What is Ghee?
Ghee is a clarified type of butter commonly used in indian, arabian and iranian cuisines. It was originated in ancient India where it it has been used for ceremonial purposes. References made to ghee can be found in Ayurveda, yoga and vedic scriptures. It has been used throughout history for maintaining and promoting healing.
Unlike other commonly churned butters Ghee is much more stable and can be kept for up to 3 months unrefrigerated in a cool dark cupboard without going bad. Ghee is also good for cooking as it has a high smoking point at about 485° F (252°C) temperature. It has a sweet and nutty taste which can enhance the flavour of many cuisines needing a cooking oil. It solidifies in cooler temperatures and melts in warmer temperatures.
Ghee Health Benefits
High in essential fatty acids
Ghee is rich in short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids (both unsaturated and saturated) and butyrate. Ghee contains both Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids. Ghee contains a higher amount of medium and short-chain fatty acids than other butters.
Ideal for lactose intolerance
Unlike butter people who are lactose intolerant or casein-sensitive may not react to ghee as the clarifying process of ghee removes lactose and casein
High smoking point
Ghee can handle higher temperatures and will not burn easily unlike butter, which makes it healthy for using in cooking that involves higher temperatures
Rich in nutrients
Ghee contains many essential nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E and K
Ghee can contain hight amounts of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) if it is made from organic butter from pastured cows (grass-fed). Studies have shown that CLA can help with weight loss. CLA also has many other health benefits which includes combatting cancer, asthma, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and even reduce tumours as well as many other health benefits.
Important notes for buying Ghee
You can purchase ghee in many supermarkets but making your own is a lot easier. One of the reason to make your own ghee is to make sure you are using grass-fed butter for maximum amounts of nutrients that Ghee has to offer. Ghee recipe will help you get started.
It is best to avoid vegetable ghee as this most likely to contain trans fat which have been shown to increase risk of coronary heart disease. Vegetable ghee does not have the same health benefits of Ghee produced from cows milk.