Pomegranates are highly-nutritious fruits with beads of goodness inside. Pomegranate juice can enhance our overall health (even used as a medicine!). But that is not a discussion for today. Today. we are doing a know-how session on pomegranate molasses and its substitutes.
Pomegranate molasses is an important ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is often referred to as Mediterranean syrup. It is a thick, concentrated juice of pomegranate seeds with added sugar and lemon juice. It is used in salad dressings, cocktails, desserts, drinks, glaze, and dips.
As amazing as pomegranate molasses is, there are a bunch of substitutes for it. Do you know which are those? Some of the best pomegranate molasses substitutes are pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, grenadine, cranberry juice, and raspberry jam.
A little knowledge about pomegranate molasses wouldn’t be a waste of time. Shall we do that and then move on to its best substitutes?
Quick Peek: Pomegranate Molasses
The following scribbles tell you what pomegranate molasses is, its flavor, consistency, culinary uses, and health benefits.
What Is Pomegranate Molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is nothing but pomegranate juice of tart pomegranate seeds. The juice is reduced to a thick consistency with sugar and lemon juice. After reduction, the deep-red pomegranate juice transforms into a dark brown or almost black color.
How Is Pomegranate Molasses Made?
Pomegranate molasses is made from pomegranate juice and sugar. Boil down the unsweetened fruit juice using sugar and lemon juice to an intensely thick red-colored solution with a tangy flavor. Your pomegranate molasses is done when the bubbles are thick and viscous.
Pomegranate Molasses Vs. Pomegranate Syrup
Many often confuse pomegranate molasses with pomegranate syrup. Pomegranate syrup is the juice of sweet and tart pomegranate seeds mixed with sugar syrup. It goes by the name grenadine and is used in cocktail recipes.
On the other hand, pomegranate molasses is the viscous and boiled down liquid made from pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon syrup. They are different!
Describing Pomegranate Molasses: Flavor and Consistency
It has a unique blend of sweet and tart flavor, making it deliciously versatile in many recipes. It is popularly used in Middle Eastern recipes that are now used across the globe to add a musky flavor to a wide range of recipes. Needless to say, it has a thick, syrupy texture and is dark red in color.
Uses of Pomegranate Molasses
You can use pomegranate molasses in a wide range of sweet and savory recipes. It has a rich, sweet-tart flavor which makes it a typical flavoring agent for poultry.
You can also use it as a salad dressing, marinade, glazes for meat, drizzled on puddings and ice creams, and as a thickener and flavoring agent in sauces, drinks, and desserts.
Pomegranate Molasses On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope
Pomegranate molasses is a super healthy ingredient with many health benefits to offer. It is a rich source of antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamins B1, B5, B3, and B6 as well. It prevents oxidative stress, thereby improving the health of our skin.
Consumption of pomegranate molasses can boost the digestive and immune systems. It can reduce the cholesterol level in our body and even mitigate cancer risk.
Why Should We Substitute Pomegranate Molasses?
Pomegranate molasses is a healthy food product that needs to have substitutes for a few reasons. With its popularity, usefulness, and cost, you can’t easily spot a pomegranate molasses bottle to give your salad an absolute finish.
Also, people who have diabetes may need to take pomegranate molasses off their menu, considering the sugar content.
If you are a buff of experimentation, you definitely would want a flavor of pomegranate molasses without actually using it. If that is the case, you definitely need a bunch of substitutes.
So what happens when ill-luck forbids you, and you are out of pomegranate molasses? Do not worry, for I have the best substitutes for pomegranate molasses that you can blindly trust and use in your recipes.
13 Best Pomegranate Molasses Substitutes
Now that you know about pomegranate molasses in detail let us move on to the important part. The thirteen best substitutes for pomegranate molasses are:
Pomegranate juice, the raw base of pomegranate molasses, is the closest substitute for pomegranate molasses. Sweetened, which has added flavors and preservatives, and unsweetened varieties of this juice are quite easy to find.
It may lack the thick consistency of pomegranate molasses. Nevertheless, pomegranate juice makes a great option due to its authentic flavor.
Make some delicious panna cotta and that too in Ramsay style with your pomegranate juice. Here is the recipe for Gordon Ramsay’s panna cotta for you.
If you have been a faithful reader, you already know what grenadine is. It is concentrated pomegranate juice with sugar added to it. It is loaded with sweetness but without a tart flavor like pomegranate molasses and is a considerable substitute.
You don’t need to (actually, you shouldn’t, unless you want to spike up the sugar) add more sugar or any other sweetener, for that matter, if you wish to replace pomegranate molasses. Since grenadine is usually used in cocktails and mocktails, it also contains red food coloring.
Don’t have grenadine? Well, worry not! Here is a list of some of the best grenadine substitutes that you can use.
Cranberry juice is a suitable substitute for pomegranate molasses. It has a strong sour and tart flavor with a bitter aftertaste. Now you have the perfect ingredient with a similar taste profile as that of pomegranate.
Go for cranberry juice, sauce, syrup, or molasses to replace pomegranate molasses. It is less sweet than pomegranate; therefore, consider adding sweeteners as per your preferences.
You can also use your cranberry juice to make some fruity cocktails. Here is the recipe for some fruity Madras cocktail that you can make in 5 minutes.
4. Raspberry Jam
Raspberry jam is another great ingredient that you can use as an alternative to pomegranate molasses. You ask why? It has a sweet, fruity, tangy flavor with a jelly-like consistency. Not to mention the bright, appealing color it renders to your salads or sauces.
You can reduce the smooth raspberry jam to thicken it to get the desired consistency of pomegranate molasses.
5. Lemon Juice and Honey
Looking for a well-balanced syrup made of easily available ingredients to substitute for pomegranate molasses? Behold the magical combo of lemon/lime juice and honey, which is a great alternative for pomegranate molasses.
Mixing these two ingredients creates a unique taste – the tartness of lemon juice counteracted by the sweetness of honey. Not to mention the thick, sticky texture it renders to your recipes.
Both of these ingredients are always easy to get, so go ahead and boldly use them in your salads or sauces that call for pomegranate molasses. (By the way, honey is also a much healthier alternative than sugar).
6. Tamarind Paste and Honey
Tamarinds are our favorite fruits for many reasons. They have a sweet, tart flavor that is hard to beat. Paste of tamarind can be used in dishes to elevate your dish’s sweet, tart flavor.
For replacing pomegranate molasses, tamarind paste and honey as a combination is the best option worth trying. The sweet-sour flavor of tamarind paste and the thick, syrupy texture of honey can smoothly substitute for pomegranate molasses.
7. Balsamic Vinegar
Balsamic vinegar is a densely flavored vinegar from the land of mountains (Can you guess where? Keep reading to find out!). It is made using unfermented grape juice.
It has a distinctive, complex flavor with a mellow tartness. It ranks high on the health radar; it aids weight loss and lowers cholesterol.
Go for balsamic vinegar if you want a healthier alternative for pomegranate molasses. If you want add a sweet flavor to your recipe, try adding sugar or other sweeteners.
You can use balsamic vinegar instead of pomegranate molasses in salad dressings, sauces, or desserts, but not in drinks! Be mindful that the deep brown color of balsamic vinegar may change the color profile of your recipe.
Plum sauce is a sweet and sour fresh fruit condiment in brown color made using plums. It has a thick and dark-colored texture. With sweetness and tanginess, it can easily be used in place of pomegranate molasses.
Few varieties may comprise salt and chili peppers, giving it a spicy flavor (be careful with what you are buying to replace pomegranate molasses). Don’t worry if you don’t have plum sauce. Here’s the list of some plum sauce substitutes including a DIY plum sauce recipe.
Cranberries are evergreen red fruits that are highly versatile and popular for their flavor as well as health benefits. These are boiled in sugar water to form a thick mixture which is what you call cranberry sauce or cranberry jam.
Cranberry sauce has a well-balanced flavor profile – a play of both sweetness and tartness. Cranberry sauce has a thick, jelly-like consistency that can smoothly be used instead of pomegranate molasses. Also, here’s the recipe for some homemade cranberry sauce.
11. Cassis Syrup
You might know about black currants, and the French call them cassis. So, cassis syrup is a syrup made from blackcurrant berries. The syrup has an intense berry flavor which is sweet, earthy, and tart.
Cassis syrup can be used to substitute for pomegranate molasses, especially in drinks and cocktails, due to the subtle bitter flavor.
12. Grenadine Juice and Sugar Syrup
The combination of grenadine and sugar syrup can be a worthy substitute for pomegranate molasses. You can make your sugar syrup by mixing a cup of water with a cup of sugar or honey.
The tart flavor of grenadine is balanced with the sweetness of the sweetener, mostly sugar. Bring this mix to a boil and simmer until a thick consistency is obtained. Your pomegranate molasses substitute is ready for use.
13. DIY Pomegranate Molasses
If you are lucky with some time (and patience, of course!), why not try making your own version of pomegranate molasses. You need to boil pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice together until you get a thick, syrupy liquid.
Your pomegranate molasses is ready. Check out the detailed recipe given so that you don’t mess up!
DIY Recipe of Pomegranate Molasses
DIY Pomegranate Molasses Recipe
- Wooden Spoon
- 4 cups Pomegranate Juice
- ½ cup Sugar
- 2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
- Pour the extracted juice into a saucepan. Add sugar and lemon juice to it.
- Bring it to a gentle boil for over an hour until a thick consistency is obtained.
- The last fifteen minutes are very crucial in this recipe. You have to reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer.
- Check the taste and if you prefer more sweetness, add sugar. Turn off the flame and store the molasses in a container.
That was a worthwhile detail on pomegranate molasses substitutes, right? Let me further do the job of helping you remember the details easily.
Substitutes based on Pomegranate: Pomegranate juice, pomegranate seeds, and grenadine are the best pomegranate molasses substitutes based on pomegranate.
Other Fruit-based Substitutes: Cranberry juice, raspberry jam, plum sauce, cranberry sauce, lemon juice (with honey) are the best pomegranate molasses substitutes which are devoid of pomegranate.
There you go! Finding alternatives for pomegranate molasses wasn’t a big deal for you, right? Choose a substitute that tailors to the demands of your recipe. If out of all possible alternatives, effortlessly prepare pomegranate molasses yourself!
Whatever you do, make sure to let me know. (Land of mountains is in Italy, by the way!) See you around!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the substitute for pomegranate molasses in muhammara?
Pomegranate juice with sugar, grenadine with sugar or honey, pomegranate seeds (least recommended) and cranberry juice are some of the best pomegranate molasses substitutes in muhammara.
What is a substitute for pomegranate juice in a recipe?
Raspberries, cranberry sauce, grapefruit juice, plum sauce and lemon juice are all good substitutes for pomegranate juice in a recipe.
How to make pomegranate molasses?
For making pomegranate molasses, you have to boil and simmer the mixture of pomegranate juice, sugar and lemon juice until it thickens.