Are you iron deficient? Or choose not to eat iron-rich animal products? Already eating heaps of leafy greens but don’t want to take a supplement? Say hello to blackstrap molasses!
Blackstrap molasses was at one time the most popular sweetener in the world (circ, 18th Century) as it was more affordable than refined cane sugar. Molasses is a by-product of the sugar making process – sugar cane is crushed & the juice is boiled to create sugar cane syrup. A second boiling makes molasses & the third boiling creates the dark viscous liquid that is blackstrap molasses. The term ‘Blackstrap’ comes from the US.
Blackstrap molasses has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product as most of the sucrose has been removed in the sugar making production, giving it a low glycaemic (GI) index of 55 so it is a great sweetener substitute for diabetics. It also has high levels of chromium which helps to stabilise blood sugar levels.
The most amazing thing about blackstrap molasses is its nutritional content. Per 100g it contains 95% of your recommended daily intake of iron (approx. 13mg) which is about 5 times more iron than a steak! It also contains 400mg of calcium & 300mg of magnesium. It is also high in vitamin B6, potassium, manganese & selenium.
When shopping for blackstrap molasses always look for unsulphured brands. The toxic preservative sulphur dioxide is used in some supermarket brands to extend the shelf life. It can also bleach the molasses. As blackstrap molasses is a relatively stable product it does not need preservatives.
How to increase your iron intake with blackstrap molasses
When making marinades swap the honey for molasses.
Use in baking in place of maple syrup or brown sugar (or make your own brown sugar by adding 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses to ½ cup of coconut sugar & pulse in a food processor until ‘brown sugar’ consistency is reached).
Include it in your breakfast by adding to porridge, or spread on toast.
Use in your coffee as a sweetener instead of cane sugar (it enhances the nutritional value of coffee whilst intensifying the rich taste).
For a simple dietary supplement, add to hot water & drink warm or cold.
Try our Molasses Cookie recipe