The World's Healthiest Foods are health-promoting foods that can change your life.

Try the exciting new lunch recipe from Day 5 of our upcoming 7-Day Meal Plan.

The George Mateljan Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation with no commercial interests or
advertising. Our mission is to help you eat and cook the healthiest way for optimal health.
Can you tell me more about blackstrap molasses?

Background

Blackstrap molasses is just one type of molasses, the dark liquid byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar. It is made from the third boiling of the sugar syrup and is therefore the concentrated byproduct left over after the sugar's sucrose has been crystallized.

The truth behind the phrase "slow as molasses" becomes apparent when you reflect on molasses's thick, viscous, syrupy texture. Featuring a robust bittersweet flavor, blackstrap molasses helps create the distinctive taste of dishes such as baked beans and gingerbread. Blackstrap molasses is very dark in color, having a black-brown hue.

Molasses has been imported into the United States from the Caribbean Islands since the time of the early colonists. In fact, it was the most popular sweetener used until the late 19th century since it was much more affordable than refined sugar, which was very expensive at that time.

History

In some respects, molasses has had a rather sticky history with at least two important historical events centering around this sweet food product. The first is the Molasses Act of 1733, a tariff passed by England to try to discourage the colonists from trading with areas of the West Indies that were not under British rule. This legislation is thought to be one of the events that catalyzed pre-revolutionary colonial dissent and unrest.

And while it is not often that a fateful tragedy can center around a food, unfortunately, in 1919, one such event did occur and it involved molasses. The event is referred to as the Great Molasses Flood and occurred when a molasses storage tank holding over two million gallons of molasses broke, and its sticky content came pouring throughout the city streets of Boston, Massachusetts, traveling as fast as 35 miles per hour and creating a thirty foot tidal wave of sweetener. Unfortunately, this twenty-one people died and significant amounts of property were destroyed.

Blackstrap molasses gained in popularity in the mid-20th century with the advent of the health food movement. Today, the largest producers of molasses are India, Brazil, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines and the United States.

Nutritional Benefits

Blackstrap molasses is a sweetener that is actually good for you. Unlike refined white sugar and corn syrup, which are stripped of virtually all nutrients except simple carbohydrates, or artificial sweeteners like saccharine or aspartame, which not only provide no useful nutrients but have been shown to cause health problems in sensitive individuals, blackstrap molasses is a healthful sweetener that contains significant amounts of a variety of minerals that promote your health. The nutrients in which it is concentrated include manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium.

Practical Tips

Look for blackstrap molasses that is unsulphured since not only does it not contain this processing chemical to which some people are sensitive, but it has a cleaner and more clarified taste. Blackstrap molasses made from organic sugar cane is also available in some markets.

Molasses should be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or a cool, dry place. Unopened containers should keep for about one year, while opened containers should keep for about six months.

Here are some of our favorite ways of weaving blackstrap molasses into our Healthiest Way of Eating.

  • Add molasses to baked beans to give them that traditionally robust flavor.
  • Use it to impart a wonderfully distinctive flavor to cookies and gingerbread cakes.
  • Baste chicken or turkey with molasses to give it both a rich color and rich taste.

Printer friendly version

Send this page to a friend...

rss


Find Out What Foods You Should Eat This Week

Also find out about the recipe, nutrient and hot topic of the week on our home page.

 

Everything you want to know about healthy eating and cooking from our new book.
2nd Edition
Order this Incredible 2nd Edition at the same low price of $39.95 and also get 2 FREE gifts valued at $51.95. Read more

Newsletter SignUp

Your Email:

Healthy Eating
Healthy Cooking
Nutrients from Food
Website Articles
Community
Privacy Policy and Visitor Agreement
References
For education only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems.

We're Number 1
in the World!

35 million visitors per year.
The World's Healthiest Foods website is a leading source of information and expert on the Healthiest Way of Eating and Cooking. It's one of the most visited website on the internet when it comes to "Healthiest Foods" and "Healthiest Recipes" and comes up #1 on a Google search for these phrases.

Over 100 Quick &
Easy Recipes

Our Recipe Assistant will help you find the recipe that suits your personal needs. The majority of recipes we offer can be both prepared and cooked in 20 minutes or less from start to finish; a whole meal can be prepared in 30 minutes. A number of them can also be prepared ahead of time and enjoyed later.

World's Healthiest
Foods
is expanded

What's in our new book:
  • 180 more pages
  • Smart Menu
  • Nutrient-Rich Cooking
  • 300 New Recipes
  • New Nutrient Articles and Profiles
  • New Photos and Design
privacy policy and visitor agreement | who we are | site map | what's new
For education only, consult a healthcare practitioner for any health problems.
© 2001-2017 The George Mateljan Foundation, All Rights Reserved