The typical grocery-store version of molasses is not blackstrap. It’s watered down or sugared up. True blackstrap molasses is thicker, less sweet, and much better for you. How can you tell the difference? Check the nutrition label.
Blackstrap molasses is high in potassium, calcium, and iron. One tablespoon gives you 320 mg of potassium, 200 mg of calcium, and 4.5 mg of iron. That’s 20% of the daily value for calcium and 25% for iron.
When the SHTF and the food supply is disrupted or dismantled, you will need to reconsider the nutritional content of the foods that are still available to you.
Calcium is found in dairy products. But perishable foods will be the first to disappear from the marketplace. The agricultural system can ramp up production of crops, such as wheat or corn. But ramping up production of milk and cheese is a very slow process. You need more cows, which obviously takes time, and more of the specialized equipment used in the dairy industry.
Some vegetables are said to be high in calcium, but it is not well-absorbed by the body. And the level of calcium is nowhere near as high as in dairy. Blackstrap molasses, on the other hand, is high in calcium and it is bioavailable (easily absorbed).
Like calcium, potassium is an essential nutrient and one of six essential electrolytes needed in the bloodstream (potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sodium, chloride). But few foods are high in potassium; potatoes and tomatoes are the two best food sources — along with blackstrap molasses. At 320 mg of potassium per tablespoon (20 grams), blackstrap molasses has more potassium per gram of food than anything else by far.
Finally, blackstrap molasses is a good source of iron. As is the case for calcium, the iron in various fruits and vegetables is not necessarily well-absorbed by the body: “Some plant-based foods that are good sources of iron, such as spinach, have low iron bioavailability because they contain iron-absorption inhibitors….” [National Institutes of Health, Iron, Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet].
Blackstrap molasses stores well and can be added to a variety of different foods. It’s not the be-all and end-all of food storage. But it’s a worthy addition to any prepper’s stored foods.