Wondering why you should substitute molasses for honey? Well, if you’re looking for a healthy sweetener other than honey, then there is only one substitution that ticks the boxes, and that’s molasses.
Molasses is a thicker syrup made from the byproducts of sugar cane farming, and has a sweet taste that’s often described as “subtly bitter.” It can be used in place of honey to thicken recipes and make them more moist or sticky.
Molasses is a wonderful ingredient that can be added to your baking, cooking, and even drinks. It’s loaded with iron, potassium, and calcium — nutrients that many people lack in their daily diets.
In this article, I will discuss about the difference between honey and molasses, and most importantly, why you should always substitute molasses for honey.
So, let’s get to it
What is Molasses?
Molasses is a byproduct of sugar refining. It is dark brown in color, viscous, and sticky when cool. This product is used as a sweetener and thickener in cooking. Molasses has a mild flavor and can be used in baking, making sauces, bread, and other desserts.
Molasses comes from the process of making refined sugar from raw sugar cane or sugar beet. The raw cane juice is boiled until it becomes a thick syrup. The thick syrup can be used as a sweetener in many food products such as baking, confectionery, and beverages.
Molasses may also contain trace amounts of vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting antioxidants. It has a variety of uses in industry and commercial applications, including as an adhesive and thickener.
What are the Types of Molasses?
1. Light molasses
Light molasses is the type of molasses that is used most often in baking. This type of molasses has a light brown color and is often sold in jars as liquid or paste. It will add a sweet flavor to baked goods, but it’s not as dark as blackstrap, so it won’t have much of a strong flavor.
2. Dark molasses
Dark molasses is made by the second boiling; further cooking of light molasses results in a darker product with more intense flavors and aromas. Because of its color, dark molasses can be used in any recipe that calls for liquid or pastes forms of light molasses, such as cakes and cookies.
3. Blackstrap molasses
Blackstrap molasses has a deep brown color and strong flavor, similar to heavy-duty table syrup. It is usually sold in bulk at grocery stores or online retailers, where it can be stored for many years without losing its potency or flavor.
This type of molasses is also the most concentrated form, and it contains the most vitamins and minerals. As a result of this, some studies say that it has the most health benefits.
4. Sulfured molasses
Sulfured molasses are not produced as other types of molasses. In fact, they are just molasses that are preserved to avoid spoilage by adding sulfur dioxide which is a preservative. Sulfured molasses usually have a less sweet taste compared to those not preserved with sulfur dioxide.
Why Should You Substitute Molasses for Honey?
1. Molasses is less expensive
Molasses is less expensive than honey because their production doesn’t require bees. This makes it more affordable for small-time farmers and processors who don’t have large beehives available to them.
In addition to being cheaper than honey, molasses can also be purchased in bulk at lower prices than honey from local beekeepers or retailers who sell their products in bulk.
2. Molasses is richer in vitamins and minerals
Molasses is richer in vitamins and minerals than honey. It contains calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, manganese, selenium, and iron, which are all nutrients that are essential for good health. Molasses also contains B vitamins such as niacin (B3), thiamine, and riboflavin(B6).
3. Molasses is vegan if not processed using bone char
Honey is derived from bees, but molasses is not. So if you’re vegan and don’t care about the source of your food or have special dietary restrictions, molasses should be a natural choice for you.
However, molasses is vegan if only it is not processed using bone char which produces high carbon monoxide levels that can be harmful to your health when consumed regularly over time.
4. Molasses contains more antioxidants than honey
Molasses is rich in antioxidants, which help reduce heart disease and cancer risk. Honey is rich in vitamins A and E, but studies show that the antioxidant activity of molasses may be even higher than that of honey.
This is due to its higher concentration of natural sugars (sucrose) and fructose, two types of sugar that are known to have antioxidant properties.
5. Molasses contains fewer calories
Molasses contains fewer calories than honey, so if you’re trying to lower your intake of sugar or fat in your diet, molasses might be right for you. It can even be used as a substitute for maple syrup in some recipes. One cup of molasses has only 977 calories calories, compared to the 1031 calories in a cup of honey.
Molasses also doesn’t break down into glucose as quickly in your body as honey. This makes it more beneficial for diabetics or those with insulin resistance.
What’s the Difference Between Blackstrap Molasses and Honey?
There are many similarities between molasses and honey, but they are not quite the same. Molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane processing. It’s produced when the sugar cane plant is crushed to extract its juice. The juice is then boiled down to concentrates that can be used in various ways.
Honey, on the other hand, comes from bees. It’s a sweet substance produced by bees for their own use and also by humans who harvest it from hives. The resulting syrup is then filtered, evaporated, and crystallized to turn it into liquid gold.
Honey usually comes from flowers, while molasses is usually made from sugarcane or sugar beet plants. Molasses has a much stronger flavor than honey because it contains more seeds and other plant matter than the syrup produced from flower nectar. The darker the molasses, the stronger its flavor will be.
Which is sweeter honey or molasses?
Both honey and molasses can be used in place of sugar when making dessert recipes or other sweets. However, they do not have exactly the same properties as sugar or other sweeteners such as honey syrup or real maple syrup. But honey is sweeter than molasses.
In fact, some people find that they do not like the taste of molasses at all because it tastes bitter and/or heavy to them compared with other sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar.
Is honey thicker than molasses?
The answer is yes. Honey is thicker than molasses, but not by much. The difference is in how they are processed. Molasses is made up of sugar cane juice that has been water-filtered and then boiled to extract the sugar content. When the syrup cools it becomes thick, sticky, and dark brown in color.
Unlike honey, molasses is a byproduct of sugar processing and can be extracted from either raw or refined sugar cane. Even the thicker variety of molasses derived from cane juice which is known as “unrefined” molasses is still not as thick as honey.
What are the Other Honey Substitutes?
While there are many other honey substitutes apart from molasses, here are a few of the common ones;
- Monk Fruit
- Maple Syrup
- Brown Sugar
- Yacon Syrup
- Date Syrup
- Agave Nectar
- Coconut Nectar
Is molasses safe?
Molasses is safe if you consume them in moderation. While molasses is a good substitute for refined sugar, too much intake of any added sugar can have adverse effects.
Is molasses the same as honey?
The answer is no, honey and molasses are not the same thing. Molasses is the syrup produced from sugar cane or sugar beets. It’s used to sweeten food and beverages, such as coffee and tea. Molasses is also a common ingredient in baked goods like cookies and cakes.
Conclusion: Should You Substitute Molasses For Honey?
Blackstrap molasses has been found to have higher antioxidant levels than honey and other natural sweeteners like maple syrup and agave nectar. Additionally, research indicates that these antioxidants can shield cells from the oxidative stress linked to cancer and other disorders.
You can use molasses in anything that calls for honey: baking recipes (including bread), desserts (such as cakes), beverages (such as hot cocoa or tea), sauces or dips (like apple sauce), marinades and salad dressings, and spreads like hummus or peanut butter.
However, this is not to say honey is bad or should be avoided. It all depends on your needs. While both have a lot of similarities and uses, their applications sometimes differ. For example, molasses is widely used for baking while honey, on the other hand, is used as a topical product for minor sores and wounds.
But I would recommend you substitute molasses for honey whenever you can. Moreover, it’s a lot cheaper and has many health benefits than honey.
I hope you found this article helpful. If so, you should read more about recommended honey alternatives and not just molasses.
Thank you for reading.