If you count yourself among the many smart consumers moving away from processed and refined foods, jaggery (gur) hits all the right notes. Flavourful, aromatic, and sweet, it’s also sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and organic. Like cheese and wine, the characteristics of jaggery vary according to the region where it’s produced, campaign to campaign, and season to season. Factors such as soil and climate will impact how you experience the gur.
Jaggery is classified as a non-centrifugal sugar by FAO of the United Nations. Non-centrifugal sugar products are part-processed so all or most of the natural molasses content is retained in the sugar. The molasses content is what contributes to the gold or dark brown coloring of these sugars. Because they’re less processed than refined sugars, non-centrifugal sugar products are considered more beneficial for human health and the environment.
Panela more specifically is obtained from evaporated sugarcane juice. The majority of traditional jaggery is made by cutting down the sugarcane by hand and pan cooking it in small batches, the old way. Using centuries-old methods that involve dehydrating the raw sugarcane juice over low levels of heat, the dried end product is then pressed into blocks and consumed in beverages and foods. This traditional, small-scale production method lends itself to retaining higher amounts of the molasses contained within the sugarcane. It’s the molasses that lends jaggery its distinct, lightly sweet flavour and aroma. At the same time, molasses contains naturally-occurring vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that you won’t find in sugars that go through a painful refining process laden with truckloads of chemicals.
The juice is then filtered for impurities and boiled down into a thick, syrup-like consistency. The boiling removes the water content and the syrup is then poured into moulds. Jaggery power, however is free-flowing, fine, soft granules of gur, that are far easier to use in cooking, baking, and beverage-making.
Because it’s still produced using traditional technology and without industrial processing, jaggery isn’t just a better alternative in terms of your health, it’s also environmentally-friendly and sustainable.
Great for Cooking, Baking, and Beverages
Jaggery Powder can be used as a 1:1 replacement for brown or white sugars in all kinds of beverages, baking, and cooking. It’s a welcome alternative in baking and other food products when you’re looking for a textural component with hints of caramel, molasses, raisin, and spice. It complements the flavour and minerality of teas and coffees, served either iced or hot. It can be used in smoothies, blended juices, and as a sweetener in cocktails. It is also used for distilling and moonshining in both small and large distilleries.
Get Your Vitamins and Minerals
Jaggery contains more complex carbohydrates than your conventional sugar products. If you’re an athlete looking for sustained energy release, then this has to be your preferred option.
In centrifugal production methods that separate the sugar crystal from its molasses content, the flavour and aroma of the molasses isn’t the only thing that gets lost. Refined sugars don’t retain any of the potentially good parts of sugarcane. That includes vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, such as:
- Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E
Jaggery, at Dhampur Green, is still produced using traditional technology using sustainable processes. These processes protect both the environment in which the sugarcane is harvested and processed as well as the communities that traditionally produce this staple.
Jaggery is currently playing a crucial role in the economic development of rural communities. Amounting to almost all of the available agricultural land in India, 48,00,000 hectares is dedicated to the cultivation of sugarcane, out of which only 14% is used to make jaggery and khandsari. Of the total world production, more than 60 per cent of the jaggery is being produced in India. The jaggery industry has been one of the most ancient and important rural-based cottage industries in our country. It provides jobs to unemployed rural people in their vicinity with minimum capital investment. It also has high medicinal and nutritional values and easily available to rural people. Also, it may not be possible for sugar factories alone to meet total demand of sweeteners with increase of the population. It is, therefore, essential to safeguard the interest of jaggery manufacturing units.
Try Jaggery for Yourself!
Jaggery is a traditional raw sugar produced and consumed throughout the world. It is produced almost in 25 countries under different names with a total production of 13 million tonnes per year. Derived from evaporated sugar cane juice, it’s a non-centrifugal sugar product that retains all the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants of the sugarcane plant. A perfect alternative for everything from coffee and tea to baking and cooking, it’s also a sustainable product that’s produced with environmentally-conscious technologies.
Now that you know it is healthy, wholesome, environment-friendly, promotes sustainability, it’s time to try it for yourself. Try the liquid jaggery, jaggery powder, spiced jaggery variants, and jaggery cake versions. The organic jaggery tub is certified organic and available year-round!