Ghee has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years and is also used in religious ceremonies and as part of the Aruvedic healing arts. Much like the springtime butter of the traditional cultures studied by Dr. Weston Price, ghee is also considered a sacred food.
In American cuisine, it is know as “drawn butter”. However, it is much more than just melted butter. The process of clarification separates the butter into three layers; a foamy watery layer, a fat layer and a layer of milk solids. The fat layer is separated out and you are left with clarified butter or ghee which is pure butter fat.
Ghee has a high smoke point and so is perfect for high heat cooking or baking. It is also lactose, whey and casein free as these solids have been filtered out. For those with lactose intolerance, and/or casein and whey allergies, ghee is the perfect solution.
As with most fats, ghee contains about 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. It is pure fat without any additives. Ghee has traditionally been used to aid in digestion, help with ulcers, the eyes, constipation, learning and memory problems. It is also used topically for softening skin, and healing burns and blisters.
Most importantly, when made of butter from grass fed animals, ghee is full of vitamins A, D and E and the mineral activator K2. These nutrients are critical for the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods. Ghee is also high in butyric acid, a fatty acid crucial for colon health and one that has anti-viral properties as well.
In a previous post about butter I pointed out that traditional cultures put butter on their vegetables because they knew that the vitamins and minerals in vegetables need the activators in fat to be absorbed properly by the human body. I’ll repeat that. Vitamins and minerals need fat in order to be absorbed properly. These mineral activators are present in ghee. So if you are dairy-free, you can still enjoy the benefits of butter without the dairy component.
As a result of the low fat craze of recent years, people are actually in much worse health. In the last three decades in which we have disparaged saturated fats, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are on the rise — in fact, the first three are in epidemic proportions.
Ghee may be purchased, but it is also easy to make from butter. Be sure to use the butter of grass fed cows and your ghee will be bursting with nutrients and mineral activators so important for good health in general and good bone health in particular.
one pound of butter from grass fed animals (get this from your farmer or, commercially, Kelly Gold Pure Irish Butter is great)
Glass loaf pan or similar dish
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
- Put the pound of butter in the loaf pan
- Let the butter melt for about 30 minutes
- When close to being totally melted, turn the heat up to 275 degrees F for 10 minutes
- You want the milk solids at the bottom to turn brown
- When it is all melted and the milk solids are brown, it is finished
- Take out of the oven and strain through the four layers of cheesecloth placed in the funnel, into a glass jar
- If there are still milk solids coming through, strain it again until the milk solids are all gone
- You should have a lovely bright yellow ghee that is full of nutrients
- Refrigerate and it will keep for months and may also be frozen (traditionally ghee was not refrigerated)
If you want the best quality ghee without having to make it yourself, here is where to buy high quality ghee.
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