In response to the significant rise in price of maple syrup, my natural sweetener choice for pancakes, french toast, and the like, I have been on the lookout and search for a cheaper and yet natural alternative.
Maple syrup, according to Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, is “the concentrated sap of huge deciduous trees, maple syrup is rich in trace minerals, brought up from below ground by the tree’s deep roots.”
Maple syrup has such wonderful taste and is much more healthy than any store bought brand syrup, which are loaded with sugar. Due to a lack of supply this year, the price has gone up $6-7 dollars per quart from my local Trader Joe’s, leaving us with a total cost of $16.99 or $17.99 per quart (depending upon which grade you choice). Wow!
Enter…Sorghum Syrup (also known as sorghum molasses)! Sorghum, also according to NT, is “a sweetener once popular in the Southern Unites States, sorghum syrup is made from sweet sorghum, a grain related to millet that grows on woody stalks to a height of 15 feet…Sorghum syrup contains B vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium and phosphorous. It can be used in place of maple syrup.”
Hmm…that last phrase caught my eye. Sorghum syrup is available through Azure Standard (my natural bulk food resource) for $6.95 per quart! That is a significant difference. being only a third the price of maple syrup.
Many Sorghum Uses
Sorghum has a slightly molasses flavor but is not the same as molasses (molasses is a by-product of the sugar industry), and we have found many uses for it already:
- Combine with a little butter on top of biscuits or cornbread – gives a wonderful almost butterscotch flavor, as my husband described it.
- Heat and serve over pancakes, french toast, waffles, etc and the result is a wonderful gingerbread flavor! Some brands are stronger than others, so after some experimenting I have found this one works better in combination with a little maple syrup and water to stretch the maple syrup for these uses. I use approximately 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/8 cup sorghum and 1/4 cup water. Heat on stove and serve! Yum!
- Use to sweeten baked beans, BBQ sauce (I came across these recipes while writing this post and I can’t wait to try them!)
- Makes yummy caramel popcorn – use in replacement of corn syrup!
- Ginger Snap cookies
- For many more recipes for use in main dishes, desserts, breads, candies, etc. visit here.
- Can be used in replacement of maple syrup, honey & molasses in all your baking! Here is a helpful guideline:
- Honey and Molasses one to on basis in most cases. In baking recipes that call for molasses, substitute sorghum but reduce the sugar by 1/3. This should be done, because sorghum is sweeter than molasses.
- Ordinary sugar: Increase the amount of sorghum by 1/3 over the amount of sugar called for and decrease the amount of liquid (water and/or milk) by this same amount.
That’s my frugal tip for the day!
I would love to hear if anyone else has experimented with sorghum! Please share!