the taste space

11 Ways to Use Blackstrap Molasses

Posted in Events/Round-Ups by janet @ the taste space on November 29, 2014

As we delve from cinnamon-infused autumn recipes to gingerbread and chocolate mint creations for the holidays, I was inspired by The Vegetarian Flavor Bible, to share ideas how to use blackstrap molasses. I have talked about blackstrap molasses before. With its inherent bitterness, it is also a sweetener packed with calcium, iron and potassium. You cannot substitute it directly for typical molasses unless it is used in small amounts or you offset its bitterness with other sweeteners. Here are some suggestions:

1. Baked Beans

Stovetop Apple Baked Beans

I have two recipes for baked beans which include blackstrap molasses. One is a stovetop version that includes apple to sweeten the sauce and the other is a slow-cooked Nova Scotian style baked beans.  Angela has also shared maple baked lentils with blackstrap molasses as well as a Pumpkin Maple Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole. Tara created these beautiful Slow-Cooked Cider Beans.

2. Homemade Barbecue Sauce

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue SauceSkip the beans and just make your own barbecue sauce. This is a South Carolina-style barbecue sauce with a mustard/vinegar tang with a touch of blackstrap molasses reminiscent of barbecue. See also Gena’s Tempeh Kebabs with Homemade Barbecue Sauce and Bianca’s Memphis-Style Barbecue Sauce. Gena also uses a simple barbecue marinade for her raw barbecue zucchini chips.

3. Salad Dressing

Turn your sauce into a dressing. This Blackstrap Molasses and Balsamic Dressing sounds interesting.

4. Gingerbread cookies

Brown Sugar Cardamom SnickerdoodlesThis photo is of my Brown Sugar Cardamom Snickerdoodles and doesn’t use blackstrap molasses, so I urge you to check out gingerbread cookies that use blackstrap molasses: Sarah B’s Healthy Holiday Gingerbread Cookies, Kathy’s Ginger Snappy Crinkle Cookies, Angela’s Chewy Molasses Spelt Cookies, Dreena’s Gingery Cookies and Claryn’s Vegan Molasses Cookies. Other cookies to try include Claryn’s Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies, Dreena’s Raisinet Cookies and Leanne’s Gingerbread Quinoa Breakfast Cookies.

5. No-Bake Snacks/Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jam Energy Balls

Instead of turning on your oven, try a quick-and-easy no-bake snack. Try Gena’s Raisin Almond Balls, Davida’s Raw Gingerbread Cookies and Angela’s Pumpkin and Gingerbread Snack Bars.

6. Pumpkin Pie

Abby's Vegan Pumpkin Pie with a Pecan-Oat Crust

Gena’s pie is more photogenic than mine but her recipe uses blackstrap molasses.

7. Muffins/Cakes/Loaves

Maple Pecan Muffins

For those that prefer muffins, Emma shared these Double Ginger Chocolate Chunk Muffins and these Full Meal Muffins are filled with fruits and vegetables. Dreena also has a Chocolate Gem Gingerbread Loaf, Joy shared a Gluten-Free Gingerbread Bundt Cake with a Pumpkin Filling and Elsa’s Spiced Applesauce Cake with a Buttercream Frosting.

8. Smoothies

Peachy Keen Vanilla Smoothie

Infuse a gingerbread flavour into your next smoothie. See Angela’s Iron Woman Gingerbread Smoothie or Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, McKel’s Gingerbread Molasses Smoothie and Brittany’s Pumpkin Gingerbread Smoothie.

9. Dessert Puddings

Pumpkin Pie PuddingA bit of a thicker smoothie, here is a Pumpkin Gingerbread Pudding.

10. Breakfast Oats

Gingerbread Pumpkin Overnight Oats

Feel free to add blackstrap molasses to your morning oats. Here I added it along with pumpkin for a Pumpkin Gingerbread Overnight Oats breakfast. You could also consider adding it to your bittersweet granola or your next batch of gingerbread almond butter.

11. Accent to savoury meals

Zucchini Meatballs and Curry-Tomato Sauce with Almond Parmesan

Dreena really loves to add blackstrap molasses to her dishes. Here she used it in her No-Fu Love Loaf and Walnut Pecan Balls. JL also added it to her Cinnamon-Ginger Seitan.

The Vegetarian Flavor Bible does not list blackstrap molasses separately but includes suggestions such as molasses + garlic + ginger + orange; molasses + chili pepper flakes + ginger; and molasses + ginger + lemon.

What did I forget? How do you like to use blackstrap molasses? Bonus points if you have ever finished a bottle. ;)

PS. Do not forget to leave a message for your chance to win one of three copies of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible.

PPS. I am sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays.

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce (Tomato-Free)

Posted in Favourites, Sides by janet @ the taste space on September 23, 2014

South Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce

WOAH! Stop the presses. Where have you been all my life?

No seriously.

I always thought barbecue sauces were tomato-based. This barbecue sauce has no tomato in sight. Instead, the base is from mustard and vinegar. It is amazing what a little blackstrap molasses can do to herald a sauce into the barbecue family.

The ultimate barbecue sauce is probably a very touchy/personal topic for many, especially in the US, with each region having their own spin on their special sauce for grilling. While in Texas, I didn’t go for barbecue, but I seem to be homesick for my time in Houston and bringing the barbecue back to Toronto.

However, this is not Texas-style barbecue sauce, it hails from South Carolina. Mustard-loving Germans added a barbecue twist to their local sauce and it is wonderful. Not too sweet, a heavy hand with the vinegar and a perfect punch from the savoury spices. A perfect mix for me and my love of all things mustard.

I haven’t quite decided what to do with this sauce yet. I was originally going to toss it with some tofu and veggies and then bake it, but now all I want to do is keep it. Why use that all in one go?

What is your favourite barbecue sauce and what do you like to do with it?

PS. I am sharing this with Credit Crunch Munch and this week’s Virtual Vegan Potluck.

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Slow-Cooked Nova Scotian Baked Beans (with European Soldier Beans)

Posted in Sides by janet @ the taste space on January 26, 2013

Slow-Cooked Nova Scotian Baked Beans (with European Soldier Beans)

Bean envy.

Do you have it?

Jealous of those who live in the US with easy access to Rancho Gordo heirloom beans? RG even has a BEAN CLUB!! Or how about heirloom beans from Kalustyan’s, Purcell Mountain Farms or MarxFood? I mean, they technically could ship to Canada, but it costs way too much to be feasible (beans are heavy). I have recruited very loving family and friends help me collect my heirloom bean stash. My Christmas present included heirloom beans (and tote bag) my brother picked from Rancho Gordo‘s booth while vacationing in San Francisco. Woohoo for me!

I have searched for local options. Canada has such vast farmland; why don’t we have heirloom beans? Turns out you just need to know where to look. I have had good luck at ethnic grocers (Sunny’s has a whole half aisle dedicated to beans), Whole Foods (especially the store near Square One in Mississauga) and for those that don’t live nearby you can even mail order Nova Scotian beans right to your front door. But only if you buy 12 lbs. :)

Not daunted by such a large amount of beans, I ordered a mix of Jacob’s Cattle, Soldier and Yellow Eye beans from Webster Farms, a family farm in Cambridge, Nova Scotia. I have been eating the Yellow Eye beans as a nice alternative to white beans. The next experiment is for the European soldier beans, named after its red markings (the red coats of the British soldiers).

Slow-Cooked Nova Scotian Baked Beans (with European Soldier Beans)

I decided to tackle a Canadian specialty: baked beans. In the Nova Scotian way. I mean, these beans are from Nova Scotia, how could I not?

Turns out there was a recipe on the back of the package for baked beans. In general, recipes for baked beans call for gobs of sugar – molasses, honey, brown sugar, and maple syrup. Most recipes will advise you specifically not to use blackstrap molasses, but the recipes that use it are the recipes that interest me the most. Blackstrap molasses may be bitter but it also has a lot of iron and calcium, too.

So, on a wintry night, I warmed the house with a slow-cooked pot of baked beans. With a trio of soldier beans, blackstrap molasses and pumpkin seed butter, we have an iron overload. Food bloggers always exaggerate, right? I am not kidding. With almost 40mg of iron in one serving, that’s 220% of the standard recommended daily intake. (If you don’t believe vegans need extra iron, of course). Eat an orange and pass on coffee/tea to help absorb it all. These beans are not too sweet but have a depth from the bitter blackstrap molasses. The pumpkin seed butter makes these a lot more creamy than they look. The slow cooking makes the sauce thick and full-bodied. I stopped after 3 hours but feel free to let it cook into the evening.

So, envying the beans, yet? :)

Slow-Cooked Nova Scotian Baked Beans (with European Soldier Beans)

This is my submission to this month’s Bookmarked Recipes, and to month’s My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Susan.

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Pumpkin Gingerbread Pudding

Posted in Breakfasts, Desserts by janet @ the taste space on November 13, 2012

I have been blogging for over 3 years (and cooking for myself for the past decade), so you’d think I’d have figured everything out in the kitchen by now, right?

Wrong!

You’d think I’d have figured out what I like to eat or not…

Wrong!

OK, I know what I like but I love trying new things. It is harder to pinpoint what I don’t like. (Other than celery).

With my never ending stash of pumpkin puree, I whipped up a quick and simple pumpkin pie pudding. It didn’t woo me.

While I grew up with turkey at Thanksgiving, we rarely had stuffing (no one likes it), sometimes had cranberry sauce (not sure who likes it) and we never had pumpkin pie (who knows why). I don’t know if I have ever had it except as a raw cheesecake from Naked Sprout (which doesn’t really count as traditional pumpkin pie).

I figured a sweet pumpkin pie pudding with pumpkin, maple and pumpkin pie spice would be great. It was missing something, though. I didn’t know what. I added some blackstrap molasses to make this more gingerbread-like. I definitely preferred the sharp bite from the molasses. But as I licked my way through my dessert, I wasn’t particularly smitten with its pudding nature. I don’t really like pureed soups either. I like soups with body and bulk. So I stirred it into my morning oats with the natural Sun Warrior blend and I had a happy protein-rich breakfast for the week. Creamy with some body from the steel-cut oats. Re-purposed dessert for breakfast, yum. :)

I also thought it would be fun to share my trusty travelling spork. A spoon, a fork and a knife, all in one. This one is orange, to boot. :)

This is my submission to Ricki’s Weekend Wellness and this month‘s Simple and In Season.

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Gingerbread Pumpkin Vegan Overnight Oats

Posted in Breakfasts, Favourites by janet @ the taste space on December 19, 2010

Let me let you in on a secret. I actually haven’t done any holiday baking yet. I made the Key Lime Meltaways last year for Christmas. It took me nearly a year to post all my cookies from my holiday baking escapades, and one vegan cookie that wasn’t worthy of being posted (no one liked it!).

While I am still plotting my attack of Middle Eastern-inspired cookies for this year (feel free to recommend your favourites!), my current decadence has been over breakfast. But this decadence is guilt-free.

Adapted from Oh She Glows, this is a version of overnight oats that I have been eating for breakfast some time now. The premise of overnight oats is that you mix rolled oats with milk overnight to create a creamy pudding of sorts. I also add in chia seeds, which are tasteless but feel like small tapioca pearls after they have absorbed the milk. Chia seeds are great because they are relatively low calorie while providing a good source of omega-3s, fiber, protein and other vitamins. After a few hours, the chia seeds plump up nicely and add body to these overnight oats.

In this version, the pudding is fortified with pumpkin puree, savoury spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) and the gingerbread taste comes from blackstrap molasses. Not to be confused with typical molasses (which is what typically goes into gingerbread cookies), blackstrap molasses are more bitter, as it is derived after the third extraction of sucrose.  Therefore it is less sugary and more nutritious. It is a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium. Rolled oats, chia seeds, pumpkin, blackstrap molasses… all excellent foods and great together for a healthy breakfast treat.

This is my submission to this month’s Breakfast Club, featuring healthy breakfasts. (more…)