I remember eating jaggery after every meal when growing up and enjoying the sweet flavor that stays in the mouth for a long time. It is true that processed sugar is easy to mix and instant energy giver but natural sweeteners like jaggery are far better than white or brown sugar. Jaggery is made from the juice of sugarcane, heated to produce thick crystals. It contains sugar in sucrose form and is used in many food products as a sweetening agent. It is considered healthier than refined sugar as certain plant phytochemicals and minerals are preserved in it.
Apart from sweet brown colour crystals, people call it with different names in different languages. The most commonly and popular names of jaggery are “Gur" in Hindi, 'Bellam' in Telugu, “Vellam” in Tamil, “Sharkara” in Malayalam, “Bella” in Kannada, and “Gul” in Marathi.
Three step process - extraction, clarification and concentration
- Press the Sugarcane through machines to extract all juice or sap from it. This process is termed as ‘Extraction’.
- In Clarification’ process all juice is collected into large containers so that all thick substances can sit in the bottom and then strained to produce a clear liquid.
- In Concentration stage, In a heavy bottom flat pan, the juice is boiled for hours and stirred continuously. While stirring, impurities are skimmed off the top until only a yellow, dough-like thick paste remains in the pan.
- Now the thick paste is transferred into the moulds to get it cool and settle into a shape.
The colour of the jaggery ranges from golden brown to dark brown in colour, depending on the quality of sugarcane, juice and its clarification process. However, adding jaggery to your daily diet provides many health benefits and essential nutrients that you may not have thought of.
Benefits of Jaggery
Jaggery is considered as a natural and non-refined sweetener, which is far better than refined sugar from a healthy prospect. Since it is rich in many vital vitamins and minerals, jaggery boosts immunity, keeps the body warm or we can say control the temperature of the body. Apart from this, it helps to boost our immunity system and is a good source of energy.
Like sugar, jaggery is versatile. It can be grated or broken up, and then used as a replacement for refined sugar in any food or drink.
In India, it's often mixed with foods like coconuts, peanuts and condensed milk to make traditional desserts and candies.
These include jaggery cake and chakkara pongal, a dessert made from rice and milk.
It is also used to make traditional alcoholic drinks, such as palm wine, and for non-food purposes like dying fabric.
In the Western world, this sweetener is often used as a sugar substitute in baking. It can also be used to sweeten drinks like tea and coffee.
Not just after a meal, you can enjoy its timeless taste and sweet flavor in any of your favourite desserts.
NO ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS... NO CHEMICALS, JUST NATURAL SWEETNER
Shastha Foods is happy to bring “Jaggery” for you pure and natural in powdered form and in lumps.
To shop or to place online order, you can visit us at https://shasthaonline.com/collections/jaggery
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