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Nutrition 101: The Molasses

Posted Feb 01 2011 2:31am

I have been antsy to do a piece on molasses for a long time now! I love this stuff, and I get a question about it about every other day :). Here’s what you need to know about molasses.

Molasses is a sweetener. It is actually the by-product of the refining of cane sugar (table sugar). What makes regular, white sugar so unhealthy (among other things), is that it is stripped of it’s nutrients. Well, this stripping process results in the ‘waste’ product molasses, and someone was once smart enough to come up with actually using that byproduct. Molasses was born.

Molasses has a thick, viscous consistency and tastes bittersweet, it ain’t your regular sweetener! It can’t usually be used to replace other sweeteners like sugar or honey in dishes, but instead gives it a distinct flavor. Molasses is often used in gingerbread cookies, BBQ sauce and baked beans. I myself find the taste strongly resembles salmiak! As you can imagine, you only need small quantities of this product. The term ‘blackstrap’ molasses refers to the byproduct of the third boiling of sugar canes, and is thus the most concentrated form.

Molasses is super-duper healthy. It is a very concentrated by product of sugar cane refining, which also means the nutrients are very concentrated. A tablespoon of molasses (~20 grams) contains around 20% of your recommended intake for iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, at only ~45 calories. It also contains plenty vitamin B6. That is pretty darn impressive!

Now a sidenote: make sure you buy unsulphered molasses. Sulphers have proven to be a common allergenic for a lot people, and even if you’re not allergic it’s still a harmful substance (a preservative).

For me it took some time to get used to the bittersweet taste but I highly recommend you give molasses a try! Molasses is avilable at health food stores. Here are some cool molasses recipes for you:

Have you ever tried molasses? Any cool recipes to share?



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