I've been on a mission. My mission is to cut down on mine and my family's sugar consumption but still enjoy a few goodies and desserts along the way. The cookies used in these scrumptious ice cream sandwiches get most of their sweetness from black strap molasses. I've always read that black strap molasses has some nice health benefits so I have felt good about using it in an occasional recipe. This evening I ran across THIS article regarding black strap molasses and it made me wonder if all that I have read or thought about molasses all these years was just a bunch of bunk.
The article completely slams molasses, calling it a waste product and a super junk food. The author states that molasses is not delicious to any normal human palate and that it is, in fact, downright repulsive. It seems there is a lot of opinion thrown in with fact. The author does makes some valid points, however. I found myself wanting to delve a bit deeper to get at the truth.
Next, I found THIS article. It praises black strap molasses, calling it a healthful sweetener full of minerals that promote health. This article states that molasses contains iron, calcium, copper, manganese and potassium. Impressive! The article also has a link to THIS article that talks about just how unhealthy agave nectar is...and why.
Wow! This search for a healthy sugar alternative gets more complicated with every recipe. How do I find the truth?
Well, I'm going to post my ice cream sandwich recipe so do with it what you will. Alter it if you like. Use whichever sweetener you feel is best.
Oatmeal Molasses Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup black strap molasses
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Xylitol
1 large egg
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
2 cups stone ground whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Cream together the butter, molasses, brown sugar and Xylitol. Mix in the egg. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. Place scoops of dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten each scoop to about 1/3-1/2 inch thick circle. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Cool.
To make ice cream sandwiches, simply place a scoop of your favorite ice cream flavor (Handmade... or not. Sugar-free...or not.) on top of one of the cookies. Place another cookie on top. Voila! We used a lovely peach ice cream. It paired nicely with the spices in the cookies.
So, what's your opinion of Molasses? Health food or Junk food???