Blackstrap Molasses and an Iron-Rich Pear Gingerbread Smoothie

pear gingerbread smoothie

 

If plants are good for us because of the healthy nutrients they contain, and sugar cane is a plant, shouldn’t sugar be good for us? Okay, I admit that’s not the best logic because we all know sugar isn’t a health food, even if it was once a plant. Sugar really did have nutrients, once upon a time, back when it was planted in the earth. Unfortunately, the rigorous refining process it goes through strips them all away, and what’s left is the white powdery stuff we all recognize as sugar. But where did the nutrients go?

 

blackstrap molasses

Enter blackstrap molasses: the byproduct of refined sugar production. It’s black gooey and looks like something your car leaked out, but it has all the vitamins and minerals that were removed from the sugar cane plant as it was processed.

 

Foods like coffee, tea, soy, and dairy all decrease iron absorption, and if you’re a female, an athlete, or a vegan, getting in enough iron can be tough. But blackstrap molasses is a great source–just 1 tbsp has roughly 20% of your daily requirements. You can maximize absorption by combining molasses with Vitamin C and protein-containing foods.  It’s also a great source of calcium (20%), a good source of potassium (17%), and contains other trace minerals like manganese and copper.

 

Blackstrap molasses is still a sweetener and therefor contains sugar, but it’s lower on the glycemic index than the white stuff, so your blood sugar won’t get quite the sharp spike. So when it comes to sweetening things, even though both are similar in calories, molasses is definitely the better option. I personally think it tastes like those bit-o-honey candies you got in your Halloween bag as a kid. Granted, I wasn’t a huge fan of the candy then, but maybe I would have been a little more forgiving of its odd taste if it had the nutritional profile of the good stuff.

 

Make sure to get the unsulphured molasses, because the other option is bitter; it’s not great in everything (like coffee), so don’t forget to taste test. But so far it’s been great in my oatmeal, plain Greek yogurt with berries, homemade baked beans, and this amazing gingerbread smoothie. Remember to enjoy blackstrap molasses in moderation–it’s still sugar–but it’s definitely a better sweetener option when you need it!

 

 

What do you sweeten with blackstrap molasses?

3 Responses to Blackstrap Molasses and an Iron-Rich Pear Gingerbread Smoothie

  1. Just tried this and loved it! I had no pears or bananas, so I left it out and found it sweet enough, although the kids would’ve liked it a touch sweeter. I’ll try again when pear season hits! Thanks!

  2. Oh, and we use blackstrap molasses in pancake batter!

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