Gingerbread molasses steamer — the iron-rich drink you should be sipping
This rich, steamy, hot drink is the perfect collision of great nutrition and comforting drink. Think steaming mug of milk meets spicy, sweet gingerbread.
Nothing says comfort food like gingerbread or a glass of warm milk, and this steamer is a combination of both of these. It uses the same rich spices that are found in gingerbread but takes only a minute to prepare.
I would argue that the key ingredient in gingerbread isn’t ginger, but molasses. Molasses has such a warm scent and slightly spicy, bold flavor, which brings that signature flavor to gingerbread — and makes the house smell like heaven.
While on a moderately difficult hike last fall, I had a slight dizzy spell and later figured out it had more than a little to do with being low in iron. This was confirmed when I went to donate blood and was rejected for low iron. Twice.
I hate rejection! The crazy thing is, typically people who are anemic (which I was leaning toward) are tired and weak, and I normally feel strong and full of energy.
The Red Cross doesn’t lie, so after that first disappointment, I immediately started researching healthy ways to boost my iron. I discovered that blackstrap molasses is a great source, along with kale, dark leafy greens, meat, seafood, beans and dried fruit (for anyone who’s wondering).
I discovered that this sweet, syrupy product has the lowest sugar content of any sugar cane product, and (here's the good news) unlike refined sugar, which has zero nutritional value, blackstrap molasses contains vital vitamins and minerals, like the aforementioned iron, plus potassium and vitamin B6.
Like honey, blackstrap molasses is a healthy option for diabetics, helping to stabilize blood sugar. As if that weren’t enough, it contains calcium and magnesium to strengthen bones. Who knew?
I immediately purchased some of this liquid gold (or black) and found a friend to teach me how to make this steamer, and I’ve been drinking them as a comfy nightcap ever since. Instead of sending the kids (or yourself) to bed with a plain old glass of warmed milk, whip up this steamer, wonderfully reminiscent of holiday comfort food.
Because this steamer is such a rich and flavorful drink, it pairs perfectly with a plain cookie or treat like this three-ingredient shortbread I whipped up in just 15 minutes. You can find the recipe here.
A note about milk froth: If you don't own a frother but would love to try one, try a simple handheld version that fits in your utensil drawer. They can be found between $3 and $18 on Amazon.com. If you want something a little fancier, try a hand pump frother. If you're really serious about your hot drinks (think hot chocolate, latte, cappuccino), you might want to invest in an electric frother/steamer.
Gingerbread molasses steamer recipe
Total time: 5 minutes
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- Pinch pumpkin pie spice
- Frothed milk or whipped cream
- Grated nutmeg
- In a small saucepan on medium heat, heat the milk until steamy and hot. Don’t let it come to a boil. Stir in the molasses and pumpkin pie spice.
- If you want to add some extra fanciness, top with frothed milk or whipped cream and a fresh grating of nutmeg.