Black strap molasses is one type of molasses. Molasses is the liquid by-product of changing sugar cane into table sugar. There are many nutrients present in blackstrap molasses including manganese, copper, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. These nutrients make blackstrap molasses a much better sweetener than traditional sugar, as traditional sugar does not contain the high levels of nutrients. In particular blackstrap molasses is recommended for women that are iron deficient. Be aware that the flavor of blackstrap molasses is quite unique as this flavor is important for making gingerbread and baked beans.
Cut the sorghum or sugar cane stalk about five to six inches from the ground. Remove the seeds from the stalk by slicing the stalk with a knife and pull the seeds out. Leave the stalks standing against a rack for a week.
Run the stalks through a mill, collecting the liquid in a container to be used for molasses. The rest of the sugar cane debris, stalk and pulp can be composted or used for other processes.
Strain the sugar cane juice through a cheese cloth or fine sack to remove any large particles. Transfer the juice to a large boiler pan. The size of the pan will depend on the amount of juice you have. The pan should be at least six inches deep.
Place the pan with the juice over a heat source and bring the juice to a slow boil. Make sure the heat source is not too high, but kept at a constant and low temperature. The temperature is just high enough for the juice to boil. Let the juice boil for about six hours, stirring as it boils. Try to skim off any green substance that forms at the top of the boiling juice with a large spoon or molasses strainer.
Turn the heat off when the molasses turns from green to yellow or when it starts to get thick and small threads appear when stirring. Allow the molasses to cool.
Boil the molasses a second and third time. By the third boil the molasses will be very dark in color. You will not need to boil the molasses as long as the first time. Each boiling process you will scoop out the sugar film that forms on the top of the molasses.
Scoop the hot molasses and place it into jars or cans. Let the molasses cool in the jar, it is easier to work with when hot. If using glass jars then you will need to heat up the jars before filling with the hot molasses, otherwise the hot molasses will crack the glass.