Health

Healthy sweets using gur or jaggery

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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Here are some gur or jaggery delicacies that are just not healthy but delicious to satisfy your sweet tooth. Add sweetness to your Lohri festivities!

Winter is a time to devour some delicious delicacies and savories, especially made with ingredients that keep you warm. And when it’s the season of Lohri and Makar Sankranti, how can we forget the goodness of gur or jaggery, sesame, and peanuts ? From chikki to gajak and revadi – most of the traditional sweets for the festival are made with gur, which is loaded with benefits.

A whole lot of people have started switching from consuming white sugar to jaggery powder to cut the calorie count and promote a healthy lifestyle. The festival of harvest, Makar Sankranti, and Lohri are the perfect time of the year to cook some delicious gur-based sweets at home. This wonder sweetener not just keeps us warm, but is also a great immunity booster.

Nutritionist, Avni Kaul, Dietician and wellness coach, tells HealthShots about it! benefits of jaggery or gur.

Benefits of gur or jaggery

1. Immunity Booster

Gur is a rich source of antioxidants and minerals, which help in keeping the body healthy and give it the strength to fight infections. Gur is a source of iron which helps in keeping the hemoglobin in range, therefore, preventing anemia and other blood-related problems.

2. Prevents the respiratory issue

Some studies have shown that including gur in your diet on regular basis may prevent respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis. It also helps in relieving the symptoms of cold and cough.

3. Purifies Blood

Gur is a natural blood purifier and also helps in flushing out the toxins from the body.

4. Joint Pains

Gur helps in soothing out the effect of arthritis by relieving pain in joints.

5. Blood pressure

Because of the presence of sodium and potassium, Gur may help in keeping the blood pressure in range.

6. Digestion

Gur may help in keeping the digestive tract healthy and prevent constipation by maintaining bowel movement.

jaggery
Eating gur is too good to be true. Checkout by yourself. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

5 delicious, healthy recipes of gur or jaggery for your Lohri celebrations

1. Oats and walnut chikki

Ingredients:

* 3 tbsp rolled oats
* 1 fist walnuts
* 2 tbsp jaggery powder
* 1 tbsp ghee

Method:

1. Dry roast the oats on a medium flame for a few minutes, then keep it aside.
2. Now take the pan and add jaggery and ghee.
3. Mix well, stir continuously
4. Add the roasted oats and walnut to the mixture, then mix it well
5. Take a plate grease it with ghee and pour the mixture over it.
6. Cut it into pieces and let it cool for some time.
7. Store it in an airtight container.

2. Jaggery healthy balls

Ingredients:

* 50 gms dry ginger jaggery powder
* 50 gms Turmeric jaggery
* 3-4 tablespoon homemade desi ghee

Method:

1 Mix all ingredients except ghee in a bowl.
2. Add melted ghee slowly to the dry mix and make dough i.e. wet enough to bind together, make balls and serve.

Expert tip

Store the balls in air tight container. The balls will remain fresh on room temperature for ten days.

jaggery
Nosh on these nutrient-rich jaggery balls for a health boost. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Peanut makhana chikki

Ingredients :

* 175 gms peanuts
* 50 gms makhana
* 75 gms white sesame seeds (til)
* 350 gms coconut jaggery

Method :

1. Dry roast peanuts on medium heat till they get crunchy.
2. Once it gets cooled, transfer the peanuts to a flat plate then remove the skin by rubbing the peanuts between your palm.
3. In a mixer grinder, add makhana, peanuts, and sesame seeds and grind them to a mixture.
4. On the other hand, heat the pan, add jaggery, and wait till jaggery melts. Add the grounded mixture to the melted jaggery.
5. Grease a tray with ghee and pour the mixture and spread evenly. Cut it with the knife and let it cool.

4. Panakam (South Indian Drink)

Ingredients:

* 50 gms grated ginger jaggery
* Two cups water
* Three crushed green cardamom
* ½ tablespoon salt

Method:

1. Crush the cardamom in a mixer grinder.
2. Mix the crushed cardamom and add salt with two cups of water.
3. Add the grated jaggery and mix it well till it dissolves.
4. Strain before serving and serve it cold or at room temperature.

jaggery
Panakam is what you need to hydrate your body and get rid of toxins. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

5. Rose petal and dry fruit chikki

Ingredients:

* I cup mixed nuts (Cashew, pistachios and almonds)
* 100 gms coconut jaggery
* 1 tsp Ghee
* 1 tsp rose water
* ¼ cup Rose petals
* Parchment paper (optional for easy rolling)

Methods:

1. Roast the nuts on medium flame and keep stirring for 5 minutes.
2. Heat the ghee in a pan and add jaggery to it, cook it on medium flame. Heat it till the jaggery completely melts down and bubbling starts in it.
3. Take the jaggery off from the stove, add nuts and rose water to jaggery.
4. Mix all ingredients together and place on the parchment paper. Put another parchment paper on top and roll out about ¼ inch thick.
5. Remove the top layer of parchment and add rose petals and lightly rollover (with a rolling pin) to help the stick.
6. Cut into rectangle/ square shape with help of a pizza cutter.
7. Once it gets cool, serve it.

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