Molasses: What is it and why you need it

When I was little, my Mom had this friend and lets just say she was 'granola' to say the least.  She was a hippy in the 80's.  When everything was metallic, mass produced, fast paced and shiny, here she was with Birkenstocks and hemp.  I remembered her with a full head of grey hair and the smell of patchouli followed her around like a lost puppy dog.  Today however, she would have sunk right into Commercial Drive without anyone thinking twice.  So, why am I telling you this? Other than her hippy exterior, I recall that she would make a molasses smoothie every morning.  

Even today, molasses is not really a common ingredient.  It usually hangs out in the back of your cupboard until Christmas rolls around and you are feeling adventurous to try your hand at gingerbread cookies, which for me never really turn out the way I imagine they would.

However, this month at the lounge our featured smoothie is Holiday Spice and one of the star ingredients is, yup you guessed it - MOLASSES!  So lets break molasses down, shall we?

Most commonly, molasses is derived from sugar cane.  But wait!  Don't disregard this ingredient as an ingredient to stay away from due to the high sugar content.  The process of the making of molasses, in particular Blackstrap Molasses is actually not has high as you would think.  Blackstrap molasses comes from a lengthily boiling and reducing process of sugar cane.  Three boils to be exact.  On the third boil the dark sticky liquid emerges and voila - blackstrap molasses.  A very interesting note is that although molasses is derived from sugar cane, the same cane sugar that has zero nutritional value, once the boiling process takes place and molasses emerges it now contains vital vitamins and minerals.    Some may put it in the super food category.

What does it do for us?

Listen up ladies, sorry guys but this really is for the girls.  Although molasses is great to incorporate for both men and women, the key benefits I thought were especially great for the ladies.

AIDS IN BLOOD HEALTH It's common that women in general can be slightly on the anemic side.  However, just 5 tbsp of molasses contains 95% of your daily Iron intake.  Say what?! That's amazing.  This aids in positive blood health.  Iron aids with the carrying of oxygen in our blood, oxygen being vital for healthy body function.  Any time you can get almost 100% of your daily intake of anything from one food, I call that a win.

HIGH IN MINERALS Blackstrap molasses is high in calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 and selenium, so many of our daily required minerals.  These aid in general health however all of these minerals are said to relax muscles, so is said to be an excellent home remedy for menstrual cramps.  So next time you reach for Tylenol or Midol, try reaching for your molasses.

AIDS IN BONE HEALTH As women, we need to be conscious of supplementing with calcium and eating calcium rich foods as we can be prone to osteoporosis.  Molasses is high in calcium but more importantly also high in magnesium , which when these two minerals meet it's mineral profile ideal for optimal absorption.   

PROMOTES HAIR HEALTH One of the many minerals contained in molasses is copper.  The copper peptides aid in the rebuilding of skin cell structure and supports strong healthy hair growth.  Side beauty tip:  Combine 1/4 cup of molasses with a small amount of warm water and apply to hair as a instant de-frizzing hair mask. 

As I mentioned, our lounge is featuring a Holiday Spice smoothie, this is my favourite yet!  Combines cashews, holiday spice blend, a date, banana, molasses and almond milk.  This smoothie is everything holiday and I could drink it by the gallon.  We would love to have you come by and try it!


Posted on December 1, 2015 .