Organic Jaggery: The Healthy Alternative to Sugar
If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to ordinary sugar for sweetening, cooking and baking, you are going to love our naturally delicious, mineral-rich, certified organic jaggery. It’s made from the extracted juice of organically grown sugarcane, produced to form a gorgeous, rich, healthy sweetener that has been used in traditional diets in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for centuries.
Often called “gur” in India, jaggery is used in sweet and savory dishes as well as beverages. Because it is pressed from organic sugarcane, it retains natural vitamins and minerals not found in table sugar, such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, and calcium. Even the ancient healing practice of Ayurveda recognizes the importance of jaggery for promoting good health.
Here are some tips for cooking with jaggery:
- Use equal amounts or a little less jaggery in place of sugar in a recipe. Jaggery is rich - both in flavor and nutrition, so a little bit can go a long way.
- If you keep jaggery in the refrigerator, be sure to bring it to room temperature before using in a recipe.
- Mash with fingers or grate as much as you need using a regular cheese grater. Remember, for best results, use room temperature jaggery.
- Make “jaggery syrup” to use in recipes calling for liquid sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup, molasses, corn syrup, etc. For every tablespoon of jaggery, use one teaspoon of water. Blend or whisk well to make syrup. Because jaggery syrup is naturally sweet and rich, you can use less in your recipes. For example, if a recipe calls for ½ cup honey, try 1/3 cup jaggery syrup.
Differences between organic jaggery and refined sugar:
- Refined sugar is processed using chemicals to clarify the cane sugar juice syrup, whereas organic jaggery is produced by simply boiling this syrup without the use of harsh chemicals.
- Refined sugar is solid and crystalline, whereas organic jaggery is soft and amorphous.
Our certified organic jaggery is extracted from cane plants that are grown without chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It is also produced without the harsh chemicals used to clarify cane sugar. Pure Indian Foods' organic jaggery is free of the lead contamination that is sometimes found in imported jaggery, and is packaged in a 2.2 lb. solid block that can be grated using a cheese grater.
Ginger Ale Recipe
1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 to 3/4 cup Organic Jaggery, grated or crushed
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, chopped
A pinch of ground nutmeg
2 quarts water
1 Packet of Starter Culture
Place all the ingredients in a 2 quart glass jar, and close the lid tightly. Shake the jar to mix well. Leave at room temperature (preferred temperature is 70 F) for about 3 days. Strain it and refrigerate. Keeps fresh in refrigerator for about a month. Serving Size: 4 oz. Servings about 16.
Jaggery Ginger Cookies
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1/3 cup jaggery (grated)
2 TBSP filtered water
1 TBSP cinnamon ground
2 tsp ginger ground
3/4 tsp cardamom ground
100 g Pure Indian Foods Ghee (1/2 cup + 2 TBSP OR 5 fluid ounces)
1/2 cup sugar organic
1/3 cup sugar for coating
Grate the jaggery and combine with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and water in a small sauce pan. Turn on low and melt slowly for about 2-3 minutes. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a large mixing bowl, add the melted jaggery mixture, ghee, sugar, and egg. Use a hand mixer to whisk together until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes. Add the flour mixture in two parts and fold in with a fork. It should form a soft dough that sticks together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough is too sticky, refrigerate for 20 minutes. Otherwise, go ahead and roll into about 24 one inch balls. Roll dough balls in sugar, and place 1.5 inches apart on a baking sheet. (Line the baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking.) Bake at 375ºF (190ºC) for 12-14 minutes to get crisp cookies. Slightly shorten the cooking time to get chewier cookies. When done, remove from oven, and immediately cool on a wire rack. The cookies will get slightly harder as they cool but should remain soft/chewy inside. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 24 cookies.
We love our jaggery, and we think you will, too! Here are 25 fun ideas:
- Use as you would brown or white sugar in recipes. For best results, grate only the amount needed.
- Sweeten tea, coffee and grain beverages.
- Add to hot milk with a spoonful of Grass-fed Ghee and a dash of cardamom powder for a nourishing drink. Stir until jaggery has dissolved.
- Add a spoonful to pie crust dough when making a dessert crust. Use a pastry blender or food processor to blend all ingredients. This makes a beautiful, lightly sweetened golden brown crust.
- Stir a spoonful of jaggery syrup into plain yogurt. Add fruit or natural flavoring extracts such as vanilla if desired.
- Make hot sweet rice by stirring a spoonful into hot basmati rice. Add toasted almonds, currents and a spoonful of Grass-fed Ghee, Cultured Ghee, or Coconut Ghee. This makes a delicious breakfast or a snack, and the kids will love it!
- Add to pancake or waffle batter in place of sugar. For delicious blueberry pancakes, mix 1/3 cup flour with a pinch of salt, and 1/8 teaspoon baking soda. Separately, blend 1 whole egg with 2 teaspoons melted Grass-fed Ghee or Virgin PRIMALFAT Coconut Ghee, ¼ cup organic buttermilk and 2 teaspoons jaggery syrup. Pour over flour mixture; add blueberries, stir to combine, and make pancakes. Serves one.
- For subtle caramel notes, add a little to sauces for meats, vegetables and grains.
- Muffins and biscuits are delicious and nutritious when prepared with jaggery.
- Make your own Kombucha, kefir, or ginger ale with jaggery.
- Sweeten frostings and icings for cakes and pastries by blending grated or mashed jaggery with softened or melted butter or coconut oil.
- Make delicious hot chocolate by combining 1 cup organic milk or non-dairy milk, 1 to 2 tablespoons jaggery and 1 to 2 tablespoons cocoa powder in a saucepan. Stir over medium heat until cocoa and jaggery are dissolved. Remove from heat. If desired, add a drop of vanilla and a spoonful of Grass-fed Digestive Ghee.
- Make roasted spiced pecans or other nuts with jaggery. Melt jaggery with butter, salt and spices. Stir in nuts to coat well. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Make delicious caramelized onions in grass-fed ghee or butter with a pinch of jaggery.
- Add a little jaggery to spaghetti sauce to add a subtle bit of sweetness and help cut down on the acid from the cooked tomatoes.
- If you are a candy maker, use jaggery in place of sugar.
- Slice 2 large bananas vertically to make 4 long halves. Cook in 2 tablespoons Dessert Ghee or Digestive Ghee over medium heat, for just a minute or two. Turn the bananas over. Sprinkle with 1 or 2 tablespoons grated jaggery and some cinnamon and/or nutmeg. Continue to cook for another 2 to 4 minutes or until bananas are browned and caramel-like. Serve as is or with whipped cream, yogurt, ice cream or favorite non-dairy frozen dessert. Serves 4. For variation, try this recipe with apples, pears, or peaches in place of bananas.
- Mix a little mashed or grated jaggery with peanut butter, almond butter or other favorite nut butter. Spread over toast or crackers.
- Make chocolate chip cookies with grated jaggery instead of white or brown sugar.
- Add jaggery syrup to gingerbread or ginger cookies in place of molasses. Remember, jaggery syrup is sweet and rich, so you can cut down on the additional sugar called for in the recipe.
- Sweeten a favorite brownie recipe with jaggery instead of sugar.
- Stew dried fruits with jaggery. Simply simmer 1 cup dried fruits such as figs, dates, raisins or prunes with a teaspoon of jaggery in 1 cup water or apple juice. For extra flavor, add a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
- Add a spoonful of jaggery to curry dishes for a nice compliment to hot spices.
- Add a little jaggery to salad dressings such as vinaigrette. Be sure to blend with a blender in order to completely combine ingredients. Delicious!
- Use grated jaggery as a “sugar scrub” for your body. It helps to exfoliate dead skin cells, creating healthy, soft and supple skin. Don’t forget elbows and heels!