There is nothing like the aroma of cooking vegetables, fish, chicken or meats in homemade ghee. Ghee, also known as clarified butter gives any food that you add ghee to an invigorating aroma that has a wonderful feel good effect on our senses. Ghee can be used to cook eggs, vegetables, meat, fish, or even just to add in a warm dish as a flavor enhancer. Sometimes I even toast bread on the pan with some ghee and it tastes amazing.
Health Benefits of Ghee:
Ghee has been used for thousands of years in India for it’s healthy virtues. Some of the many natural ways ghee can be used range from curing sores, to aid in preventing allergies, and to help decrease inflammation, just to name a few.
Ghee. A positive food
Within Ayurveda, the ancient healing art of India using the mind/body connection, ghee is called a “positive food” – having sattva – meaning ghee is considered to be a food that has the characteristics of a serene, harmonious, balanced mind and attitude; which in turn creates a positive feel-good or happy feeling when used in foods.
I can tell you from my own experience that when I smell ghee I definitely get happy. Just the other day when Rani was spreading some ghee on her idlis (steamed semolina dumplings) she made the comment “I love ghee, it smells so good.”
More recent research on our emotions is revealing that negative emotions actually have a chemical nature, and these chemicals are attracted to fat, which are typically stored in the body around the belly (not where you want it piling up). Very similar to how increased stress can lead to the stress hormone cortisol pilling on as belly fat. Ghee can be used in moderation as a source of good fats to negate the effects of the bad fats in the body.
In the book Herbal Transformations. Ancient Wisdom Revealed for Health & Longevity by Uma Swaminathan “According to Ayurveda, foods cooked in ghee have pure energy, allowing the body to assimilate all its nutrients from it, and helps make the digestion of food easier.”
Cooking with ghee
Research has shown many benefits to cooking with ghee. Ghee possesses butyric acid, which is one of the most beneficial short-chain fatty acids that the body needs. Butyric acid has been shown in recent research to actually decrease inflammation in parts of the body, particularly in the gastrointestinal tract, and is now a recommended dietary addition for some people with ulcerative colitis.
Ghee also has a combination of vitamins and chemicals that can help in the prevention of cancer, and it has high levels of Vitamin A, which is excellent for eye health.
Interestingly, for those who are lactose intolerant ghee is a type of dairy they can actually have, that’s because the process of making ghee removes the milk solids.
If you are worried about how cooking with ghee can lead to cooking with too much fatty oils, do what I do – after my dishes are done cooking, I sometimes add a teaspoon of ghee to the finished dish. Ghee melts into the food giving it a wonderful flavor and feel good aroma.
How to Make Homemade Ghee:
To make homemade ghee all you do is melt butter on the stove or in the microwave. Either process works.
- 4 sticks of unsalted butter. Makes 2 cups of ghee.
- A microwave safe bowl.
Directions: Be careful with the microwave bowl, as it will get very hot.
- Place 4 sticks of unsalted butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and if you have a microwave-safe lid, close the bowl. Place in microwave and melt butter on high for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes take out of microwave and stir. The butter will be melted and golden yellow in color. Cover and place bowl back in microwave for additional 5 minutes.
- Take out of microwave and stir again. Place back in microwave for 5 more minutes. For a total of 15 minutes until the butter is transformed into a golden brown liquid.
- By now the butter will have turned a light clear brown in color with some residue at the bottom of the pot. The clear brown liquid is ghee. The residue is the milk solids that have been released. At this point the ghee will have distinct feel good aroma as well.
- Using a ladle to transfer ghee to a bottle or container. You can also strain the ghee over a cheesecloth and then store the ghee. Wait till ghee is cool before closing the container.
- When ghee is cool it will turn into butter like consistency, but when ghee is warmed it will turn back into a golden brown liquid. Ghee can be left outside in a cool dry place for many months.
- Try using ghee in your cooking and see how it can add a feel good aromatic flavor to any dish.
Like anything good for you, too much of a good thing is not good for you – so use ghee in moderation to reap its healthful benefits.
To read more about the health benefits of ghee check out these articles 15 Amazing Benefits of Ghee 7 Impressive Health Benefits of Ghee from organicfacts.com 11 Healthy Reasons to Use Ghee Huffington Post 10 Reasons to Use Ghee Every Day