Molasses, the viscous, brown syrupy by product of sugar making is in fact much healthier than sugar, bringing to the table unique health benefits that sugar doesn’t have such as a higher antioxidant and mineral content while having a lower Glycemic index, as opposed to sugar which depletes the body of nutrients and raises blood sugar levels.
During colonial times, molasses was commonly used as a sweetener for baked goods instead of sugar, which was too expensive at the time. Staples like bread, baked beans, and grilled foods were rounded out in flavor with its inherent sweetness and mildly bitter undertone.
Molasses for baking
While not as sweet as sugar, molasses can be used as a sugar replacement. When looking to molasses for baking bread, molasses for baking cookies, or molasses for baking mixes in general, as a rule of thumb, take note of these molasses characteristics before using it for baking your baked goods that are much healthier but still delicious.
- Molasses can be used as a sugar replacement, using 1/3 to 1 cup molasses in place for every cup of sugar.
- Molasses is a liquid and therefore makes baked goods more moist with a chewier texture. Always consider this when you want baked products that need to be dry or crunchy.
- Molasses is very dark brown and will affect that way your baked goods look, giving it a darker hue.
Different Types of Molasses
- Light Molasses
Made from the boiled syrup of crushed sugar cane, light molasses is the product of that remains after white sugar is initially extracted from cane juice. Its light fruity flavor is best used in baking sweets and candy.
- Dark Molasses
Made from the second round of boiling cane syrup once white sugar has been removed, dark molasses can be used both for savory and sweet recipes as it has a distinctly fuller flavor, making it ideal for bread and biscuits.
- Blackstrap Molasses
Made from the third round of boiling cane syrup, its dark and thick consistency is distinctly sweet and bitter and is ideal for baked beans, a meat marinade, and barbeque sauce.
The flavor of molasses is distinct, unique, and delicious. Often the secret ingredient in warm and nostalgic recipes such as gingerbread, baked beans, and brownies, bring a subtle comfort to your recipes with the molasses.