Traditionally known as 'gur,' jaggery has been ancient India's favorite sweetener and has been gaining popularity amongst the new generation, thanks to its numerous health benefits besides being so delicious. This unrefined sweetener, in the powdered form is commonly known as jaggery powder and is found almost in every Indian kitchen because of its various uses.
In recent times, people have become all the more conscious about what they eat, how it has been produced, and what are the health benefits. This has led to a great rise in demand for organically and naturally grown products and jaggery powder is no exception. Growing products naturally reduces the risk of pesticide intake, increases the health benefits, and also keeps the environment safe.
Jaggery Powder Benefits and Uses
- Helps prevent constipation: Jaggery Powder activates the digestive enzymes, stimulates bowel movement, and helps relieve constipation.
- Helps in purification of blood: Jaggery powder when consumed regularly and in limited quantities helps cleanse the blood.
- Rich source of Iron: Jaggery Powder is useful in prevention of anaemia as it is a rich source of iron and folate.
- Helps boost immunity: Jaggery powder contains antioxidants and helps boost resistance against infections.
- Aids weight loss: Being a rich source of potassium, Jaggery Powder helps balance electrolytes, build muscles and boost metabolism. Potassium also helps in reducing water retention which in turn helps in managing your weight.
- Helps in detoxification of the liver: Jaggery is a natural body cleanser that helps cleanse the liver by flushing out harmful toxins from the body.
- Aids in easing menstrual pain: One of the jaggery powder uses includes providing relief from period cramps and it also helps combat symptoms of PMS since it leads to the release of endorphins.
- Useful in controlling respiratory problems: Jaggery Powder is also used for the prevention of many respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis since it is known to have some anti allergic properties. Jaggery powder with sesame seeds can have amazing benefits for these respiratory problems.
- Helps boost intestinal health: Jaggery Powder has a high magnesium content which can be very useful for intestinal health.
- Supports joint health: Jaggery Powder eaten with a little piece of ginger alleviates joint pain. It strengthens bones and prevents bone and joint conditions like arthritis. It also helps soothe any inflammation in the joints and supports bone health.
- Good source of energy: Jaggery Powder is a great source of energy and prevents fatigue and weakness.
These are some of the uses of Jaggery for health. Now that we know how beneficial it is we must include pure & natural Jaggery Powder in our diet daily. It is also important to understand how much jaggery should be eaten every day and what is the best time to eat jaggery. Two spoons full of jaggery is the safe limit to avail all of its health benefits and it is recommended to be eaten after meals to boost digestion.
Here are some easy ways to add jaggery into your diet:
- Consuming jaggery with hot water first thing in the morning is beneficial for soothing your stomach and it can help clear out all the toxins from your body.
- Eating jaggery after meals will not only aid digestion but will also take care of your sweet cravings.
- Substituting white sugar with jaggery powder in your teas, coffees, desserts etc. will help cut down on refined white sugar intake which is only extra calories and no nutrients.
Let’s look at some jaggery sweet recipes that can help satiate your after meal cravings, but healthily.
Eggless Banana Pancakes
This eggless banana pancake recipe makes a healthy meal and is very quick and easy to make. You can enjoy these for breakfast or as a mid-meal snack.
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 cup buckwheat flour
- 3 tablespoons of jaggery powder
- 2-3 drops of vanilla essence
- ⅓ teaspoon fennel seeds/ cardamom powder/ cinnamon powder (optional spices)
- 3/4th cup water
- Peel the bananas and place them in a large mixing bowl and mash them.
- To the mashed bananas add three tablespoons of jaggery powder.
- Add the vanilla essence and mix well.
- Now add one cup of buckwheat flour and the spice of your choice.
- Work slowly to add water to the batter bit by bit.
- Mix together to form a loose smooth batter. Depending on the consistency of the batter you can add more or less water. Continue mixing until there are no lumps.
- Heat a nonstick or cast iron pan and add a bit of ghee and allow it to melt and evenly spread across the hot pan.
- Cook the pancake on low to medium-low heat. Once the edges and bottom have started to brown, use a spatula to carefully flip it over.
- Continue cooking for a few more minutes until this side is golden brown as well. Feel free to flip the pancake back and forth if you need.
- Serve hot or warm. You can eat them plain as-is, or enjoy them with honey, maple syrup, jams or melted peanut butter.
Kuttu ke Laddu
Everyone has become health conscious these days but who can say no to a delicious laddu? These laddus are made with healthy natural ingredients including jaggery powder and buckwheat flour which will allow you to relish them without feeling guilty.
- 1 cup kuttu ka atta (buckwheat flour)
- 1 cup roasted peanuts
- 1 cup jaggery powder
- 5-6 seedless dates
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- 10-12 chopped cashews and almonds
- ¾ cup pure cow ghee
- Heat a deep-based Kadhai or pan and add 1 tablespoon of pure cow ghee to it.
- Add the seedless dates and stir fry well for a minute.
- Remove from flame, cool, and grind in a mixer along with roasted peanuts and jaggery to make a fine sticky mixture.
- Then heat the remaining ghee and slow roast the buckwheat flour till it gives a nutty aroma and changes color to light brown.
- Remove it from the flame and add peanut and date mixture, cardamom powder, and mix it well till it is completely combined.
- Once that is done, take a small portion and roll into small ball sized laddus. If the mixture looks dry you can add hot ghee and combine well.
- Garnish the laddus with chopped cashews and almonds.
- Arrange them on a plate and serve this healthy dessert. It can also be eaten while you are fasting.
- Can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
Enjoy these and many other recipes with the use of jaggery powder and other natural foods and live a healthy and happy life. Make use of this nature's gift and enjoy its tremendous health benefits along with the delicious taste.
It has been very well said by Bethenny Frankel, “ Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.”