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What’s the difference between sorghum and molasses? How does sorghum grow? In fact, what is sorghum to begin with?

sorghum cane being processed

This tall, broad-leaf plant resembles corn in the field, but the grain crop is best known for its end product: sweet sorghum syrup. That’s different than plain old sugar cane, which yields molasses, or, for that matter, the trees that yield maple syrup.

Where is sorghum grown? Kentucky and Tennessee lead the nation in sorghum production, though the crop is also grown in a number of other states, including Iowa, Minnesota, Mississippi and Texas.

Sorghum cane is typically harvested during September and October. Many sorghum syrup producers extract the juice from freshly cut plants right in the field. The bright green juice then goes back to the mill, where it is kept, heated, in a holding tank. To avoid spoilage and produce the best syrup, they cook it the next day, thickening into light amber syrup that is then bottled. Ten gallons of raw sorghum juice yields about 1 gallon of syrup.

sweet sorghum syrup

One tablespoon of sorghum syrup supplies all of the average adult’s daily potassium needs. It’s also high in antioxidants, contains 300 mg of protein, 30 mg of calcium, 20 mg of magnesium and 11 mg of phosphorus – all in 1 tablespoon. In fact, it is 100 percent natural and contains no chemical additives of any kind. (Look for the “Sweet Sorghum” logo to ensure you’re purchasing 100 percent pure sweet sorghum.)

Store sorghum as you would honey, at room temperature. If it begins to crystallize, put it in a pan of warm water or nuke it in the microwave. In fact, you can use sorghum as a substitute for honey (in recipes that don’t use baking powder). When substituting sorghum in place of sugar, use 1/3 more sorghum than the amount of sugar called for in the recipe and decrease the amount of liquids by 1/3. When using sorghum instead of molasses, use an equal amount of sorghum but cut the amount of sugar, since sorghum is sweeter than molasses.

Source: National Sweet Sorghum Producers and Processors Association

Article From: Farm Flavor - www.farmflavor.com
http://farmflavor.com/what-is-sorghum/

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Comments

  1. Ramona M Crabtree says:

    I’m still confused as to the difference between Sorghum and Molasses. For many years, my grandfather had horses pull a wringer type deal around to squeeze the juices out of “Cane” then they’d boil it and boil it, and dip off the foam, etc. They’d have stir-offs, play games, etc while the juices were cooking over a fire in a pit, with a huge elongated pan. We’d dip the cane in the syrup but always called it MOLASSES. NOW, I’m told Molasses are cooked, then after sitting 2 days, milk is added? I guess we always ate Sorghum instead of molasses? Please advise!

    • Jessy Yancey says:

      Hi Ramona,

      My understanding is that sorghum cane produces sorghum syrup, which is also known as “sweet sorghum” or “sorghum molasses” and sometimes colloquially called simply “molasses.” However, technically speaking, molasses would be made from sugar cane or sugar beets, but not sorghum. Does that make sense?

      Hope this helps!

      Jessy Yancey
      editor
      farmflavor.com

  2. Tricia Westgate says:

    What is the shelf life of Sorghum Syrup? Thanks.

  3. Othella Burns says:

    excellent information. Gave me exactly what I was looking for on this topic.

  4. Linda R. says:

    I found this interesting because I was unaware of the nutritional value of sorghum. I recently heard farmers use sorghum to enrich their soil and would like to know more about that.