Have you ever heard of Blackstrap Molasses? It’s a thick, syrupy byproduct of the sugar-refining process, and it has an intense, bittersweet flavor.
Darker than light or dark molasses, blackstrap is packed with essential minerals and nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and selenium.
You can use it in recipes as a sweetener or condiment and can even drink small portions of it.
If you think you want to give it a try but are unsure how to go about it or what ingredients can fully substitute for blackstrap, we’ve got some answers for you.
With helpful directions on how to cook with molasses as well as a breakdown of the five best substitutes—from maple syrup to date syrup—, you’ll be close to using Blackstrap Molasses in no time at all.
What’s Blackstrap Molasses?
Blackstrap molasses is a thick and dark syrup that is made from the sap of certain types of sugar cane.
It has been in production for centuries, having first been used in Ancient Egypt and then becoming hugely popular during the American slavery era when it was the only sweetener available to the slaves.
Its taste can be described as intense and slightly bitter, with a distinct caramel flavor.
Texture wise it’s quite viscous and sticky; you could almost say it has an ooze-like consistency.
Traditional uses of blackstrap molasses include adding it to baked goods, mixing it into porridge or oatmeal, using it as a sweetener for tea or coffee drinks, or combining it with various herbs to make medicinal syrups.
However, nowadays, it’s used more as an alternative remedy than an ingredient in the kitchen.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Blackstrap Molasses
If you’re looking for a substitute for blackstrap molasses, here are five great options.
1 – Sorghum Molasses
Sorghum molasses has been enjoyed for many years, with a deliciously sweet and mild flavor that sets it apart from its Blackstrap molasses counterpart.
This classic treat has a thick, sticky texture and can be used to sweeten almost any food.
If you want to give your favorite dishes an extra boost of flavor but don’t want the sweetness intensity of Blackstrap molasses, you might find that sorghum molasses is the ideal substitution.
Its milder flavor makes it suitable for use in baked goods such as cookies or cakes, and it is also delicious as a topping on waffles or pancakes or added to other dishes for some additional sweetness.
The possibilities truly are endless with this versatile ingredient.
2 – Date Syrup
Date syrup is a sweetener made from dates.
It has a smooth texture and a mild caramel taste that only hints at the sweetness of its main ingredient.
Date syrup can be a great substitute for Blackstrap molasses, particularly if you’re looking for a less intense flavor in recipes.
Its versatility lies in the fact that it can replace honey and maple syrup, too, while still producing delicious results.
Even beyond baking and cooking, date syrup is perfect as a topping to pancakes or oatmeal or even stirred into tea or coffee.
3 – Carob Syrup
Carob syrup is a delicious, healthier alternative to the much sweeter blackstrap molasses.
It has a wonderfully caramel-like flavor with a thicker texture than most syrups.
An easy way to substitute it for blackstrap molasses in recipes is to blend equal parts of carob syrup and honey or maple syrup.
This helps to lighten up the flavor without sacrificing too much of the strong natural sweetness that molasses provides.
Additionally, it’s great as an alternative sweetener any time you’re looking to cut refined-sugar consumption and enjoy something natural instead.
4 – Maple Syrup
Just a whiff of its sweet, woody scent evokes images of cozy breakfast tables and pancakes dripping with syrup.
Maple syrup has been used as a flavoring for centuries with good reason; its robust flavor and creamy texture make it a culinary delight.
It’s no surprise that many people substitute maple syrup for traditional Blackstrap molasses in baking recipes; the same intensity derived from molasses is achieved, but with an added complexity of flavor and sweetness from the maple syrup.
The subtle notes of caramel and nutty, smokey characteristics make it both pleasing to the palate and versatile as an ingredient.
5 – Honey
Honey has a unique flavor, a sweetness that’s unmistakable.
Its texture is smooth and viscous, almost entirely liquid when warm, and it can crystallize if room temperature causes its viscosity to increase.
While honey can be used in place of sugar as a sweetener, it is also an excellent substitute for blackstrap molasses.
Unlike molasses, honey provides natural sweetness without bitterness or an overwhelming flavor.
It’s also less expensive than blackstrap molasses and more readily available at most grocery stores.
When using honey as a sweeter instead of molasses, keep in mind that it’s less concentrated, so you may need to incorporate more for full flavor.
In conclusion, blackstrap molasses can be a great addition to many recipes, but there are also numerous other alternatives that provide different flavors and intensity levels.
Sorghum molasses, date syrup, carob syrup, maple syrup, and honey are all excellent substitutes for blackstrap molasses, depending on your preferences.
All of these sweeteners have their own unique flavor profiles, can be used in a variety of recipes, and can be easily found in most grocery stores.
So don’t let the intensity of blackstrap molasses stop you from trying something new – experiment with some delicious alternatives.