I've only recently started discovering the health benefits of molasses, although it seems others have been using it for hundreds, even thousands of years.
A quick peek at the nutrition label on our bottle of molasses reveals some fascinating figures: one mere tablespoon contains 20% of the US Recommended Daily Allowance of Potassium, 15% of iron, 10% of Vitamin B6, and 10% of calcium. This is one power-packed sweetener! Additionally, one tablespoon has only 60 calories.
Molasses is also high in magnesium, manganese, and copper, all important for proper functioning of our physiological systems. And if you browse the internet and read some of the molasses testimonials, there are people out there who swear it has cured everything from cancer, to constipation, anxiety, acne, and arthritis, and even reversed graying hair (possibly because molasses is high in copper?). I even found a home remedy for two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses a day to treat acid reflux (which my husband is dealing with, so we're giving it a try!).
I've found the best way to incorporate molasses into breakfast is by cooking up 1/8 cup of 10-grain cereal in about 1 cup of water (I like to cook it until it's pretty mushy, so use more or less water, depending on what consistency you like). I add one tablespoon brown sugar, one tablespoon molasses, a dash of cinnamon, a handful of chopped walnuts, a handful of dried cranberries, and a dash of salt. This is one of the most nutritious breakfasts I can think of!
On EarthClinic.com, we found this recipe for iced molasses, as well as some testimonials about molasses curing various ailments:
EARTH CLINIC'S ICED MOLASSES RECIPE:
1 TBLS Blackstrap Molasses
3/4 cup Milk or Soymilk
Add molasses to a glass and add just enough hot water to cover the molasses. Stir until dissolved. Add ice and then top off with either Milk or Soymilk. Avoiding milk?'Try vanilla or chocolate soymilk. Even yummier is to blend the whole concoction.
You can also add a tablespoon of molasses to a fruit smoothie for a healthy kick. Molasses has this deep, rich, bitter-sweet taste that adds unusual flavor and sweetness to whatever it is paired with.And if you're a coffee or tea drinker, I just got a tweet (on Twitter) from someone who uses molasses instead of sugar. Great idea!
So what is molasses, exactly? According to my bottle, "Blackstrap molasses is the dark, syrupy liquid that remains after the crystallized sugar has been extracted from the cane." Hmmm.....didn't know that!
Blackstrap is actually the third boil, whereas regular molasses is the first or second boil. Apparently the third boiling to make blackstrap creates a more iron-rich molasses.
Around here, we are trying to get away from relying on daily vitamin pills to provide our nutrient requirements, as vitamins just can't provide the complete and readily absorbed nutrition that you get from whole foods. Molasses is one way we have found to add some vitamin-kick to our diet!
And, by the way, if you do need to take daily vitamins, recent research has suggested that the most easily absorbed vitamins are gummy vitamins. Check them out HERE.