There are several recipes where I use Blackstrap Molasses in the various cake recipes in The Alchemist's Cookbook Vol. 1. It is highly nutritious as well as a great natural sweetener. It is also used in one of the Alkalizing Shots, due to its high iron and mineral content. It is in the “sweet” category of foods, and is thus great for bringing the spleen and stomach into balance.
I thought it would be great to detail how it is made. The only kind I have ever used is Organic Blackstrap Molasses, which is considered the healthiest form. So…. the most common forms of molasses are made from either sugar cane or sugar beet juice which is boiled down to a syrup. Sugar crystals are then extracted from the syrup, and the remaining dark liquid is molasses. Molasses can also be made from sorghum, pomegranate, carob, and dates. I also discovered a version made from Apples and Quinces that I use in the Chocolate, Beetroot and Ginger Cake. Blackstrap Molasses is made as follows:-
It is made from the third and final boiling of the molasses. It is considered the healthiest of all molasses since it retains the most vitamins and minerals
It is also the thickest and darkest in colour, as well as being the least sweet with a pronounced bitter flavour
Although it comes under the “sweet” category of foods, it is actually quite bitter in flavour, so be careful when using it
There are many health benefits of molasses. These include relief from menstruation-related problems; obesity; diabetes; stress; cancer; enlarged prostate; acne and other skin ailments; constipation; headaches and anaemia. It also helps to improve bone health; electrolyte balance; hair care; sexual health; functioning of the nervous system and healing wounds.
Molasses also helps to strengthen our immune systems; helps to maintain healthy levels of haemoglobin due to the high levels of iron and aids the formation of new cells in the body. It contains essential minerals including calcium; magnesium; manganese; potassium; copper; iron; phosphorous; chromium; cobalt and sodium. It also contains a number of B Vitamins – niacin; vitamin B-6; thiamin and riboflavin. Molasses is also a good source of energy and carbohydrates
Its other health benefits are as follows:-
Antioxidant – Blackstrap Molasses contains a high amount of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect the body against oxidative damage, which is associated with cancer, cardiovascular disorders and degenerative diseases.
Menstruation – Blackstrap Molasses is a very good source of iron and so is very effective for menstruating women who are at major risk of iron deficiency due to blood loss. With no fat and very few calories, molasses is a much better alternative for increasing iron levels in the body rather than other fatty sources like red meat. The magnesium and calcium content also helps to prevent blood clotting as well as relieving menstrual cramps and helping to maintain the health of uterine muscles. Molasses is therefore a healthy alternative, as compared to other medications for menstrual discomfort, which might have certain side effects
Obesity – The polyphenols in Blackstrap Molasses have antioxidant effects, which may prove effective in reducing obesity
Better Sexual Health – Blackstrap Molasses is rich in manganese, which helps in the healthy production of sex hormones. Manganese also plays a vital role in the functioning of the nervous system, the prevention of blood clots and the production of energy from proteins and carbohydrates. If you have a deficiency of manganese this can lead to infertility, general fatigue and weak bones
Healthy Bones – Blackstrap Molasses is a great source of calcium, which is really important for strong bones and teeth
Rheumatism – the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of molasses make it a reliable ingredient for preventing and alleviating rheumatism
Diabetes – Blackstrap molasses helps in stabilizing blood sugar levels. As it has a low glycemic index it aids in slowing the metabolism of glucose and carbohydrates, which subsequently means less insulin production. This therefore helps to prevent the accumulation of excess fats or lipids in the blood stream. Molasses also has a substantial amount of the essential trace element chromium. This is really important in relation to insulin production and the maintenance of glucose tolerance in the body. Scientific research has shown that molasses contains the highest amount of chromium (0.266 mg/kg) as compared to refined white sugar and brown sugar. If we are deficient in chromium this can result in weak glucose tolerance, which can then lead to diabetes
Healing Wounds and Burns – Blackstrap Molasses is very effective for healing wounds and burns. It also helps to promote the healthy growth of tissues. Due to the wide range of essential minerals, Blackstrap Molasses is a very powerful healer
Red Blood Cells – Blackstrap Molasses is rich in copper. This helps to eradicate free radicals from the body. It also helps us to absorb iron, and thus the formation of red blood cells and maintaining a healthy immune system. A deficiency in copper can result in anaemia; thyroid problems; cardiac arrhythmia and osteoporosis
Haemoglobin – The high iron content in Blackstrap Molasses helps to maintain healthy levels of haemoglobin in our bodies. Haemoglobin plays a key part in supplying oxygen from our lungs to other parts of our body. It is also vital for energy production and aids in maintaining a healthy metabolism
Healthy development of babies in the womb – Blackstrap Molasses is also referred to as “pregnancy tea” due to the high presence of iron; vitamin B (particularly the folate element) and other essential minerals. If you regularly consume molasses, you also get good levels of calcium, all of which is required for the growth and development of the baby
Nervous System –Molasses contains high levels of magnesium. This helps to ensure healthy functioning of the nervous system. It keeps our nerves and blood vessels relaxed by balancing calcium levels and blocking it from rushing into the nerves. Unblocked and speedy flows of calcium into the nerves can over activate them and can lead to the transmission of too many signals and excessive nerve contraction. A deficiency of magnesium in the body can lead to hypertension; muscle cramps; spasms and general body fatigue
Headache and Fatigue – Blackstrap Molasses is a good source of vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. Deficiency in these vitamins can cause headaches, asthma, fatigue, and stress. By bringing Blackstrap Molasses into your diet it can help to provide these required vitamins and minerals and could then help to alleviate headaches and fatigue
Cancer – Blackstrap molasses also contains selenium, which is beneficial for the treatment of cancer
Hair Care – Molasses extracts are good for hair and they promote healthy hair growth. It softens and conditions the hair, adds a rich texture and prevents it from going prematurely grey.