Have you had ghee before? Heard of ghee before? It's used a lot in Indian and Ayruvedic cooking if not, and is the most incredible tasting thing ever!
Ghee (also known as clarified butter) is pure milk fat. It contains no lactose and no milk proteins, and for that reason it is generally well tolerated by most people, yes even those who show an allergy to other dairy products, and GAPS patients. For the same reason, ghee does not burn in your pan like butter can.
I first began using it in my cooking last year sometime when I was told numerous times (and had heard previously) that it was great for gut issues (as well as skin issues). I had seen the blocks or tubs of ghee at the supermarkets and always felt repulsed by the thought of it... intuition perhaps as most commercial bought ghee contains preservatives and other additives, not to mention what kind of diet the cow was eating. So instead I jumped online to order ghee as nowhere near me seemed to stock it. And Whoah! If you have ever bought organic, grass-fed ghee, you will know that that stuff ain't cheap! We're talking between $15-$20 for a 250g tub. Yep. 3 to 4 times the price of organic butter. But, I wanted to give it a go so I did.
Hello Heaven. A bond was immediately formed. Oh my delicious Lordy. B wondered why I would spend so much money on it if it was so similar to butter. Valid question. Answered by taste. I loooooove the taste of ghee. And just love the taste of butter. But from what I read and was told, ghee would have a better effect on healing my digestion (perhaps as it seems to be tolerable for most people; the milk proteins irritating the guts of some, I'm not sure?)
However, only recently I came across a recipe for making your own - and it was so easy I couldn't believe I had thought of it sooner. For the same price as a block of butter, I have me a tub of ghee. HAPPY :)
Make your own ghee:
1 block of unsalted organic grass fed butter (Organic Times is all we can get up here in Cairns)
+ Preheat your oven at 100 degrees celcuis
+ Unwrap your butter and put it in an overproof dish or bowl, and put in the oven for about an hour
+ Take it out and carefully pour the golden liquid off the top, making sure the white liquid at the bottom of the pan stays there
+ Discard the white liquid
+ Keep your yellow ghee in a glass jar and refrigerate
NOTE: Some butters can melt down and have the white protein liquid at the op; the yellow fat at the bottom. If this happens to you, put your melted mix into the fridge; when it becomes solid you will be able to pour the white liquid off the top and keep your yellow ghee. Wipe any excess off with a paper towel.
Why organic? Because non-organic ghee (and butter) contains a lot of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics, which non-organic cows consume.
What goodies you'll be getting...
+ A full spectrum of short, medium and long chain fatty acids, both unsaturated and saturated; now before you freak out, yes ghee contains a high amount of fat, but fats are essential to life and are needed to assimilate (the fat-soluble) vitamins A, D, E and K. As well as this, we need fat to help nourish the skin, hair and cell membranes, promote a healthy body temperature, help nourish and protect internal organs and the brain, protecting the stomach wall from digestive acids, supporting nerve health, and store energy. The fats in ghee provide these benefits without any of the trans-fats, hydrogenated oils or oxidized cholesterol of butter and other oils.
+ Vitamins A, D, E, K...Those fat-soluble vitamin we spoke of just above. Fat-soluble means they have to be digested with other fat molecules in order for them to make it into our bloodstream. Ghee has lots of dietary fats (mostly saturated fats) that help our bodies absorb and make use of these vitamins.
+ Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids; essential meaning yes you need to consume them, as our bodies cannot make them. They must be obtained through diet.
+ Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) - but only if your ghee is made from organic butter of pastured cows. And if so, this is one of the highest natural sources of the stuff, and great for belly fat reduction (trust me; it's manufactured into weight loss supp's these days)
+ 9 phenolic anti-oxidants (plant antioxidants increasing the resistance towards oxidative damage thus having a significant impact on human health)
+ Beta-carotene; an antioxidant which inhibits the oxidation of other molecules; it protects the body from free radicals. Free radicals damage cells through oxidation. Eventually, the damage caused by free radicals can cause several chronic illnesses.
Other amazing properties of ghee...
+ It gives longevity; its elemental qualities balance the aging characteristics by enriching the living body
+ It is a digestive and elimination aid
+ Used for energy, sexual vitality, skin and eye health, as a lubricant for the joints
+ Alkalizes the blood
+ Great for cooking with; the stable saturated bonds in ghee makes it a lot less likely to form dangerous free radicals when cooking
+ Said to stimulate the secretion of stomach acids to help with digestion, while other fats, such as butter and oils, slow down the digestive process and can sit heavy in the stomach
+ Promote learning and increased memory retention
+ It is used in Indian beauty creams to help soften skin, and as a topical for the treatment of burns and blisters
So now that I've given you plenty of reasons to go and give ghee a go... you've no excuses!
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Boskou Dimitrios, Sources of natural phenolic antioxidants, 2006, Aristotle University of Thessa-loniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Campbell-McBride, Natasha, MD,2010, Gut and Psychology Syndrome
Ancient Organics, What is Ghee, 2013, http://www.ancientorganics.com/about-our-ghee/
Yahoo; Ghee Nutrition: Benefits of the Indian Clarified Butter, http://voices.yahoo.com/ghee-nutrition-benefits-indian-clarified-butter-32947.html
Livestrong; Ghee Nutrition Information, http://www.livestrong.com/article/363779-ghee-nutrition-information/