;Molasses are a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes, or sugar beets into sugar. 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.
The three grades of molasses are: mild or Barbados (first molasses); dark, or second molasses; and blackstrap.
To make molasses, the cane of a sugar plant is harvested, stripped of its leaves, the juice is extracted (crushing or mashing), and it’s boiled to concentrate it. The result of the first boiling is first molasses, which has the highest sugar content. Second molasses is created from a second boiling and sugar extraction and has a slight bitter tinge to its taste. The third boiling of the sugar syrup yields blackstrap molasses, known for its robust flavor. The majority of sucrose from the original juice has been crystallized and removed.
The calorie content of blackstrap molasses is mostly from the small remaining sugar content. Unlike refined sugars, it contains trace amounts of vitamins and significant amounts of several minerals. Blackstrap molasses is a source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron. One tablespoon provides up to 20% of the daily value of each of those nutrients. Blackstrap has long been sold as a health supplement. It is also used in the manufacture of ethyl alcohol for industry and as an ingredient in cattle feed.
Sugar beet molasses is about 50% sugar by dry weight, predominantly sucrose but contains significant amounts of glucose and fructose. It is mainly used as an additive to animal feed.
Blackstrap molasses may be used as an iron supplement for those who cannot tolerate the constipation associated with other iron supplements.
Each tablespoon of molasses (20 g) contains 58 kcal, 14.95 g of carbohydrates, and 11.1 g of sugar. Molasses contains no protein or dietary fiber and close to no fat
Blackstrap molasses is the third and highest grade of molasses, differing from other grades of molasses. It has a much fuller and more robust flavor. Made from mashing and boiling sugar cane three times, blackstrap serves as a healthy natural alternative to many processed sweeteners. Blackstrap Molasses is considered by some health researchers as a holistic treatment for a range of ailments. Blackstrap is a great ingredient to have at hand for any health-conscious cook.
It is great for people who have glucose or blood sugar level issues since it has a low glycemic index. The glucose and carbohydrates in molasses are broken down much slower than in processed sugars. They require much less insulin for the body to process and are healthier for those with blood-sugar issues such as diabetes.
Blackstrap is high in iron, a vital mineral used by the body in its production of red blood cells. The high iron makes blackstrap a great choice for those trying to overcome anemia. Iron supplements tend to cause nausea and constipation for people with sensitive stomachs. Blackstrap is a healthy alternative for those looking to boost their iron intake without dealing with the side effects of artificial treatments. It’s a great source of calcium and a source of potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Many people claim to have reversed their gray hair with it. Probably partly due to the copper content. Copper deficiency can lead to prematurely gray hair.
Copper, an essential component of many enzymes, plays a role in iron utilization, elimination of free radicals, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin. Using two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to sweeten your morning cereal and the coffee or tea you drink will supply you with 14.0% of the daily-recommended value for copper.
People claim that molasses cured cancer, acne, arthritis, and everything in between.
Molasses can be added to the soil of almost any plant or to the compost pile to promote microbial activity.