Sugarcane is one of the sweetest crops in the world but sugarcane cultivation and processing has a bitter environmental impact on regions or locations for producing sugarcane yet it can be produced in the most environmentally, socially and economically sustainable ways. Sugarcane was believed to have been domesticated at about 8000BC in New Guinea, which gradually moves in to be cultivated around east and across Southeast Asia moving towards India afterwards; subsequently introduced to other parts of the world, with the most cultivated of the plant species known scientifically as Saccharum Officinarum. The sugarcane stalk is a perennial grass crop that is grown in most tropical climate such as is found in most of northern Nigeria climatic conditions, it grows shoots that produce lots of stems which when it is matured is called sugarcane stalks; it has juicy fibrous, jointed, stout and hard stalks when mature, which is high in natural and sugar sucrose. The outer or exterior coverings of the sugarcane stalks is similar in type to the bamboo with jointed circular ridges which are the rib partitions; it varies in colors ranging from green, green-yellow, yellow-orange, red-purple, dark-black which when it is peeled have a light yellow to cream color in the inside. The Sugarcane stalk is chew as snacks or used for extracting the cane juice to produce varieties of products while the most popular is the sugar after various procedures and processing. Sugar Cane is used in the production of sugar and one of the major source of sucrose; its stalk is a great business in northern Nigeria for kids and young adults.
The sugarcane stalks popularly seen around ranges in colors of green to dark which are sold in its raw, juicy and hard stalks with many customers buying from hawkers or market stalls where it is typically cut into several feet long and further cut to size according to its demand for purchase that mostly depends on the sugarcane thickness in inches and its length in feet measurement which are sold accordingly to chew or chomp on the sweet fiber of the sugarcane stalk. Sugarcane is generally known as “Rake” in Hausa, “Ireke” in Yoruba and “Okpete” in Igbo tribes of Nigeria.
The sugarcane all across Nigeria town and villages is an easy to reach for chewy snack, seen all over the streets never waiting for any special season or time of year to stick out its stalks but maybe a little much more expensive off season but always available and affordable; for many Nigerians living in villages to enjoy the sugarcane juice all it will cost is just a walk to nearby sugarcane farms. The sugarcane stalks is chewed by many while other individuals simply sip the fresh juice, irrespective of the time of day, hungry or satiated to enjoy its juicy nectar. The juicy stalks can be used in any beverage or juice drink requiring a sugar, hence the sugarcane serves the role of not just a sweetener but a healthy addition to beverages if used minimally as an alternative to refined sugar. The chewing of the sugarcane sweet deliciousness starts by first washing off all the sugarcane stalk dust and dirt. Avoid peeling the sugarcane with the teeth in order to avoid hurting the lips, gum and teeth. Cut to size of inches for easy handling, peel the bark off the succulent fiber, slice into long vertical stripes then cube to fit into the size of mouth to chew easily without hurting the teeth and gum, best to carefully chew a smaller piece at a time, then suck on its juice then spit out the tasteless and dry cane fiber; do not swallow any bits of the stalk fiber. Repeat until you have had enough of the chewing which is a good exercise for the jaw. The juicy sugarcane stalks are peeled and cut to shapes of choice, store in the refrigerator and used as garnish in any fruits juice of choice by just dropping the chilled sugarcane stalk into a glass of drink to give it flavor, sweet taste and a beautiful chewy twist.
The use of the sugarcane juice in recipes are endless; any dish requiring the addition of a sweetener in the form of syrup, juice, crystallized chunks or granules can easily find in the sugarcane by products a healthy alternative from the Sugarcane Zobo Drink, to the Kunun Rake, the sugarcane tamarind sauce for juicy chicken roast all the way to the chewy candy of sugarcane lemon drop.
Traditional Method Of Brown Sugar (Mazarkwaila) Making In Northern Nigeria
The northern Nigeria ancient days method of brown sugar making is called “Rawar Doki” in Hausa meaning is “Dancing Horse”, a process that involves the horse trotting around the extraction machine continuously in circle by pulling along a rope tied onto a large stick-plank to exert pressure in order to squeeze out the sugarcane juice. subsequently changed to today’s modern day method that is generally called “Rawar Babur” which means “Dancing Motorbike”. The reason it is called “Dancing Horse Sugar” is because animals are used in turning the sugarcane extraction machines which is heavy and hard but with the use of motor bikes it is ten times faster with much more output involving less time and expenses. The brown sugar production begins with the buying an entire sugarcane farm where the Hausa white sugarcane species are planted that is generally believed to be the best for extracting brown sugar juice while others used the black sugarcane called “Kantoma or Kwandagi” but modern day sugarcane that is best suited for the brown sugar making is called “Dan Fetur” due to its juicy nature. The juice is collected and transferred into a large mixing dish, then some white potash is added and mix until it dissolves in order to thicken the sugarcane juice and to settle all the dirt in the juice by moving it to the base of the bowl. The mixture is sieved into a pot on the tripod firewood and boiled until reduces and becomes syrupy and begins to crystallize. Thereby, it is scoop into any mold of choice preferably a circular dish, to cool and set by taking up the shapes of the several molds. The sugarcane processing business is done mostly on the farm, during which all individuals involved are given a specialized position in contributing to the production process; normally involves at least eight (8) or more workers, the horse rider who turns the sugarcane manually extraction machine placed in the farm whereby modernization method has replaced the use of horse or donkey with bike rider for a fast processing speed and increased sugarcane juice output. The next worker is given the responsibility of inserting the sugarcane stalks into the extracting machine, next in line is the individual that is solely responsible for scooping the extracted juice from the collection point into a large drum-like container, another individual scoops the juice, strain out all residues and pour into a pot that has been placed over the thicken dark smoky firewood tripod hearth, there is another worker cooking the cane juice at one end who is seated closely to the boiling pot, responsible for stirring the sugarcane juice. While opposite the individual is another worker who continuously add more cane juice to the hot and boiling pot, after the individual that is involved in the long line and tedious process has quickly scoop and scrape out the gel like sugarcane brown syrup from the heat into a clean dish to air and cool off. The next process is the stirring stage after boiling, it is transferred into a ready prepared clay pot where it will be continuously stir and turn anti-clockwise as if making tuwo or swallow until the sugarcane syrup turns fluffy and thickens further to set, then it is scoop into tiny hole pans to mold. The last in the chain of workers is the person who removes the molded brown sugar from all the holes after cooling and molding to carefully place into packages. The paying of workers is like a form of trade by barter at the sugarcane farm; paying all the workers for services rendered including the hired motorbike immediately NOT with cash but with an equivalent of the work done which is paid with the brown sugar mold traditionally known as “Sikari Rawar Doki” known as mazarkwaila in northern Nigeria.
Mai Rake Or Sugarcane Sellers
The buying and selling of sugarcane in northern Nigeria is big business due to its importance in the lives and livelihood of millions of Nigerians, annually the sugarcane is celebrated by bringing together all stakeholders it is a traditional ceremony known as Shan Rake in Hausa of northern Nigeria.
The sugarcane stalks are harvested and bought from farmers by middle men in the sugarcane business, after which is loaded in big lorries with dried raffia grasses covering it to keep it as fresh as possible. Then it is transported to town and city markets, an early morning trip to the Gamboru and Muna markets intersecting the newly constructed flyover bridges in custom Maiduguri in north east Nigeria will see various types of the sugarcane vertically and And horizontally arranged all over market stalls for retailers interested in buying to sell to hawkers within and around streets corners while for other buyers managing juice making joint it is a kind of point and kill where after buying the sugarcane stalks, request are made for the sugarcane stalks to be scraped off husks, little branches on its ringed ridges and the tail ends and head are cut off then further demand are made to cut into a foot long for easy packaging and ease in feeding into the sugarcane extraction machines, all at an added fee. The sugarcane stalks markets are also a place for youth who survive by offloading the stalks from lorries while carrier boys make some money by helping buyers carry the sugarcane stalks to the waiting vehicles, at the end of the market day kids at the market are busy sweeping and collecting together all the sugarcane trash to the dump sites at a bargained fee. A daily repeated circle for survival in the sugarcane markets. The hawking of the sugarcane are generally done on wheel barrows by young men mostly called “Mai rake”, with heaps of the sugarcane stalks arranged on horizontally placed plank in the wheelbarrow, water is occasionally sprinkled on the sugarcane to keep it moist, and it is tightly wrap all around with a large see through polythene to keep away flying debris and insects while preserving its freshness. Freshness on the go and every few feet the Mai rake either call out “A siya rake” meaning buy sugarcane or simply presses the horn to attract customers to buy. The interested buyer picks from the sugarcane and bargain its price if there is no mutual acceptance on both sides then the buying will pay and ask Mai rake to give the equivalent of the sugarcane. Then some customers often demand its to be peel off its hard bark and diced into bite able pieces then it is wrap up in cellophane bag. The kids in the business of sugarcane are as young as 6 years old, who can only afford to buying just a few feet long sugarcane stalks to hawk or sell by major roads, filling stations or in the frontages of their family homes, standing and occasionally scraping the sugarcane dark covering, when demanded the little kid collects the money first then with his little fingers point at the sugarcane stalks inches the buyer will get for the amount of money paid. Sugarcane stalks, and by-products such as Alewa is a booming business in northern Nigeria.
Sugarcane juice are so versatile in different recipes so rich in healthy benefits if used sparingly due to the simple reason that it is sugar in liquid form. Sugarcane by products are used in cookies, crackers, yogurts, cereals, preserved meats, soups, alcoholic drinks, canned fruits, salad dressings, bread and bakery fillings, enhances flavor in dairy products, and several other preserved foods. A superb and delicious way to starting the New Year on a sweet notes with the sugarcane stalks sweet recipes:-
Sugar is a delightful sweetener, an added essential for the fermentation process in yogurt, brews, bread, soy products and a variety of products that must be processed through the fermentation stage. Sugar gives the invitingly beautiful color to produce the browning, caramel-like toppings and golden finishing to baked goodies, turns vegetables sauces into smooth jellylike yummy deliciousness and sugar extends the shelf life of products that helps preserve color and prevents it from going stale and drying out. Sugar plays a vital and versatile role in millions of homemade and processed products.
Sugarcane Homemade Sugar
Sugar is the sucrose made from the sugarcane juice which is extracted by cutting and crushing the stalks to release the juice, sieved or filtered. Thickened into syrup by boiling until crystals forms then followed by the separation stage of the two which consists of molasses and sugar crystals; the crystals are the raw sugar which is dried with hot air and cooling. Sugar crystals is ground or milled into fine, regular or large crystals depending on choice.
The processing involves crushing, mashing, pressing and squeezing the fibrous stalk to extract as much juice as it is possible from the sugarcane. Strain the squeezed sugarcane juice and pour into a pot, after which it is heated and slowly simmer on low heat.
Skimming until the simmering juice reduces to thicken syrup which is the filtering stage done manually by skimming severally.
The crystallization steps follows to create raw sugar crystals; once it turns to brown color it has reached molasses with its sugar crystals; then separate the molasses from the sugar crystals.
Dry in warm and cool air until the crystal are dry which takes several days.
Molasses is also known as black treacle, a honey-like thicken syrup, the sweetener left after processing and refining sugar to crystals; after separation the molasses are removed and dried or store in airtight container which is black and thick in appearance with a sweet and smoky flavor know as molasses. A sweetener in baked goodies and drizzled over pancakes or cookies to serve; added to the brewing of alcoholic drinks and animal feeds.
Bring sugarcane juice to boil on low heat, simmer for several hours while stirring at interval.
When a green coating forms on the surface of the boiling syrup, skim it out into a separate bowl.
Continue to simmer and stir until color changes to yellow or green, as soon as thick syrupy strands starts to form remove from heat.
Boil for at least two to three times in order to obtain the molasses of choice which depends on color and sweetness hence the darker the color the less in sweetness which is achieved on the third stage of boiling.
Then lastly after achieving the right consistency and taste, remove from heat then scoop into airtight jar and seal.
Label accordingly and store for use in recipes of choice.
The refined white sugar is the most popularly and generally used sugar; unrefined sugar and wholesome food are the best choice in achieving the highest healthy benefits so the less processing or unrefined the food the better. All type of sugar can be used to enhance the taste and flavor of many recipes, added not only to improve sweetness but texture and also to balance up the taste in savory and spicy recipes.
The brown sugar is a sucrose sugar and a sweetener with a simple difference in the color brown which is due to the addition or combination of the molasses in the making of the brown sugar for its color and flavor. The brown sugar is often regarded and requested for its healthy benefits which comprises of glucose, vitamins, amino acids in addition to the sucrose among the reasons why it is believe to contain a great load of antioxidant properties amongst others.
The brown sugar is just the combination of the molasses and the refined granulated white sugar where the brown color is derived from the molasses; it is relished in a variety of recipes for its versatility in improving color and giving a richer flavor to many baked goodies, candies and various chocolate sweet treats. Most loved of the brown sugar attributes are its sweet, burnt and caramel like aromas which enriches a lot of treats as a must reach for again and again to satisfy the sweet tooth with a brown note.
Molasses according to choice
Air-tight jar or container
There are three choices in making the brown sugar which is to grind, blend or combine the ingredients.
Collect the necessary ingredients and combine all in a dry mixing bowl, remember that the more more molasses is added the darker the brown sugar becomes.
Then mix to combine using a wooden spatula or stirring stick; Or transfer into a blender or coffee grinder and blend or grind until smooth, free flowing and thoroughly blended in color and texture.
Scoop into a dry airtight jar or container to prevent the brown sugar turning into a pile or drying out.
Store in a dry and cool place until needed for use in recipes or dishes of choice.
Whole Cane Sugar
The whole cane sugar is derived from the sugarcane juice that is only evaporated and the molasses is not separated from the crystal; the sugarcane stalks are crushed or mashed to extract the juice which is clarified then put to boil until the liquid content is evaporated and the sugar syrup thickens all through to sugar crystal. Subsequently, after cooling it turns to solid block which retains all the molasses and minerals; the sweetener can only be cut into chunks then ground or mill to form brown sugar granules. The brown sugar chunks or blocks is given different names according to the country of its origins, it is known as Jaggery or Gur in India while it is called Mazarkwaila in northern Nigeria.
Jaggery Or Gur
It is an organic sweetener made from the sugarcane juice similar in taste like the unrefined sugar known as Rawar Doki or Babur in northern Nigeria while the Jaggery or Gur is the India made unrefined sugar used as a healthy alternative to the refined white sugar to sweetened various recipe needing a sweet note.
The process of making the unrefined sugar in India and northern Nigeria is similar differing only slightly in the method and use of tools to achieve the final product that is either golden or dark brown depending on how long it is allowed to simmer on heat before it sets and changes its color. Whereby the color of the refined sugar are often processed into golden yellow or dark brown color.
The sugarcane juice Jagger is mostly made after several hours of boiling the sugar allow to set and then molded; thus unlike the making of sugar it is not pass through the stage of separation whereby the molasses and sugar crystals are separated for use accordingly.
Sugarcane stalks or juice
Extraction machine or tool or blender
Mesh, sieve or cheese cloth
Molding tools or utensils
The processing involves three stages irrespective of what ever method or tool used to achieve the unrefined sugar; the first stage is the juice collection through extraction, then next is the purification for clarification and setting through concentration.
The sugarcane must be wash off dirt and dust, peel and cut. After washing and peeling, cut the juice stalk into cubes or stripes to fit into a blender or sugarcane extraction machine. Then collect all juice extracted into a bowl and cover, allow to rest in order to settle all residues down to the base of the bowl.
The clarification stage begins before boiling the sugarcane juice; next carefully strain juice to avoid mixing up with the residue at the base of the bowl, to further achieve a clear juice, then with a cheese bag or mesh sieve the juice again to remove the tiny sugarcane fibers. Transfer or turn the now clear sugarcane juice into a heavy bottom saucepan, and place on low heat. Slowly bring to boil; the sugarcane juice unrefined sugar clarification continues as soon as it starts to boil, skim off the floating impurities collecting on the surface of the simmer juice until nothing forms on too.
Simmer and stir until the sugarcane juice is reduced and begins to set by becoming syrupy and jelly like while its color changes to yellow or dark brown which all depends on how long it is boiled.
Quickly remove from heat when the color and consistency of the sugarcane juice syrup is achieved which all depends on choice and the recipes it is needed for as an alternative to other sweeteners.
Scoop into molds of any size or shape according to choice.
Transfer to a clean place and leave it undisturbed to cool in order to achieve the crumbly unrefined sugar popularly called Jaggery or Gur in India.
Alewar Rake Or Sugarcane Candy
Alewa is a northern Nigeria locally made sweets or candies, Hausa most sweetest multicolored locally made candies and very cheap, love by kids for its beautiful colors which temporarily colors the teeth and tongue due to the food colors used for mixing the cane juice that is prepared with sugar or the cane juice. A swirling sticks of sweet that is crispy, chewy and melt in the mouth, Alewa is simply sweet sugar sticks usually white in color, but can be colored pink or made in all the colors of the rainbow with a unique color blend of brown with a tint of burnt taste that is flavored with coffee, chili pepper and spices.
The sugarcane candy popularly referred to as Alewa is often used in religious practices as offerings or charity known as “sadaka” in Hausa, many individuals practice the act of charity on Friday’s, on any special day or events to gather Kids and share Alewa to them as gift treats for the acceptance of prayers and as an act of good deeds for spiritual blessing. The practice is popular among little kids all over northern Nigeria and whenever an Alewa hawker is sighted on Friday’s these little ones would gather chanting “Mai Alewa Ya Dawo” meaning the candy seller is back; running excitedly towards the Mai Alewa forming an amazing crowd immediately, anxiously awaiting the charity giver who often buys to share out to them all the sweet Alewa treats that they all look forward to every week.
Fresh Sugarcane Juice
Fermented corn water or fermented sugarcane juice
Food colors of choice
The process begins with getting ready the fermented sugarcane juice or the water from fermented cereals known as “Ruwan Tsari” in Hausa if available but alternatively soaking the corn flour in water for three (3) days before making the alewa or candy; on the final day when it is settle, strain the cloudy fermented water after the three (3) days of fermentation.
Pour the sugarcane juice into a pot but if using sugar then place into a clean pot, add water then let it melt, bring to boil on low heat; when it starts to boil, add in the fermented corn water solution, boil until the sugar syrup is thicken and sets. Test it by dropping a little into water to see if it will form sugar crystals.
Then it is ready to add in the food colors of choice, by mixing the food color with a little water and gently add into the boiling syrup, stir to blend in the color properly.
On a clean tile or cemented floor moistened with water then spread a polythene or non stick mat, pour thinly the cooked syrup to cool slightly for easy handling but it must remain hot to achieve the best alewa or candy. Gently with a sharp knife bring to the middle the edges of the spread out syrup until all is collected into a ball while it is still hot if not done quickly it will harden.
Once a ball of the syrup is form, quickly and very fast hang it onto a curve iron or nail placed on a tree trunk or pole.
Stretching the ball of syrup must be done very quickly before it cools, by pulling, twisting it in circular rotation using a fast motion. Continuously twist pull, rotate until fluffy light; do not allow contact with the floor, avoid falling off from the hook and never allow sand particles to mix into the alewa while stretching it that will definitely ruin it as a Hausa saying goes thus, “karshen Alewa kasa” meaning the end of anything sweets is when it is no longer useful or needed which means no one can enjoy the alewa candy with sandy particles.
The process of stretching takes very few minutes to complete with practice, reason to why at least two people are involved in its stretching; the fluffier and longer it becomes the lighter the candy is inflated with air bubbles and more beautiful its colors changes.
When the desired length and size is reached, remove from the hanging position, spread out on a mat to air cool until crispy dried.
With a sharp knife cut into sizes in inches of choice. Place in an airtight jar to stay crispy or wrap up in cellophane packages to store.
Cotton Candy Nest
Cotton candy is a fluffy ball of cotton candy made with thin sugarcane syrup that instantly melts in the mouth, light and airy sugar confection that is made into endless and beautiful colors with flavors of choice but the most popular are the pink and blue colors. It is use in desserts recipes, sweets and ice-creams. Handspun cotton candy without a machine is tasking and tedious which involves heating and liquefying sugar if added, then spinning the cooked syrup into thin strands or filaments; if available for neat and fast result use the cotton candy machine. The candy floss is relished by kids in northern Nigeria which they nick-named “Baba Oyoyo” meaning “father you are welcome back home”, just to receive the fluffy and colorful sweet treats.
Sugarcane or corn syrup
Sugar or glucose
Water, candy thermometer, paper and parchment paper
Food colorings pink or blue or both
Flavor of choice and salt to taste
Cooking oil spray
On low heat heat place a deep saucepan, pour in the sugarcane or corn syrup, add sugar or glucose, water and mix in salt.
Boil until it easily forms thin strings on water; Check the boiling mixture for its temperature which must reach 320 degrees.
Then remove from heat and scoop into a heat-safe bowl to stop the cooking process in order to avoid burning the mixture.
Stir in the flavors and colors then mix to blend. To form candy nests deep a whisk into the hot mixture, quickly and continuously drizzle the thinning sugar syrup strands back and forth to make circular motions on elongated clean object placed over a non stick or parchment paper to get a thin filaments, until a nest of candy strands is form.
Repeat the process make sure it is wave in rapid motions moving wide and circular to distribute evenly the sugar filaments.
Then quickly spin it around wooden, or popsicle stick or grab in clumps.
When the syrup starts to thicken and sets, microwave or heat again to get the right consistency.
Continue until all is completed and quickly wrap it up.
Homemade Sugarcane Syrup
Sugarcane syrup is a food sweetener that is arrived at after boiling the sugarcane juice, processed into a syrupy form, used in candy making in order to prevent the crystallization; sugarcane syrup enhance flavors and sweetness, great for baked goodies to retain moistures, a healthy alternative to artificially enhanced syrups.
On low heat place a deep sauce pan and pour into it the sugarcane juice, stirring continuously.
Simmer until the boiling sugarcane juice reduces, and thickens to syrupy consistency, check on the color.
As soon as the mixture becomes transparent gel like and clear, yellow or golden brown remove from heat; thickening further when it cools off. Sterilize jars or container to scoop the sugarcane syrup into for use in recipes of choice.
Store in airtight bottles or jars and place in cool dark place and can last for a year.
Sugar Cane Juice
An easy way to enjoy sugarcane juice without hurting the teeth and gum by chomping endlessly on the stalks is to simply sip. It is so instantly refreshing, a sweet deliciousness, superbly healthy with loads upon loads of immunity boosting properties and high in antioxidants; helping to protect, prevent common cold and infections. Sugarcane is superb in protein, minerals, calcium and electrolyte making it the perfect hydrating drink when it is squeezed, juiced and served during the sweaty summer seasons and a must drink during the windy days of winter.
Sugarcane is naturally sweet and its stalk is peeled, cubed and ground into a milky green juice depending on the sugarcane species; the juice is extracted, sieved or strained to remove residue and used as the starter of any choice fruit juice drinks.
Fresh Sugarcane Stalks
Water, lemon juice and ice cubes.
The simple or plain sugarcane juice is prepared by first picking the fresh sugarcane stalks as much as the quantity of juice needed.
Wash the stalks thoroughly, with a sharp knife peel the hard outer layer which is the bark by pulling it away towards the opposite direction to exposed the succulent and juicy fiber within.
Next cut into cubes or circle, place into a blender, add water and blend until all juice is extracted from the juicy stalks.
Strain the juice with a mesh, or cheese bag then squeeze to extract all remaining juice from the fiber.
Serve chill, if too sweet dilute with more water.
Zesty Lemony Sugarcane Juice
The naturally sweet sugarcane juice can be mix with any citrus fruits juice of choice; for the tangy taste and zesty flavor any lemon or lime juice gives to sweet-sour taste to savor, for more healthy digestion after a meal.
Sugarcane juice freshly squeezed
Lemon juice freshly squeezed
Ginger and clove powder for spicy feel
Honey(optional) for added sweetness
Ice cubes and lemon zest or rings to garnish
Mix into the sugarcane juice, squeezed lemon juice, sweeten with honey and stir to blend.
Pour into tall glasses, add lemon zest, and sliced lemon rings, stir to mix.
Serve with ice cubes.
Store in the refrigerator.
Creamy Sugarcane Milkshake
The sugarcane juice can be added to smoothies with any favorite fruits as an alternative to the other sweeteners, a delightful drink as a milk shake that increases the protein loads of the cane juice.
Sugarcane juice freshly squeezed
Unsweetened evaporated milk or fresh milk
Whole full cream or powdered milk
Ginger and clove powder
Honey(optional) for added sweetness
Strain and pour the sugarcane juice into a blender, add in the evaporated milk or fresh milk, sprinkle to taste the ginger-clove powder and blend on fast.
Then add in some whole cream milk or dissolved powdered milk, honey for added sweetness.
Then blend for the second time until smooth, and creamy frothy.
Serve in glasses and drop in ice cubes.
Store in the refrigerator, but always blend again before serving when desire.
Sugarcane Mixed Fruits Juice
The sugarcane juice is perfect with a variety of mixed fruits juices especially any citrus fruits as a sweet and assorted components of nutrients richness; the combination of fruits juices is endless depending on choice. Great in smoothies and shakes.
Sugarcane juice freshly squeezed
Pineapple, Orange or tangerine
Wash all fruits, peel, slice and juice it, then sieve out the seeds and pulp with a mesh into separate jugs.
Combine all in a jug, first pour in the sugarcane juice, add the pineapple and orange juice.
Serve in glasses, with iced cubes. A refreshingly superb nutrient loaded juice to enjoy anytime of the day.
Health Benefits Of Sugarcane
The sugarcane contains high amounts of iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium and sodium but less protein, fiber, fat and cholesterol loads; minimal consumption of sugarcane juice in daily diets can be healthily beneficial due to its rich vital nutrients that aids in building a strong immune system.
The antioxidant in sugarcane juice has healthy benefits for kidney disease patients helping to fight infections, and improve on the smooth functions of the digestive system while boosting the immune system. It maintains a healthy functioning of the kidneys by boosting protein levels in people suffering from kidney disease. The sugarcane juice and coconut water remedy; to obtain the coconut water crack open the coconut and drain out the precious nectar encased in its middle into a clean jug, add to the sugarcane and lemon juice, Mix well to blend. The juice remedy significantly works like magic for health issues associated with kidney stones as a natural diuretic, protect against irritating and burning sensation in Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Urinary Tract Infections.
The sugarcane juice helps to protect and prevent cancer related problems with its rich alkaline loads from its potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese and iron which makes it difficult for cancer cells to thrive and survive if incorporated in regular diet and then consumed moderately with other nutrient dense foods. Sugarcane juice protect against liver damage and help speed up the recovery in jaundice health problems. Sugarcane juice (glucose) easily and quickly replenish low sugar levels to boost energy due to dehydration, exercise or heat exhaustion caused by excessive sweating, replenishes and refreshes immediately. The sugarcane juice is good for diabetic people if consumed in moderation as an alternative to artificial sweeteners in processed and carbonated juice drinks, due to its natural sugar as an organic plant crop with low glycemic index that assist in preventing the sudden upsurge in blood glucose levels in patients living with diabetes.
Sugarcane juice keeps the skin stay hydrated thereby making the skin supple and glowing; as a beauty cosmetic therapy, if used as topical application helps to reduce wrinkles and sign of premature ageing due to its vital Hydroxyl and Glycolic acid; containing also flavonoids, phenolic compounds and antioxidant that all help to fight skin blemishes and diseases, thus a beauty remedy from inward to outward for excellently beautiful, great and glowing skin.
The health benefits of sugarcane juice are many including increased fertility and safer conception in pregnant women, helps to combat bad breath and keep tooth decay at bay with its powerful minerals. Also the juice of sugarcane beneficial protein is a fast remedy and speedy recovery from the high temperature in fever treatment. It helps to reduce unhealthy cholesterol to reduce weight in obese people if included in daily diet that is combined with varieties of healthy nutrients.
Adverse Effects Of Sugarcane
As a natural sweetener if consumed in moderation its side effects are low but when consumed excessively it may cause stomach upsets, weight loss, blood thinning that can consequently affect the cholesterol level in the blood; headaches, dizziness and insomnia are other side effects associated with excessive consumption of sugarcane.
Sustainability Of Sugarcane
The sugarcane is considered as the worlds thirstiest crops; reason to why it is also a thirst quenching juicy plant snacks, thereby it is a water intensive crop that grabs tight onto the soil depth with its roots for as long as a year. The planting of sugarcane has a devastating impacts on biodiversity, consequently its significant impacts on environmentally sensitive regions such as northern Nigeria where it is popularly and generally cultivated; sugarcane farming has caused deforestation that is daily threatening the region ecosystems most especially in northern Nigeria. Sugarcane is a giant plant producing a large quantity of biomass that demands and takes up higher amounts of nutrients than the freshly sprouting sugarcane shoots, an important crop for the production of sugar for which a wide range of other products are made; the processing of sugarcane extraction includes by products such as molasses which is used in the pharmaceutical industries and Bio ethanol. The sugarcane production mostly covers massive land areas in order to meet demands for sugar production, consequently most often than not pollutes the freshwater affecting water for human consumption and damaging coral ecosystems when toxic chemicals and waste contaminants from mills finds its way from farmlands into the seas, oceans, rivers and streams.
The sugarcane stalks are used to produce Bioethanol, it constitutes several by products ranging from the sugarcane juice, beer broth, bioethanol, Vinasse and the bagasse. The processing starts by crushing or mashing the sugarcane stalks to extract the sweet juice, after which the collected sugar cane juice goes through the fermentation stage which begins by transferring the sugarcane juice into a machine tank which is specially made for fermentation. The stage allows for the yeast fermentation reaction to take place in order to produce the broth which is generally called beer, it is further processed by passing it through the distillation stage in order to recover and retrieve the ethanol; then it is purified through dehydration or evaporation to separate water from ethanol to generate a much more refined ethanol that is used as bio fuel or bio ethanol. While the liquid left out is known as Vinasse which is another form of biofuel, is also generated at the base of the distillation column. Meanwhile, sugarcane fibrous mass or residue of the stalk is known as Bagasse, which is obtain after extracting the sugarcane juice, hence it can be used for making paper, sound insulating boards or ceiling. It can be recycled into animal feeds, plates, utensils, bowls, cups as an alternative to replace plastic and paper products, can also be used to generate heat or electricity for machine plant use, many households use the sugarcane dried residue to generate heat in the traditional tripod fireplaces across regions all over Nigeria.
Bioethanol from sugarcane juice has potential to reduce nonrenewable energy and global warming impact; as a renewable energy alternative to curtail and tackle the adverse effects responsible for climate change, with regards to the fact that bioethanol is not among major contributors responsible for increased in carbons dioxide(CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion, industries and transport of the various greenhouse gas emissions with severe threat to human life, ecosystem and the planet. Bioethanol is an important renewable bioenergy source that if used may assist to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) and also reduce the use and dependence on fossil fuel, thus a much more environmentally friendly fuel than gasoline. As the prices of petroleum soars so is increase demand and growing market for ethanol from sugarcane; thus a source of biofuels and bio plastics. The use of sugar as a needed ingredients in today’s fast diets are all among many reasons the sugarcane industry is booming with a large share in global market; hence the sugarcane growers must not only focus on productivity and profitability but also on sustainability that greatly reduce impacts to the surrounding environment.
The sustainable sugarcane production involves majorly the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of Goal 2 “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.”, Goal 6 “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”, Goal 8 “promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, and Goal 9 “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster Innovation.” to achieve the SDG goals Sugarcane cultivation needs to change in order to increase yields and sustainably meet its growing demands. The best sugarcane production sustainability practices are as follows;
It is necessary to adopt innovative ways to save water by raising seedlings in nurseries to be transplanted after a month directly into the sugarcane fields which will conserve a great percentage of the water used for sugarcane cultivation. The sugarcane seedlings method of cultivation will create a lot of jobs for many rural dwellers including unemployed graduate whose wealth of knowledge will come in handy in the sugarcane seedling processes. The procedure would help save water and increase productivity, the spacing of sugarcane cultivation allows for intercropping nourishing plant and root vegetables which would not only provide the vital nutrients but also generate more income revenue. Sugarcane farm firing must be avoided, it is advisable to avoid cane firing whereby sugarcane is burned prior to harvest which affects all animal living there as home; opting for cut green to allow leafy matter to mulch and form compost on the farms to become organic matter in the soil which will greatly reduce chemical use in the best interest of sugarcane growers and green environment.
Sugarcane is a sweet snack for sweet tooth cravings that causes a momentary loss of memory during moments of chewing on its juicy and succulent fibrous stalks; even though sugarcane richness in essential nutrients is priceless, nevertheless do not be carried away with the sweetness of the sugarcane nectar because it is still sugar as a liquid sucrose, so enjoy its sweetness sparingly not forgetting the pricelessness of healthy eating!