Health And Hope

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There are various kinds of sweeteners that can be used, but molasses is special. Molasses is not the same as black treacle. Molasses is a rich, thick, dark syrup after the third boiling, in the processes of making sugar. ‘Black-strap molasses’ is the most recommended because it is so full of nutrients. It is a rich source of iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus, and has generous quantities of the B Vitamins. It was an English doctor, Dr Forbes Ross, who first drew the medical world's attention to the health-giving properties of molasses.

The health of our bodies depends on the acid-alkali balance being maintained. The cells work better in an alkali environment. Molasses is therefore a good sweetener as it leaves an alkali ash in the body while ordinary processed sugar leaves an acid ash. It is partly this that causes the problems with the sugary foods we eat. For a long time molasses was only available to farmers for making silage for cattle to eat, but now it is available from health shops, and we should take advantage of this.

Because of its high iron and good calcium content it is a useful extra for women to have every day. But how does one take it? Maybe you have already added it to heavy fruit cakes for a richer flavour.

Here are two interesting recipes for molasses.

1/3 C oil
1/2 C honey
1C chopped nuts
1C wholemeal flour
2C rolled oats

Spread half into a baking dish then spread with the filling as given below. Filling: 2C dates chopped, 1C water, 1T molasses. Cook over low heat till very soft, then spread evenly on the base. (For a change, but without using molasses, dried apricots make a delicious filling - again softened with water, blended, thickened with a little cornflour, a pinch of salt and 1/2t lemon juice.)
Cover with the rest of the ‘oaty’ mixture and bake for 35-40 minutes in a moderate oven. When cool cut in squares.

1C rolled oats
2C wholemeal flour
1t vanilla
1/2t salt
1/4-1/2 C oil
1/2-3/4 C molasses
Mix the last four ingredients in a bowl and then add the dry ingredients. Spread evenly onto baking sheets and cut into squares when they are cooked. 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven, but do not overbake; they soon 'catch'.

OR -

  • 1tsp (generous) in a mug of hot water with a capful of organic cider vinegar.
  • 1tsp molasses in a mug of warm soya milk. This is a rich drink and is a meal in itself. Be sure the soya milk is not too hot or it will curdle. This is a good source of iron.
Mixed with milk in this way it can be poured over hot porridge too, and is more acceptable to children.

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