I came upon some interesting information recently. Blackstrap molasses is a significant source of iron, calcium and potassium. Plantation brand from Whole Foods contains daily values of 20% iron, 20% calcium and 17% potassium at 42 calories per tablespoon. It is obtained from the 3rd boiling of cane sugar (regular molasses is a result of the 1st and 2nd boilings) and it’s also what gives gingerbread and baked beans their unique sweetness. I happen to like the taste of molasses…stirred into a cup of coffee or dissolved in a mug of hot water with a little lemon. When he was a child, my father’s Nana made him glasses of milk (warm or cold) with a spoonful of molasses stirred in which he continued to enjoy as an adult. A tablespoon of blackstrap molasses also has a mild laxative effect. The following recipe for Gingerbread Sweet Potatoes was inspired by my well-worn copy of The Fanny Farmer Cookbook. As always, moderation in all things. Molasses is a sugar and iron is a heavy metal and too much of a good thing is still too much.
Gingerbread Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes, baked until a skewer can be inserted without resistance
2 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses (or more depending on your taste for molasses)
1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Brummel & Brown, butter or spread of your choice (optional-I used B&B spread)
Peel then mash sweet potatoes with remaining ingredients. Leftovers can be portioned and frozen for future meals.