Molasses

It’s a wonderful food and I never knew there were more than 2 different kinds of it. Yes, it’s true there are 5 types of molasses. I only knew table and blackstrap. Molasses is the dark liquid byproduct of the process of refining sugar cane into table sugar.

The first type is Fancy or Gold Star. It is used in baking, the results are a light colored, sweet product, also good as a topping on bread, biscuits, and crackers.

Lite Molasses contains 40% less sugar than Fancy Molasses. Recipes made with this have a subtle flavor, and are lighter in color. Cookies are slightly softer and breads are more crusty. Light molasses comes from the first boiling of the sugar.

Cooking Molasses is a blend of Fancy and Blackstrap Molasses. Recipes made with this are darker, and results in a less sweet dish. (great for ginger snaps). This is usually called “regular” molasses.

Unsulphured Molasses, It is made from sun-ripened cane that has grown 12-15 months before processing.

Blackstrap Molasses is my personal favorite kind. It is dark and has a slightly bitter, robust flavor. Blackstrap molasses is commonly mixed with other molasses, is used in animal feed, and alcohol production. Blackstrap molasses comes from the third boiling and is what amounts to the dregs of the barrel.

Blackstrap is also lower in sugar a good benefit if you are watching sugar intake, but other sweetener may be required. I personally have never found this to be a problem and have never worried about it.

It’s actually good for you too. 

Based on 2 tablespoons there is:

  • manganese-18%
  • copper-14.0%
  • iron-13.3%  
  • calcium-11.8%
  • potassium-9.7%
  •  vitamin B6
  • selenium

Some report that Blackstrap has higher nutritional values than the other varieties and others claim it is only minimally different. I found it interesting that the “natural” and “health food” store and type of articles were the ones claiming higher nutritional values than the actual food rating system for each variety.

I can think of many ways to use this daily as a sweetener. One way I use molasses is to make my own brown sugar. It is very easy and cost effective. Plus I can control the amount of molasses in the sugar or other ingredients that may be added to prepackaged brown sugar. I priced the cost of organic brown sugar the other day, geepers! A 24 ounce bag is $6.19 at our local store.

Here is how I make my own.

molasses1I use cane sugar to the best of my knowledge. Here in the US it’s hard to be sure which you are buying, it isn’t required to be labeled either way. I put about 2 cups in a bowl and drizzle on top a fair amount if molasses.

 

 

molasses3I then use a pastry blender to blend the two together. I keep adding molasses until it’s the color I think I want. I tend to like mine on the dark side.

 

 

molasses2I store it in an air tight container. It measures and stores like store bought varieties. If it should become hard, I add a slice of fresh bread to the container and reseal.

Since molasses comes from refining cane sugar. I got to thinking about what exactly makes sugar organic or not. I ran across this article stating that no sugar is raised organically but the process to make the sugar renders it pure, thus the organic label. Brown sugar, and “natural” or “raw” sugar is made by adding the molasses back into it. Dark having more than the light. So in my mind if the molasses is a product of non-organic sugar, than no molasses can be organic.

Then I read several articles that organic sugar is grown but the definitions vary in many countries. So then I wasn’t sure if I could believe the first article or not. This will take some more research on my part.

In the mean time I know molasses is and has been a part of my life by going into so many of the foods I eat and feed my family. We all know sugar/cane sugar in quantity isn’t good for us no mater the growing or refining practice. We all know that beet sugar is made from GMO beets.

So let me know what you think…Can sugar be truly organic and can molasses be truly organic.

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Posted on May 26, 2009, in Home Cooking Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Thank you for sharing this simple tutorial on making brown sugar. I’m going to try it out tonight!

    Interesting points made about the nature of sugar. Something I have not pondered too much until now. Yet another item we Americans use so heavily and yet have no idea where it comes from or how it is produced.

  2. lizzylanefarm

    Cynthia,

    You will like the brown sugar. We here in the US are not told alot of things about the food we eat, I hate to even think about the things like prescription meds and over the counter meds… 🙂

    Let me know how you like the brown sugar.

    Have a great day
    K

  3. Hi again 🙂

    Just wanted to let you know I tried the brown sugar and me and my family absolutely love it. I don’t know if I care to ever buy it again now. I liked the results so much that I decided to blog about it today.

    Thanks again for sharing this bit of information with everyone. Hope you have a great weekend. 🙂

  4. lizzylanefarm

    Hi Cynthia,

    I am so happy you liked it. I did stop by and checked out your post. I am going to try the sugar cookie recipe. One thing I have been doing lately when baking cookies is making a double batch and freezing half of it rolled into balls. Our schedule lately is busy and these frozen dough balls thaw quickly and bake up nice, with out all the mess.

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