I fondly recall my grandmother’s homemade blackstrap molasses cookies and her molasses sweetened, old fashioned, baked beans. If you feel like indulging your sweet tooth, you can skip the refined sugar, sucrose, dextrose, corn syrup and fructose.
A better way to add a little sweetness — along with the big nutrient benefits — is to use blackstrap molasses. See some of my favorite ideas below.
What is blackstrap molasses?
Blackstrap molasses is the thick dark syrup — full of alkalizing, bone-building trace minerals — left after the third boiling in the sugar refining process.
Nutrients in blackstrap molasses
Blackstrap molasses is rich in many key bone nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and even the hard to get trace mineral manganese. Some reports suggest you only need two teaspoons of blackstrap molasses to get 18% of the recommended daily value for manganese.
Manganese plays a special role in bone cartilage and bone collagen formation and is required for bone mineralization. In one study, women with osteoporosis were found to have ¼ the manganese levels of the women who didn’t have osteoporosis.
Compare the nutrients in blackstrap molasses to table sugar
|Nutrient Content per 1 Tablespoon|
|Nutrient||Blackstrap Molasses (organic unsulfured)||Table Sugar|
|Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Chromium||Trace amounts||none|
Table Reference: U.S. Dept of Agriculture, USDA Branded Food Products Database, Jan. 2017
Molasses spice cookie recipe
(Makes 24 cookies)
3 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
2 C light spelt flour (or gluten-free baking mix)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp sea salt
2/3 C Sucanat sugar
½ C clarified butter
¼ C blackstrap molasses (originally regular molasses in the recipe)
Sucanat sugar for coating
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat two 9-x-13-inch baking sheets with clarified butter, or line them with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the water and flaxseed. Stir well and let sit for 10 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed mixture, sugar, butter, and the blackstrap molasses. Mix well with a spoon until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well with a spoon until blended.
- Lightly coat a plate or pan with sugar. Using your hands, shape the dough into 1½-inch balls and roll each ball over the sugared surface. Arrange the balls on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between the balls to allow for spreading.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the edges are set but the middle of the cookie is still soft. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.
More ways to use blackstrap molasses
Molasses apple cider tea
This warming drink involves two of my alkalizing favorites. I simply put 1 Tbsp of blackstrap molasses and 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar in a cup of hot water and enjoy.
Wholesome alternative sweetener
As a simple sweetener, I like the flavor of blackstrap in yogurt, oatmeal, homemade granola, and even tea. It also works to replace some of the honey or maple syrup in your recipes with blackstrap.
Barbecue sauce or veggie glaze
If you prepare homemade barbecue sauce try mixing a bit of blackstrap to secret BBQ sauce. Or, if you like to spice up things by glazing your root crops, try mixing a bit of blackstrap with butter for a flavorful glaze.
Source for nutrition information: Whole Foods
I’m Dr. Susan Brown. I am a nutritionist, medical anthropologist, writer, and speaker. Get my free weekly newsletter here.