When I was little my Grandmother would give me a big dose of “Father John’s” when I was sick. This thick viscously tonic tasted like a combination of cod liver oil and molasses. I know that doesn’t sound very appetizing but it worked wonders for me then and I always wondered why. Well, the health benefits of Omegas 3, 6 and 9, found in cod liver oil is all over the health journals. Nearly everyone has heard of it, but why molasses? Was it just flavoring?
This sugar cane nectar was a mainstay in most kitchens back when Father John O’Brien originated the recipe in 1855 (it’s still in production). But, today it seems to only be used as flavoring for holiday cakes. What did they know back then that we may have forgotten?
Well, with a little research and found that molasses is an ideal source for a ton of nutrients. Just one tablespoon contains 20% of the recommended daily requirement of calcium and copper, 22.5% of magnesium and nearly 40% of iron. Since the nutrients are plant sourced they are easily absorbed into the body. All these nutrients are key to combating chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, anxiety, and related nervous disorders, arthritis and rheumatism, constipation, high cholesterol, heart palpitations, anemia, acne and many other ailments. And it is simply good nutritional food for nearly everyone.
This was great news but, how to take it? It may be a sweetener but, it’s not exactly tasty on its own. So I made some culinary experiments mixing it with warm almond milk and a little cinnamon – a great breakfast drink. It gave me good energy and I didn’t crash after an hour like with coffee. It was also the perfect addition to a spiced quick bread recipe (super yum). After that I couldn’t think of any other way to integrate it into my diet.
On a recent trip to Montreal I saw an elderly gentleman spreading molasses on his toast and another pouring it on pancakes. Searching on line there were recipes for candies, baked beans, ginger breads and more cakes than one could count. I couldn’t believe what I’d been missing out on. All this flavorful good nutrition and I knew nothing about it.
The health benefits of molasses are many and well documented. So if you have any nutrition based health issues, speak to your Doctor, Nutritionist or Naturopath. Or if you just love “good-for-you food”, give molasses a try. You just may find a very delicious road to health.