Five reasons to include jaggery in your baking experiment
Gud, sharkara, gul, bella, gol. The humble jaggery is known by so many different names throughout India. Jaggery has been the star of many traditional sweet treats, whether it’s kheer, halwa, laddoos or even chikki. But this versatile ingredient can even be used as a sweetener in cakes and baked desserts. This is something that Bengaluru-based food blogger and home baker Priyanka Gandhi Mehta strongly believes in. At Home Bakers Matter, she built the case for why people should bake more with jaggery but also warned the audience that moderation is key, as with any sweetener
Jaggery’s digestive properties have been well known since generations. “My mother used to give us a small piece of jaggery to have after our meals, especially during winter, because it helps digestion. My sister and I would call it guddi toffee,” said Priyanka.
Jaggery often features in many home remedies and there is a reason for that. Priyanka explained, “It is rich in minerals such as zinc, potassium, magnesium and selenium that give you stronger immunity.” This immunity booster especially comes in handy during winter.
Good for your skin
Loaded with antioxidants, jaggery is great for your skin too. “Many women buy a lot of skin care products but even if you eat just 10 grams of jaggery every day, your skin ageing problems will be solved,” testified Priyanka. The zinc and selenium in the sweetener help reduce free radicals.
Priyanka points out that the complex carbohydrates in jaggery are yet another compelling reason to include it in your diet. “Complex carbs are better to consume because the body takes time to absorb it. This also means that it gives you energy over a period of time, rather than white sugar energising you just for that moment.”
The variety available
The sheer variety of jaggery -- sugarcane, date palm, toddy palm, palmyra, coconut – lends itself to different dishes. They all have different flavours and even affect the body differently, according to Priyanka, “Date palm jaggery is a very good sweetener to use during the winters because it has a warming effect on the body. Palmyra jaggery has a cooling effect on the body, so it can be had during summers.”
What variety of jaggery is your favourite and what dish do you like making with it? Let us know in the comments below.