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Black Strap Molasses
BLACK STRAP MOLASSES - Is the sister product to crystal sugar, because it is a result of the sugar-making process. When sugar is crushed, the juice that comes out is sweet, but as good nutritionally as other fruit juice. The juice is concentrated by boiling, and refined sugar crystallizes out, and is removed by spinning, which works rather like a spin drier removing water from wet clothes. Three or more boiling and spinning are carried out - and the remaining syrup, which now contains all the sugar cane goodness in a concentrated form but minus most of the sugar, is “Black Strap Molasses”.
There are also light and medium grades of molasses, which are obtained by using the syrup after fewer boiling. But these are less concentrated, and contain more refined sugar. Black strap molasses contains only between 18% and 20 % of sugar, and most of that is glucose and fruit sugar or fructose – sweeter than the sugar in white sugar, which is called sucrose, and also less likely to cause tooth decay.
More important, perhaps is the fact that fructose does not send the level of sugar in the blood soaring like sucrose does. Instead, it is absorbed slowly into the blood, and keeps giving energy for longer period. There is 3% protein in molasses – none in sugar. And there are small but significant amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B6, panthothenic acid and nicotinic acid – that is, most of the B vitamin complex.
The biggest nutritional bonus about the sweetener is its high mineral content. 10% of molasses is made up of iron, copper, calcium, chromium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc and variety of trace elements. This makes molasses one of the richest vegetable sources of iron – undoubtedly the mineral which someone are most often deficient in. Even where the deficiency is not severe enough to be easily recognized by doctors it can lead to breathlessness, lack of energy and constant weariness, thought to affect almost every woman at some time.
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