In general terms, we could say Ghee is clarified butter taken one step beyond.
Ghee is a term used in South Asian and Indian cuisine. It comes from the Sanskrit, and it means “sprinkled”. Ghee is also used in medicine and traditional religious rituals in many parts of South East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
How is it obtained? Quite easy. Basically, the milk fat is rendered from the butter to separate the milk solids and water. It is made by melting the butter and skimming the fat off the top. The result is a yellow liquid when it is hot and a creamy looking solid when it cools down.
It is a simple 3 step process:
1. Heat butter gently. Let it melt. Keep at low heat. Then milk solids will separate from the golden liquid and will drift to the bottom of the pan.
2. Skim all foam off of the surface (as it forms) leaving just the liquid.
Ghee is taken one step further:
3. Once the milk solids have separated, let the butter simmer until all the moisture evaporates and the milk solids brown slightly resulting in a delicious browned, nutty, caramel-like taste and aroma. To collect all the solids, you can use a coffee filter to pass the ghee through or a very fine strainer. Store the resulting ghee in a closed jar.
Easy! But if you don’t feel like making it yourself, you can always buy it at the supermarket.
Ghee has many benefits, the most important are:
1. Lactose Friendly. Since milk solids are removed from ghee, usually lactose intolerant persons have no problems consuming it.
2. Long Life. Ghee doesn’t spoil easily, so it does not have to be refrigerated. It has a longer life than butter.
3. Promotes Flexibility. According to Dr Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institue in Albuquerque, N.M., “ghee helps to lubricate the connective tissue and promotes flexibility.” This is one reason why many yoga practitioners consume it.
4. Rich in Vitamins. It is rich in healthy fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin A, D, E and K which promote bone and brain health and boost the immune system.
5. Healthy Digestive Tract. It converts fibre into butyric acid, which is beneficial to intestinal good bacteria improving Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
6. Lowers Cholesterol. Studies have shown that ghee reduces cholesterol both in the serum and intestine by triggering an increased secretion of biliary lipids.
7. Higher Smoking Point. Since it cooks at a higher point than almost any other oil (375º), it won’t break into free radicals like other ones, which are harmful to our health.
8. Weight Loss. When the Ghee is derived from grass-fed cows, the butter contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA). This is a cancer-fighting fatty acid which aids in weight loss.
9. Healthy Skin. Ghee contributes to having a softer, hydrated, healthy skin. It is also used to cure some skin disorders such as herpes, erysipelas (a bacterial infection in the upper layer of the skin), scaly skin (“fish scale disease”), burns, scars, wounds, burning sensation, unexplained bleeding, dryness, among others.
10. Healthy Hair. Ghee also works wonders with hair. Combine it with olive or coconut oil and apply to hair from scalp to ends.
These are a few reasons why we should incorporate Ghee in our daily diet. Ghee can be used to prepare our favourite dishes, just like butter.
AGAIN: MODERATION IS THE KEY!
Eating ghee in excess could have negative effects on our heart health.
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