Blackstrap molasses

I can’t remember buying molasses. We used to have it when I was growing up — it’s integral to Boston baked beans! Every once in a while, I used to spread some on toast in the morning — I think Mom told me about it, that a Newfoundlander she knew used to do that for breakfast, so I tried it one day. I liked it. But I forgot about it for a long time… and it’s just sugar, right?

Umm, no, it’s not.

I bought some (unsulfured) blackstrap molasses on the weekend at the Bulk barn to use as an ingredient in mahogany lacquered squab, which I made myself for Thanksgiving dinner. Here’s a shot:

Thanksgiving Dinner

The glaze is equal parts molasses and balsamic vinegar (don’t use the expensive stuff, just the moderately priced — you want some of the acid). Plus spices. I applied it before putting the squab in the oven, and brushed it with what collected in the pan twice while it was roasting.

I tasted the dribbles of molasses, and really enjoyed the flavour. Almost smoky. A tinge of bitterness. Rich.

I’ve been thinking of other things to do with it (plus have done a couple). A cracker with peanut butter and a little drizzle of molasses: that’s a good thing.

Cocktail? Hmm, maybe. Especially after reading this article about the nutrients (mostly minerals) that molasses provides. Although it might just taste like dark rum.

How about burnishing roasting vegetables, like onions and squash?

One tablespoon of blackstrap molasses is about 42 calories. One tablespoon of standard table sugar is 45, so they’re close to the same calorically, but molasses doesn’t taste as sweet.

Definitely an ingredient to investigate. Molasses: it’s not just for beans!

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