Find Flavor with Blackstrap Molasses

by Nutrition

 

Find Flavor with Blackstrap Molasses

Want to add some flavor to your cooking without adding a whole lot of sugar? Blackstrap molasses may be just the thing! The process of making it is a bit involved. Typically, cane sugar (Saccharum officinarum) or sugar beets (Beta vulgaris) are processed several times in order to extract all of their sweetness; this extraction eventually becomes blackstrap molasses. The first boil is done to remove crystallized sugar from the plants, making light molasses and table sugar. The second boil creates dark molasses, and finally, the third boil is where blackstrap molasses is formed. Each boil reduces the sugar content of the mixture, leaving a more bitter flavor.

As far as natural sugars go, blackstrap molasses is a good one to consider. It is lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, meaning the sugar is slower to reach your bloodstream. One tablespoon contains 10 grams of sugar, but it also contains roughly 10% of your daily calcium, magnesium, and potassium. It also contains zinc and vitamin B6.

Additionally, it has 20% of your daily recommended dose of iron, which is why blackstrap molasses can be useful in cases of anemia. Research has found using it is comparable to taking iron supplements. This can be helpful for women in most stages of life as it provides a natural source of iron. Because of its mineral content, it can support healthy bones, and it may even help reduce hair loss. It has been used to deal with constipation as it can help loosen stools when ingested.

It’s a rich source of antioxidants available for purchase at most grocery stores or natural health stores. Blackstrap molasses can be used to sweeten hot cereals or drinks, or added to baked goods. It’s important to note molasses can be unsulfured or treated with sulfur dioxide. Most commercially available molasses is unsulfured. This should be used in moderation in your diet as it is a sweetener. It does contain acrylamide, which is potentially dangerous, due to being cooked several times, so it should be used only in small amounts.

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