nutrients in Blackstrap Molasses
Blackstrap molasses is a fat-free food which gives you about 48 calories per tablespoon.
Here are some of the nutrients you’ll get in one tablespoon:
4.5 mg of useable iron – You’ll get more iron per serving than red meat! And, there’s no need to worry about fat or cholesterol. That makes molasses an excellent addition to your diet if you’re vegan, vegetarian, pregnant, or suffering from anemia. It is also great for children and adolescents who need more iron.
Calcium – About the same amount of calcium that you’d get in a glass of cow’s milk.
Magnesium and Potassium – about 20 percent of the RDA (recommended daily allowance).
Vitamin B – Molasses is high in vitamin B complex. B vitamins help your body cope with stress.
Chromium – Your body uses chromium to help keep your blood sugar levels stable. You’ll find a fair amount of this trace mineral in molasses.
Other Minerals – Molasses also contains manganese, copper, and selenium.
Health Benefits Of Blackstrap Molasses
Adding this healthy sweetener to your diet can help your body to heal. Here is how blackstrap molasses can help you:
Arthritis – It can help to relieve your stiff joints.
Anemia – It can help you feel energized again if you’re experiencing the chronic fatigue of iron-deficiency anemia.
Grey hair – Rumor has it that taking molasses often enough can help your grey hairs return to their original color.
“In addition to providing quickly assimilated Carbohydrates, blackstrap molasses can increase your energy by helping to replenish your iron stores.”
And the calcium found in blackstrap molasses will help with strong bones, teeth, removing toxins from the colon, and so much more!
“Two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses will meet 11.8% of your daily needs for calcium.”
Other benefits may include ridding your body of free radicals, healthier joints and nervous system, and improved cholesterol levels.
How is Molasses Made?
Molasses is a byproduct in the manufacture of sugar, mostly from sugar cane or sugar beets. To make sugar, sugar cane is pressed to extract all of its sweet juices, leaving behind only a woody pulpy bit of cellulose. These juices are brought to a boil and the sugar contained within starts to crystallize – and it is removed. Not all of the sugar in the syrup can be extracted, and the syrup that remains after the extraction process is molasses.
Other food and consumption derivatives
- Molasses can be used as the base material for fermentation into rum.
- Molasses is commonly used in dark brewed beverages like stout and very heavy dark ales.
- Molasses is added to some brands of tobacco used for smoking through a Middle Eastern water pipe (e.g., hookah, shisha, narghile, etc.). It is mixed into the tobacco along with glycerine and flavorings; sometimes it is used along with honey and other syrups or fully substituted by them. Brands that use molasses include Nakhla, Tangiers and Salloum.
- Blackstrap molasses may also be used as an iron supplement for those who cannot tolerate the constipation associated with other iron supplementation.
- Molasses is used as an additive in livestock grains.
- Molasses is used in fishing groundbait.