Today we’re going to be answering the question: does molasses have gluten? But first, we’re going to take a look at what molasses actually is! It’s always overwhelming when you first receive your diagnosis. You’ll be unsure what to look out for, what brands are safe, and which are not. So seeing ingredients you aren’t familiar with on a label can be daunting – molasses is one of those ingredients I struggled with.
Let’s take a look at what they are, what different types you may come across, and the best brands to buy in-store.
What Is Molasses?
Molasses (or black treacle) is a thick, dark syrup. Molasses is a byproduct from sugarcane and sugar beets. It was in fact a very popular sweetener in the 20th century. They’ll often crop up on sauces and marinade labels, baked beans and even baked goods! There’s a range of different molasses you can find, in a range of colors. Let’s take a look!
- Light Molasses – as the name suggests, these are the lightest in color. They’re extremely sweet and have the highest sugar content. This is the most popular molasses you’ll find in the Western world.
- Dark Molasses – again, as the name states, this molasses is dark and have a viscous texture. They’re less sweet and can even offer a bitter taste. This type of molasses is often used in baking when making goods such as gingerbread.
- Blackstrap Molasses – black, dark, and extremely bitter. This type of molasses offer a wide range of health benefits and is a great addition to meals such as stews. It contains little sugar and because it’s the most bitter – don’t go overboard when adding it to dishes!
- Sorghum Molasses – You may have seen the word sorghum often if you’re following a gluten-free diet because it’s often a substitute for gluten-containing products. Whilst it can’t be named a true molasses because it’s made from sorghum rather than sugarcane/sugar beets, it can be made the same way and is just as tasty.
What Is Molasses Used For?
You can use molasses for pretty much anything. It’s a very versatile product. Depending on the type of molasses, it can be added to stews, beans, pancakes, drinks, and even certain alcoholic products. It’s main use is in baking and sauces/marinades. Cookies, cakes, pies and gingerbread – if you’re baking it, molasses is usually a great addition.
Molasses is either sulphured or unsulphured. The only difference between the two being that sulphured hasn’t reached its full maturity and sulfur dioxide is added to the final product. You’ll usually find that it tastes almost chemical-like. Most brands you’ll find in store are unsulphured. This means that the sugar cane was ripe and mature, and will often be the only ingredient in the final product.
Is Molasses Gluten-Free?
Good news – the answer is yes! As long as it’s natural molasses and contains no additives – it’ll always be gluten-free. As always, it’s definitely best to check the label as we all know how sneaky manufacturer’s can be with their additives. Ones that clearly state gluten-free are always the ones to opt for, so let’s take a look at some gluten-free molasses.
You’ll likely be able to find all of these suggestions in your local grocery store. They’re also reasonably inexpensive. If you’re not sure what to look for, keep an eye out for small glass bottles that look like they contain a syrup-like substance.
Grandma’s Original Molasses
This brand is fat-free, gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO, meaning it’s suitable for a range of lifestyles. It’s made from 100% sugarcane juice and the only ingredient is molasses! So of course, this product is gluten-free – and labelled so. You can usually pick this brand up for around $3.
Not only is it perfect in baked goods, but can be slow-cooked in stews and sauces.
Brer Rabbit Full Flavor Molasses
This brand is full of flavor and is extremely dark. It’s all-natural and again, contains just one ingredients. Their website states that it’s perfect to use in cookies, pies, cakes, and glazes. It’s also a great source of vitamins and minerals. This brand is also available for around $3.
Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Molasses
Definitely the most expensive of the bunch, but usually organic food is. Naturally vegan and gluten-free, and Fair Trade certified. This particular brand is blackstrap molasses. Refer to the list above if you can’t remember which is which – it took me a while too! This will set you back over $10 if bought in your local grocery store.
You can find all the molasses above (and a whole lot more) over on Amazon.
How To Store Molasses
You should store molasses somewhere cool and dark. It’s is extremely sticky, so take extra care when closing the lid as if any stickiness is left on top, it’ll be almost impossible for you to open. Molasses usually last a few years – but it’s always best to check the label.
If you’re reading this and aren’t the biggest fan of molasses and want to know some other gluten-free alternatives – don’t worry there’s a few!
- Brown Sugar
- Granulated Sugar
- Maple Syrup
- Dark Corn Syrup
- Golden Syrup
If it’s sweet or sticky, it’s usually a good substitute for molasses. However, as molasses can be sweet or bitter, light or dark – I think you’ll find molasses so suit your taste!
Making The Most Of Molasses
To conclude, I hope this article has helped to answer the question, does molasses contain gluten? The bottom line is molasses are completely gluten-free and safe for our consumption. There’s a wide range of molasses on offer and I like to think this article has shown that. What do you use molasses for? Are there any products you’ve bought recently and were surprised to find molasses on the label? This has happened to me a few times! Please let me know in the comments below.
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