Traditionally made from sugar, molasses is a dark liquid that adds a distinct spicy, caramel flavor to the foods it's used in. But if you're looking for something a little different, you may consider trying a molasses made from carob or grapes. Health-wise, these two sweeteners may not add much to your diet, but molasses from carob is a slightly better choice than from grape.
All the calories in both carob and grape molasses come from carbohydrates. One tablespoon of either sweetener contains 60 calories and 14 grams of carbs. For overall health, you should get 45 percent to 65 percent of your calories from carbs. You need more carbs in your diet because it's your body's preferred source of energy, especially your nervous system, which includes your brain. As a type of sugar, carbs from foods such as carob and grape molasses are absorbed easily, acting as a quick source of energy.
Minerals in Carob Molasses
Grape molasses is not a source of any vitamin or mineral, but a 1-tablespoon serving of carob molasses meets 4 percent of the daily value for calcium and 5 percent of the daily value for iron. Although not a significant source of either nutrient, carob molasses can modestly increase your calcium and iron intake. Getting enough calcium in your diet is important for bone health, while iron is needed to help keep your body oxygenated.
About Added Sugars
Although carob molasses is a source of nutrients, both sweeteners are considered added sugars. These types of sweets improve the taste of various foods but add very little nutritional value. It's OK to include sweets like molasses in your diet, but you should limit your intake to help keep calories under control. The American Heart Association suggests women limit their calories from added sugar to 100 a day and men to 150 calories a day.
Tips and Uses
Carob molasses has a rich, chocolate-like flavor and can be used as an ingredient in sweet desserts or mixed with tahini, which is a sesame paste, and used as a topper for pita bread. Grape molasses has a fruit flavor that adds a touch of sweetness to savory dishes such as stews. It can also be used in place of your usual jelly or jam on bread, You can experiment with either liquid sweetener and use them in place of your usual molasses in various recipes such as gingerbread cookies or baked beans.
- Amazon: Alwadi Al Akhdar Carob Molasses, 24.75-Ounce Jars
- Amazon: Alwadi Al Akhdar Grape Molasses, 24.69-Ounce Jars
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Iron
- American Heart Association: Added Sugars