Sorghum syrup is derived from the Sorghum plant, a flowering grass plant that is grown for human and animal consumption. This plant is was believed to be first domesticated in Africa, although it can also be found in Australia, Mesoamerica, Asia, and the islands in the Pacific and the Indian Ocean.
Sorghum is one of the world’s most important crops, mainly used to make syrup and molasses. It is also the main component of alcoholic beverages. Sorghum is a resilient grain, noted for its drought and heat resistant properties. Thus, it is mainly used as a food supply for poverty-stricken areas in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Central America.
Sorghum Syrup or Sorghum Molasses is made by boiling sweet Sorghum cane juice or Sorghum Bicolor.
Sorghum Syrup Trivia
- There are three types of Sorghum based on their usage: Sugar Sorghum is for making syrups and other food products, Broom corns are for broom products, and forage grasses which are used for pasture and hay.
Sorghum Syrup Buying Guide
Good quality Sorghum Syrup is made from premium Sorghum genotypes with a high percentage of lowering sugars and a low percentage of sucrose content in the juice.
Sorghum Syrups should be rich in nutrients such as iron, potassium, and calcium. However, commercially produced Sorghum Syrup lacks nutrients due to over-processing and refining. Do check the labels to see if you are buying the naturally processed ones or if you are buying Sorghum Syrup mixed with high fructose corn syrup.
Sorghum Syrup Production & Farming in Texas
Sweet Sorghum is a species of Sorghum containing high sugar content in its stalks. It thrives in dry and warm conditions and is used to produce syrups, silage, and forage.
It was first believed to be cultivated in the US during the 1850s as a sweetener. Due to the blocking of commodities during the American Civil War, farmers in the South grew sweet sorghum as a syrup substitute for cane sugar and molasses. Most of the Sorghum plantations in the US are in Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, Arkansas, etc.
The basic production process involves evaporating the water from the juice of the sweet sorghum stalks. Harvesting sorghum must be perfectly timed based on soft dough growth stage of the sorghum as it is depended on the sugar composition. Harvesting is done through a harvesting machine or by hand. The stalks are then processed in a miller, extracting both the sweet juice and the by-product bagasse.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Commercially produced Sorghum Syrup contains harmful preservatives and chemicals such as
Ammonia and Sulfur Dioxide. The atmospheric storage of grains is also infused with nitrogen and carbon dioxide to safely store Sorghum in silos for up to a year. Propionic acid is used as protection against molds and other microbial growth.
Like any chemicals, Ammonia harms the body by causing a chemical imbalance. Although Ammonia is not considered to be a carcinogenic chemical. However, it is recommended to stray from chemically-treated food which can also react with other metals, causing potential health risks when consumed.
Sorghum Syrup should be stored in sterilized glass jars with tight lids, although you can also use plastic containers.
Enjoying Sorghum Syrup
Sorghum syrup can be eaten and paired with hot biscuits and pancakes. You can also use it to sweeten grits, cereals, and cornmeal mush. It is said that Sorghum syrup’s earthy flavor is neither harsh nor smooth, but it has a comforting aroma and earthy, natural flavor.
Because of its unique flavors, Sorghum syrup can be used in a variety of ways. It can be added into soy sauce, table syrup, and pancake syrup. You can also use add it to cereals, muesli, granola bars, cookies, and bread. Finally, Sorghum syrup is popular among craft distilleries as a component in spirits.
Sorghum Syrup should be stored and treated like Honey. Place it in a cool, dark place and avoid exposing it to heat and sunlight. In the event that it crystallizes, heat the jar in a pot of warm water.
We recommend baking with Sorghum Flour and Sorghum Syrup to taste the beautiful, old-fashioned, and homey flavors of Sorghum grains.
Sorghum Crinkle Cookies
9 ounces sweet sorghum flour (about 2 cups)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup sorghum syrup
1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (through cloves), stirring with a whisk.
- Place brown sugar, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar, butter, and oil in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add syrup and beat until well combined.
- Beat in egg and add flour mixture at low speed just until combined. Cover and chill dough for 1 hour.
- Shape dough into 28 balls (about 1 tablespoon each). Roll dough balls in 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 14 minutes or until barely browned on edges and set.
- Cool on pans 3 minutes; place on a wire rack to cool.