This recipe is a nice way to have the flavor of a fancy holiday latte without all the junk.  Besides the blackstrap molasses, which I talk in detail about below, this latte is powered with collagen protein, ghee or MCT oil healthy fat, and spices like ginger and cinnamon with their own health benefits. I will talk a lot more about collagen in future posts, but for now, I will say that I credit collagen for huge gains in my gut and joint health as well as huge improvements in my hair, skin, and nails.  Vital Proteins is far and away the brand I trust.

The sweetener used here is blackstrap molasses.  Among sweeteners, molasses is a standout and you could even call it a “superfood.”  To produce table sugar, sugar cane juice is extracted.  It is boiled 3 times to extract the sugar crystals. As the sugar is refined and sugar crystals are removed, the nutrients inherent in the sugar cane are left in the molasses and concentrated. Blackstrap molasses is the viscous syrup left after the 3rd boiling and has the most nutrients.  This gives blackstrap molasses an impressive nutrient profile.  One tablespoon contains just 47 calories and all of these nutrients: (Ballantyne, 2015)

  • Iron (3.6 mg, or 20% of the RDA)
  • Calcium (176 mg, or 17.6% of the RDA)
  • Copper (0.42 mg, or 21% of the RDA)
  • Manganese (0.54 mg, or 27% of the RDA)
  • Magnesium (44 mg, or 11% of the RDA)
  • Potassium (510 mg, or 9.7% of the RDA)
  • B vitamins, including B6 (0.15 mg, or 7.5% of the RDA) and smaller amounts of B2 and B3
  • Selenium (3.6 mg, or 5.2% of the RDA)
  • Small amounts of sodium, zinc, and phosphorus

Look for organic unsulfured blackstrap molasses.  Sulfur dioxide is sometimes used in processing, in part for its preservative properties. Some say there is a negative effect on taste.  There is a possible connection between sulfur dioxide and the allergenic response to sulfites for some people.  In addition, sulfur dioxide used during processing is a primary component in acid rain, so there is solid environmental evidence to avoid sulfured molasses.  (Mateljan Foundation, 2017)

Blackstrap molasses is STILL SUGAR.  It is roughly 1/4 glucose, 1/4 fructose, and 1/2 sucrose.  The glycemic index is 55 compared to table sugar’s 80. (Ballantyne, 2015) Of all the sweeteners, it is far and away the most nutritious, but like any sweetener, it can be overdone.

Small Wonder Gingerbread Latte

Here comes the ridiculously easy part:  Put everything in your blender and whip it all together.  It’s a delicious nutrient dense treat.

References

Ballantyne, Sarah, “Blackstrap Molasses: The Sugar You Can Love! ~ The Paleo Mom”, The Paleo Mom, 2015 <https://www.thepaleomom.com/blackstrap-molasses-the-sugar-you-can-love/> [accessed 17 November 2017]

Mateljan Foundation, “Please Tell Me The Benefits Of Unsulphured Molasses.”, World’s Healthiest Foods, 2017 <http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=dailytip&dbid=88> [accessed 17 November 2017]