what is ghee?
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is used in Ayurvedic tradition and is widely used in Southeast Asia and the Middle East for cooking and in holistic remedies. Ghee is abundant in nutritional and healing properties. Within Ayurveda, ghee is considered to promote positivity, growth, and expansion of consciousness. In Ayurveda, cows are considered holy because they attract spiritual energies from the environment. Spiritually, “the milk from cows therefore contains the essence of all those energies and ghee is the essence of milk.”
Essentially, ghee is the butterfat melted down after the water and milk solids are taken out of the butter. There is a slight difference between ghee and clarified butter. Clarified butter begins with unsalted butter that has been melted down in three layers. The top layer is water that evaporates as the butter slowly cooks. The bottom layer is where the milk solids form, which are removed. And the middle layer is the pure butterfat, which is the clarified butter. Ghee, on the other hand is melted down a little longer until the milk solids are slightly browned, adding a pleasant nutty taste. Ghee preparations do involve removing a layer.
· Ghee is great for cooking. It has a high smoke point of 250°C/482 °F, therefore it won’t become rancid and break down into free radicals when heated.
· Ghee does not have a limited shelf life and it does not need refrigeration. In fact, the older it gets, the more medicinal properties it will hold.
· Those with dairy intolerance can eat ghee because the milk solids—lactose and casein, are removed when the butter gets rendered down.
· Ghee is rich in antioxidants A, E, and carotenoids plus vitamins E and K. These antioxidants strengthen immunity and support cell rejuvenation for healthy skin.
· Ghee is an excellent source for energy and weight management. Ghee is made up of medium chain fatty acids (like coconut), which the liver quickly absorbs and burns it as energy.
· Ghee strengthens digestion by not only supporting the intestinal lining but also by producing digestive enzymes, which help break down food properly to help reduce indigestion.
· Ghee reduces joint and gastrointestinal inflammation. Ghee contains butyric acid, an essential short-chain fatty acid that our bodies need but unfortunately, most people don’t produce.
· Ghee enhances the medicinal properties of herbs and spices. In fact, frying herbs and spices before adding them to your dishes helps them to become absorbed and transported to their targeted cells and organs.
how to make ghee
· Melt 1 pound unsalted butter in a saucepan.
· Continue to heat over low flame until it boils gently and a foam rises to the surface. Do not remove foam.
· Continue cooking gently until the foam thickens and then settles to the bottom of the pot. When the remaining liquid turns a golden brown color and starts to boil silently with only a trace of small bubbles on the surface, the ghee is ready.
· When it starts to cool and before it starts to harden, pour the liquid ghee into a glass jar.
References: Absolute Beauty, Radiant Skin and Inner Harmony Through the Ancient Secrets of Ayurveda, Pratima Raichur http://care2.com/greenliving/15-amazing-benefits-of-ghee.html http://whatisghee.com