In this article you are going to know about Jaggery, It is a sweetener that’s becoming popular as a “healthy” replacement for sugar. Jaggery is packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, and phosphorus and even has trace amounts of zinc, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
It’s also referred to as a “superfood sweetener.” these products include Gur: In India, Panela: Colombia, Piloncillo: Mexico, Tapa dulce: Costa Rica, Namtan tanode: Thailand, Gula Melaka: Malaysia, Kokuto: Japan. Jaggery is a type of unrefined sugar made from sugar cane or palm.
. Much of the world’s production takes place in India. Jaggery is said to help support the immune, liver, and digestive health, as well as help prevent anemia. However, there is no good evidence available to support these claims.
How Jaggery is Made
Jaggery is made using traditional methods of pressing and distilling palm or cane juice. This is a 3-step process:
- Extraction: The canes or palms are pressed to extract the sweet juice or sap.
- Clarification: The juice is allowed to stand in large containers so that any sediment settles to the bottom. It is then strained to produce a clear liquid.
- Concentration: The juice is placed in a very large, flat-bottomed pan and boiled.
Now if we talk about its appearance the color can range from light golden to dark brown. This is important since the color and texture are used to grade the jaggery. Interestingly, Indians value lighter shades more than darker ones. This lighter, “good quality” jaggery generally contains more than 70% sucrose. It also contains less than 10% isolated glucose and fructose, with 5% as minerals. It is most often sold as a solid block of sugar, but it’s also produced in liquid and granulated forms.
What Can Jaggery Be Used For?
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.