What is blackstrap molasses? The question is being heard more and more as the benefits of this superfood become better known. For a long time, however, this type of molasses was widely used only as feed for livestock. Only now are people truly beginning to consider it worthy of human consumption—and given its nutritive value, it is hard to argue against that.
Blackstrap molasses is the highly viscous liquid that is left as a byproduct of processing cane syrup. More specifically, it is the byproduct of the third time the cane syrup is boiled.
Cane syrup is boiled, of course, in order to extract sucrose and create the sugar most of us are familiar with: the white granules we find in households all over the world. But cane syrup does not yield all of the possible sugar it can give in a single boiling. It can be boiled as many as three times before it gives up all of its sucrose.
Each of those times that the cane sugar is boiled, it actually has a molasses byproduct. However, the type of molasses each time is different.
The first boiling yields the lightest molasses with the subtlest flavor. The second yields a darker one, with a different flavor again. And finally, the third yields blackstrap molasses, which is the darkest of all three and the most nutritious.
This is not in terms of actual calories, though; in fact, blackstrap molasses has a moderate glycemic load, so one serving of it will stay between 30-35 calories. This means the calories in blackstrap molasses are relatively low. As such, the real nutritive value of blackstrap molasses derives from its significant vitamin and mineral content. [Read more…]