We all have that jar of molasses in the back of the cupboard collecting dust, it gets used maybe a couple times per year to make cookies or cake. But have you ever wondered what exactly is molasses? And now that you're a gluten-free baker you may even wonder, is molasses gluten-free? Let's take a deeper look at the ingredients and find out which brands of molasses are gluten-free.
What is molasses?
Simply put, molasses is just the byproduct from the process of refining sugarcane into sugar.
Sugarcane is harvested and mashed. The mash it is boiled down to promote sugar crystallization. The liquid is removed, leaving sugar crystals behind. The leftover liquid is what becomes molasses. That liquid is boiled down a second time into the thick viscous syrup known as molasses.
Molasses that is boiled a third time becomes blackstrap molasses, which is even darker, more viscous, and stronger in flavor.
As far as pomegranate molasses and sorghum molasses, those are different products entirely. While sorghum molasses is made in a similar way to molasses, by boiling sorghum stalks down into a thick syrup, pomegranate molasses is made from concentrated pomegranate juice and sometimes has added sugar.
What ingredients are in molasses?
The only ingredient in traditional molasses is molasses, the thick liquid leftover from the sugar refining process.
While molasses used to be treated with sulfur dioxide, most commercially available molasses is now unsulfured.
Is molasses gluten-free?
Yes, pure molasses is gluten-free. Molasses comes from sugarcane, not wheat, barley, or other gluten-containing grains. Therefore, pure molasses is safe to use in gluten-free recipes and for those with celiac disease. Some even say it's good for your health.
That is provided the only ingredient listed on the label is molasses.
While molasses should be gluten-free, it is always good to read labels. You never know for sure if anything else has been added to a product unless you check the label.
Which brands are gluten-free?
The most popular brands of molasses all appear to be gluten-free. Take a look:
Yes, Grandma's molasses is gluten-free.
Yes. All varieties of plantation blackstrap molasses are gluten-free.
Yes, Wholesome molasses is gluten-free.
Yes, Golden Barrel molasses is gluten-free.
Yes, molasses is gluten-free!
Molasses is just molasses! It comes from sugarcane, not wheat or other grains. That thick syrupy liquid is gluten-free and safe to consume for those on a gluten-free diet! But as always, a quick look at the label is always a good idea just to be sure. Happy baking!
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