What is Molasses?

The most popular sweeteners are sugar and honey, but many people aren't familiar with Molasses. What is molasses? It's your new favorite sweetener, but many people aren't familiar with Molasses. What is molasses? It's your new favorite sweetener.

The history of Molasses dates back to the 1600 when traders carried slaves from Africa to the Caribbean in exchange for barrels of Molasses. The molasses was carried to New England where it wad made into rum, it was highly profitable.

It wasn't until 1733 when the British Parliament tried to increase its share of the market by adding a stiff tax to the molasses imported to British colonies from the French West Indies. This was known as the Molasses Act.

This sweet and sticky sweetener is created from sugar cane or sugar beet juice, which is then boiled down to a syrup. Sugar crystals are extracted from the syrup and the remaining liquid is the molasses. In addition this syrup can be made from dates, carob, pomegranate and sorghum. 

Types of Molasses

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Emma Delaney

There are three types of Molasses light, dark and Blackstrip. The difference comes from different food processed into sugar. Light molasses and sweet and mild, while dark molasses is richer with a sugary flavor. Unlike the previous two, Blackstrip molasses is bitter.

How does it taste?

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Abigail Wilkins

(Photo by Sarah Stettin)

Molasses has more of a rich flavor, unlike honey and Stevia. Molasses has somewhat of a sweet smoke flavor so it nicely contracts with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg or for the savory side, it can be mixed with Bourbon as a marinade or a glaze for meats.

Fun fact, Molasses is a great substitution for brown sugar. Simply mix a cup of molasses with a blank of sugar. Stir till it's incorporated.

Unlike sugar, this sweetener has many benefits

Blackstrip Molasses has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane products and contains vital vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6 and selenium. The sweetener is derived from sugar and adds as many carbohydrates as other sugars, however, it's digested slower so may help stabilize blood sugar. 

Blackstrip Molasses can relieve menstrual cramps because the minerals like  magnesium and calcium help prevent blood clotting and help maintain the health of uterine muscles.

In addition, Molasses can also be used for hair care. The extracts inside the molasses are good for hair and promote healthy growth. Plus it softens and conditions hair, adding a rich texture and prevents premature graying.


Impressed yet? Molasses isn't just for gingerbread cookies, try substituting sugar with molasses in your coffee or make this a key ingredient for a meat glaze. Spice up your cooking today!