30 Uses Of Jaggery Full Of New Benefits

As Indians, we’re well-versed with jaggery and its various benefits. But, with changing lifestyle, we leave our traditions behind even if they’re healthy. Just like your dadima and nanima used to say, “Health comes before anything else”.

In this blog, we will talk about why jaggery is so healthy for you and how can you blend it in your everyday life hassle-free. 

What makes jaggery so healthy?

Jaggery is made from sugarcane, which has a bunch of healthy nutrients in it. It also brings along a number of other benefits like: 

  • Relieves the pain of wisdom teeth or baby teeth: Jaggery is a good cure for the soreness and pain that come with wisdom teeth and the teething period. Have you ever seen a child gnawing on a jaggery stick? That’s because jaggery provides instant relief for dental pain when chewed.
  • Controls cholesterol levels: Jaggery keeps your cholesterol levels under control by reducing bad cholesterol levels and increasing good cholesterol levels – which also helps to maintain overall heart health.
  • Boosts immunity: Jaggery contains antioxidants that help fight infections and keep your immunity system strong.
  • Helps fight cancer: Jaggery contains lactic acid, which is the primary ingredient in cancerous tumours. The antioxidants found in jaggery also help combat other health conditions related to cells and tissues like heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc.

It is beneficial, but what about the sweetness?

You can make your own jaggery after crushing it into a fine powder. You’ll be surprised to know that a jar of semi-sweet chocolates contains more than 200g of sugar! Jaggery has around 26g of sugar per serving–so you don’t have to eat much to get the benefits.

Using jaggery in everyday life

Jaggery is a staple for us and can be used every day in our cooking to make it healthier. Here are 30 ways of how you can use jaggery in your everyday life to enjoy its benefits:

1. Use jaggery instead of sugar:

Swap refined sugar with jaggery. Keep half a cup of jaggery in the kitchen to substitute for whenever you need regular sugar for sweets or beverages. Jaggery is rich in minerals and vitamins and will help reduce the body's glycemic load and insulin resistance, which are caused by consuming too much refined sugar. You can also use organic raw honey - which has natural anti-bacterial properties - instead of refined white or brown sugars.

2. Turn jaggery into a toothpaste:

Mix one half cup of jaggery with two tbsp of baking soda and a few drops of essential oil (like tea tree or peppermint) in a glass of water. Brush your teeth and let the mixture sit for half an hour. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with clean water after 20 minutes. This is one great way to fight the bacteria that causes bad breath, gingivitis, cavities, periodontal diseases etc.

3. Make your own cosmetics:

Use jaggery to make your own sunscreen lotion, face pack, scrub, lip balm etc. Just mix the right quantity of jaggery and water in a glass jar and store it for 2-3 days for the mixture to congeal. You can also use coconut oil as a substitute for some quantity of jaggery, or mix rosewater or orange juice with it to make a natural homemade sunscreen lotion. These ingredients are all available at home, so you don't have to spend extra money on them from outside and worry about chemicals or preservatives in packaged products.

4. Make dry fruits with jaggery:

Jaggery has a sticky quality like caramel. That is why it works great for making chikki, nakkhi and other types of fudge or caramel-based Indian sweets. Just melt it, add nuts and seeds of your choice and mix together to form a sticky dough. You can then roll the dough into any shape you wish or keep it flat in a tray like you would for other types of sweets.

5. Use jaggery in your chai:

A traditional way of making herb tea is by adding 1 tbsp of dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water with 2 tbsp of jaggery and letting it steep for 10 minutes before drinking. This healthy herbal tea is a great way to get immune-boosting and antioxidant-rich herbs into your system without having to take pills.


6. Use jaggery in your cooking:

Jaggery has a deep, rich flavour and is the perfect sweetener for Indian curries. Stir fried vegetables like okra, eggplant, potatoes - or any other veggie you like - can be spiced up with jaggery instead of refined sugar to make them taste delicious. You can also sprinkle jaggery on top of stir fried rice or rotis for delicious flavour.

7. Sweeten a chutney:

Make a basic Sweet Tamarind Chutney recipe and mix in a few tbsp of jaggery instead of white sugar and salt. Or, add jaggery to your coriander chutney while cooking instead of sugar.


8. Make your own pickles with jaggery:

Jaggery lends a deep, rich flavour to pickles, which is why it is often used to make sweet-and-sour tamarind, mango or lemon pickle with mixed spices like cardamom and clove. You can even add jaggery to vegetables like cauliflower before making them into pickles for extra depth and sweetness in the taste.

8. Make your own pickles with jaggery:

Jaggery lends a deep, rich flavour to pickles, which is why it is often used to make sweet-and-sour tamarind, mango or lemon pickle with mixed spices like cardamom and clove. You can even add jaggery to vegetables like cauliflower before making them into pickles for extra depth and sweetness in the taste.

11. Mix jaggery with herbal teas:

If your family is not too fond of the idea of drinking hot water with fresh ginger, cardamom and lemon in it everyday for dinner, try making this simple syrup at home to add to hot water or milk instead. In a pan, mix 1 cup of water and 1 cup of jaggery until the jaggery melts into the water. Once it starts boiling, let it simmer for a few minutes and then strain the liquid into another glass jar to cook down further and thicken. Once cool, store this syrup in a bottle and add 1 tbsp in every glass of hot water or milk before dinner.

12. Add jaggery to your rice:

 Just like you can use jaggery in your curries, you can also add it to ordinary rice before you cook it. Stir fry some mustard seeds with garlic-ginger paste and dried red chillies. Add some finely chopped onion, tomatoes, coriander leaves, salt and a tbsp of jaggery to this tadka and stir everything together. Add it to white rice and you have a delicious one-pot meal that is not only healthy but also anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.


13. Use jaggery in your kheer:

Jaggery lends a natural sweetness to rice and milk pudding desserts like Kheer and payasam. Try adding a little bit of it to your next bowl of kheer for an extra burst of sweetness.

14. Use jaggery instead of refined butter or ghee:

Use organic, raw jaggery (gur) instead of refined white or brown sugars for baking, especially if you need a sweetener that does not crystallise. Cakes made with gur do not harden or dry out, and add moisture to the cake instead - making it moister than those made with white sugar. In fact, in north India, gur is poured on top of cakes to make the buttery layer so thick that it can be cut into layers and eaten with a spoon.

15. Make jaggery powder:

Jaggery has a lovely flavour that is hard to get from other types of sugar. If you get jaggery during Diwali, you can use it in plenty of delicious recipes like clarified butter (ghee), spiced beverages and other desserts for a few months until the next festival season sets in! You may also want to try your hand at making pure jaggery powder by purifying the sugar in pure alcohol or rose water till it becomes dry enough to be ground into a powder.

16. Use jaggery in your desserts:

Jaggery has a deep caramel taste that is hard to match with anything. If you want to make some Indian sweets, make sure they are made with organic (converted) sugar instead of refined white sugar or cheap brown candy packed in jaggery. Alternatively, make them with jaggery and avoid refined sugar completely!


17. Refresh your hair:

A bit of jaggery can add a rich and distinctive flavour to your shampoo for a refreshing experience. Just mix 4 tbsps of jaggery with 2 tsps of honey, 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tsp turmeric and 8 tsps of water in a container and shake it up well. This will be enough to make up an entire bottle's worth of shampoo.

18. Add soaked jaggery to your ice-cream:

Instead of using any other type of sweetener in your ice cream to avoid the subsequent crystallization, try adding a little bit of jaggery at the end. This will act as a stabiliser for the ice cream, so it won't turn into a rock even after being stored in your freezer for a few days!

19. Add jaggery to your chocolate:

If you are on a diet and want to enjoy chocolate without being guilty of having too much sugar in it, try adding a little melted jaggery. The taste will be light and mild, and you can enjoy the richness of chocolate while avoiding that blood-sugar spike. If you don't like the flavour of raw jaggery, try roasting it till the smell disappears.


20. Make your own milk sweetener:

A pinch of baking soda or milk powder can never replace natural sweetness like that of jaggery in milk drinks like fresh milk pudding, fresh milk tea etc., especially when they are in their purest form as opposed to powders. Soak a tablespoon of organic jaggery in a cup of milk and stir it until the sugar dissolves. You can add honey or stevia drops to this if you want, and even mix it with fresh cream for a healthy version of kulfi. There are also many recipes for making your own milk sweetener powder at home that is much healthier than anything you can buy in stores, and is also free from any chemicals or pesticides.

21. Use jaggery instead of sugar in chana recipes:

To make dry chana (also called soaked chana), start by soaking dried chickpeas (chole) overnight. The next day, rinse the chana and boil it with a pinch of turmeric and salt. Add a few pieces of jaggery to this when it is half cooked to enhance the taste. Mix in some fresh coriander leaves as well as ghee while serving, if you like.


22. Use jaggery instead of sugar in rasgulla recipes:

To make popular Bengali sweet rasgulla, all you need to do is take sweetened curd, mix it with semolina flour and start rolling into balls. Add a few drops of rose water or jaggery and enjoy.

24. Use jaggery as a binder for masala:

Jaggery becomes very sticky when it is cooked with spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves etc. Jaggery can be used instead of rice flour to bind fillings while making samosas or pakoras. Mix it with ground nuts, coconut, some raisins/dates and add a pinch of ground spices along with salt. Roll this into small balls for a healthy twist to sweet snacks.

25. Make honey jaggery:

Add a little bit of raw jaggery to your regular honey for extra flavour, sweetness and health benefits! It goes great with curd too - just spoon the honey jaggery on top of your curd and you have a wonderful combination that is extremely soothing and healthy for your tummy. Alternatively, mix it with buttermilk and store it in the refrigerator to eat during hot summers.

26. Bake with jaggery:

 If you are baking for a party or special occasion, try replacing refined white sugar with jaggery in your cakes and other desserts. Jaggery is a great natural sweetener that will give each bite a delightful burst of sweetness that is hard to get from other types of sugar.

27. Cool your AC bill with it:

Add jaggery to the water you use to clean your air conditioner coils. It creates a layer of protection that helps avoid any buildup of dirt and increases the efficiency of your AC, which is what your electricity bill is based on. You'll notice that your AC starts cooling down faster and uses less electricity as well. Jaggery can even be used on old ACs with rust to help unblock it and remove the rust layer. Just add some jaggery in hot water, stir it till it melts, then pour this mixture over the coils!

28. Have it alone:

Without adding it to anything, just eat a few pieces of jaggery and let it melt in your mouth. It can be really satisfying after a heavy meal, or even when you are craving something sweet. You can also chew on raw jaggery and breathe in the aroma for an instant sense of calm. While you are at it, try chewing on some fennel seeds and cardamom too!

29. Add it to your pets’ food:

Add a little piece of raw jaggery into the food that you give to your pets. It helps treat stomach problems like diarrhea or constipation by controlling the secretion of bile acids in the gut. It also helps with bloating issues, as well as digestion and absorption of nutrients in pets.


30. Use it in your smoothies:

 Instead of using sugar in your smoothie, add a bit of jaggery while blending and watch the flavour transform. You can even use it to sweeten plain yogurt by mixing equal amounts of yogurt and jaggery, stirring till the sugar dissolves. Remember to use raw jaggery to get the most out of it's health benefits.

To sum it up

Jaggery is a fantastic sweetener. It has a low glycemic index of 19 which means that it doesn't spike your blood sugar and keeps your body full and satisfied for a long time. It is also quite healthy because it isn't refined, so it doesn't contain any chemicals or pesticides.

The best part is, it tastes great! Jaggery has a delicious, warm taste which is a lot richer than that of refined sugar. It also adds a delightful aroma to your desserts and special dishes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Jaggery can be a wonderful substitute for white sugar in your favorite recipes. However, you need to keep a few points in mind. Jaggery does have a lower glycemic index than regular sugar, but it still contains natural sugars which could add up to the calories if taken excessively. Lastly, raw jaggery has medicinal properties which are activated when the jaggery is heated or processed into different products like candy and syrup.

Jaggery is a great substitute for flour when it comes to making cakes and sweets. Instead of flour, add in jaggery and yeast to the dry ingredients, mix well and knead it into a soft dough. As mentioned before, raw jaggery has medicinal properties which are activated when the jaggery is heated or processed into different products like candy, syrup and molasses. The jaggery syrup, powder and molasses are very thick in consistency and can be used as a substitute for flour while baking.

The best way to do this is by slowly lowering the quantity of white sugar you use in your favorite recipes. Try replacing white sugar with raw jaggery or honey to begin with, then go for some natural alternatives like unrefined cane sugar or palm sugar as well.

Jaggery has been used by Hindu women in the past to conceive and has been recommended as a good source of iron for pregnant women. However, it is advisable to avoid ingesting jaggery during pregnancy, especially if you are expecting a baby since jaggery can lead to excessive bleeding or uterine obstruction.

Jaggery does not contain any gluten. It is a naturally produced sweetener and is safe to consume for people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. However, it is advisable to check the label before you buy a product that contains jaggery since some manufacturers do add wheat flour or other gluten-containing ingredients while making jaggery products like candy, syrup or molasses.

Jaggery does not contain any sugar alcohols. However, it does contain a lot of naturally occurring sugars which may add up if consumed excessively.

Jaggery can be a routine part of our daily diet in the following ways – 

  • Adding it to warm milk or water and consuming it like tea. 
  • Adding jaggery in our breakfast cereal. 
  • Stirring up a little raw jaggery and adding it to oats or other gluten-free grains. 
  • Stirring a little raw jaggery in our tea for an instant pick-me-up and a change of taste. 
  • Adding some raw jaggery in our yogurt and special dishes instead of sugar or honey.

Jaggery is effective at controlling the secretion of bile acids in the body and is a great natural remedy for treating constipation, especially when combined with yogurt. It also has laxative effects that help you control your bowel movements naturally by adding some natural nutrients to your digestive system. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor for more detailed information about jaggery’s medicinal properties because it can be harmful if taken in excessive amounts.

Jaggery does not go rancid easily. It’s a natural product that contains several types of sugars which do not go rancid easily, making it a long lasting sweetener. Jaggery also doesn’t contain any preservatives or chemicals that could make it go bad. However, raw jaggery does have medicinal properties which are activated when the jaggery is heated or processed into different products like candy, syrup and molasses. It is advisable to store jaggery in a cool, dry place and away from direct sunlight.

Jaggery is a safe sweetener to give to your child. It has medicinal properties which can help children with their picky eating habits and keep them healthy. If given in excess, jaggery may harm your child’s digestive system or lead to hyperactivity and restlessness, but there is no evidence of that yet.

Jaggery is vegan by nature because it is not made using any animal products like milk or eggs.

Jaggery is safe to give to a newborn when combined with yogurt, but it is important to check with the doctor if you plan on using jaggery as a regular sweetener for your baby.

Raw jaggery is best because it is a natural sweetener. Jaggery is safe to give to your child in raw form, but if you need to use jaggery as a regular substitute, take note that it could cause harm if taken in excessive amounts. If you plan on giving your child jaggery as a regular substitute for sugar or honey, make sure to read up on the medicinal properties of jaggery and the nutritional benefits it has for your child before giving them any part of it like candy or syrup.

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