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The best sources of vegan iron + vegan iron cookie recipe

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The best sources of vegan iron + vegan iron cookie recipe

Blackstrap molasses.

It's an incredible source of iron, and a food you likely haven't heard of. Until now!

Just 100g of blackstrap molasses contains 24mg of iron (USDA).

To put things into perspective, consider the iron needs of adult women aged 19-50, which are far beyond any other age group or gender at 18mg per day. That's not easy to get on a daily basis, which is why 57% of women in that age group in India suffer from anemia (PIB).

But here's the good news: getting enough iron on a vegan or vegetarian diet isn't just possible, it's easier than we were led to believe.

What is blackstrap molasses?

Blackstrap molasses is a thick, dark syrup made from sugar cane juice. It's made by boiling down sugar cane juice multiple times until it becomes viscous and concentrated. What's left is a syrup that's packed with nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and vitamin B 6 just to name a few.

Is blackstrap molasses sugar-free? 

Blackstrap molasses is not considered sugar-free. Even though most of the sugar is removed during the sugar refining process, it still contains a small amount. 

However, compared to other types of molasses, blackstrap molasses has the lowest sugar content because most of the sugar is removed.

Is blackstrap molasses good for people with diabetes?

Blackstrap molasses has a low glycemic index (especially when compared to sugar), so it is safe for people with diabetes to consume. Low GI foods help maintain blood sugar levels in the body by slowing down the digestion of glucose and carbohydrates.

It also contains a high amount of chromium, which is associated with lower insulin levels.

What does blackstrap molasses taste like?

Blackstrap molasses has a bittersweet flavour with hints of caramel.

The taste is very unique, and is often described as being rich or deep. Adding it to cookies, bread, oatmeal, and other baked goods can be a delicious and highly nutritious way to enjoy some of your favourite foods.

Where can I buy blackstrap molasses in India?

You can buy blackstrap molasses on Amazon, iHerb, Ubuy, and many other places online.

Blackstrap Molasses Nutrition Facts

Above is the nutrition in 100g of blackstrap molasses when compared to the needs of an adult woman.

Heme iron vs non-heme iron

Heme and non-heme iron are two types of dietary iron found in foods.

1. Heme iron:

  • Found in animal products
  • More easily absorbed by the body

2. Non-heme iron:

  • Found in plant-based foods
  • Absorption is influenced by factors such as Vitamin C

Vegans exclusively consume non-heme iron. Due to the reduced absorption rate in the body, vegan women in particular have to ensure they are getting enough iron by:

  • Eating iron-rich foods
  • Consuming vitamin C with iron 
  • Seek out fortified foods
  • Cook in cast-iron cookware 
  • Eat foods with B12 and folate (nutritional yeast, fortified vegan milk, leafy greens, and so on)

If you still feel like you want to supplement with iron, that's also an option. As long as you are eating enough whole foods and calories each day, you will get enough iron.

Vegan Blackstrap Molasses Cookie Recipe

One of the easiest, tastiest ways to enjoy all the benefits of blackstrap molasses is through a great cookie recipe.


  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water (egg replacement)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Optional: Additional sugar for rolling (granulated or coarse sugar)


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease it with oil.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the ground flaxseed meal and water. Let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens to a gel-like consistency.

  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened vegan butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. You can also do this manually, but it won't be as fluffy.

  4. Add the blackstrap molasses, vanilla extract, and the flaxseed mixture (egg replacement) to the creamed butter and sugar. Mix well to combine.

  5. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

  6. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until a soft dough forms. Don't overmix.

  7. If desired, chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to make it easier to handle.

  8. Once chilled (optional), use a spoon or cookie scoop to portion the dough into small balls. Roll each ball in sugar if desired, then place them on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each cookie.

  9. Flatten each dough ball slightly with the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass.

  10. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are set and slightly golden brown.

  11. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

  12. Enjoy the taste and health benefits! 

Other top sources of vegan iron

Per 100g (USDA):

1. Moringa powder: 120mg

2. Spirulina powder: 32.5mg

3. Unsweetened baking chocolate: 17.4mg

4. Soybeans: 15.7mg

5. Chocolate, dark, 70-85% cacao solids: 11.9mg. 

6. Pumpkin seeds: 8.07mg

7. Urad al: 7.2mg

8. Cashews: 5.99mg

9. Sprouted chickpeas: 5.14mg

 Don't forget to share this blog post with someone who needs it! Let us know your favourite iron sources in the comments.



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