One of the things that I love to talk about in my classes on the vegan diet is how incredibly nutritious plant foods are and how we can get everything we need from them. People always want to know where we get our protein and iron and calcium, so we talk about all of the different foods that contain them.
Calcium is important, and one of the best sources of calcium is blackstrap molasses. Molasses is made by boiling cane or sugar beet juice (though sometimes things such as sorghum, carob, pomegranrate or dates are used) and extracting the sugar crystals. The liquid that remains is molasses. The juice can be boiled up to three times. After the first boiling, the liquid left is light molasses – the sweetest one, most often used in baking, sauces, etc. After the second boiling, we get dark molasses, less sweet and used in gingerbread. After the third boiling, when virtually all of the sugar has been removed, we have blackstrap molasses. Blackstrap molasses is not at all sweet and has somewhat of a bitter taste, and is good in more savory dishes such as baked beans. It’s a nutritional powerhouse, with lots of calcium, iron and other minerals.
I was teaching a class in Cedar Rapids a few weeks ago and one of the participants said that her husband drinks blackstrap molasses in hot milk. That got me to thinking, so I decided to give it a try and here we have it ~ spiced hot molasses!
It’s easy and was surprisingly delicious, and you can use any kind of plant-based milk that you like. Try it as a warm drink at night or a replacement for some of your coffee in the morning.
Hot Spiced Molasses
I went right for the heavy-duty version when I made this, but feel free to start with less molasses and add more as you get used to it, if you like. Two tablespoons of blackstrap molasses provides 400 mg of calcium toward the 700-1000 mg that we need daily.
- 1 cup plant-based milk (I used vanilla soy milk, so there was some added sweetness from the soy milk)
- 2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
- a dash each of cinnamon and nutmeg
Gently heat the milk on the stove or in the microwave. When it is heated, stir or whisk in the molasses and spices. Heat through once more, then pour into a mug and enjoy. Serves 1.
Using soy milk, it made an incredibly thick, rich and creamy drink.