First of all, what the heck is it?
Ghee, is clarified butter that has been heated longer through an ancient process. Ghee is a premium cooking oil celebrated for its taste, nutritional benefits, and medicinal qualities. In India, ghee has always been a sacred and celebrated symbol of auspiciousness, nourishment and healing; especially in the daily rituals of cooking and worship. Ayurveda, the ancient medical science of India, recognizes ghee as an essential part of a balanced diet, and considers it to be the best fat one can eat. Ghee is the very essence of butter; the end result of a long, slow, careful clarification process that removes all the moisture, milk solids and impurities. The absence of milk solids and water in ghee make it completely shelf stable.
Now, why on earth would I use it?
- Ghee has one of the highest flash points (485ºF) which make this oil the best choice for high temperature cooking. You can cook and fry with ghee and it will not break down into free radicals like many other oils.
- Ghee is essentially casein and lactose free: The clarification process that ghee undergoes leaves healthy fats behind while removing harmful ones. Trace amounts of casein and lactose can possibly remain in ghee, but someone with problems consuming dairy will most likely be able to consume and digest ghee without discomfort.
- Ghee is comprised of full spectrum short, medium and long chain fatty acids, both unsaturated and saturated. Ghee’s short chain of fatty acids are also metabolized very readily by the body. These medium chain fatty acids have been linked to weight loss.
- Ghee contains Omega 3 and Omega 9 essential fatty acids along with vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee made from organic butter of pastured cows is one of the highest natural sources of CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). 9 phenolic anti-oxidants, as well as numerous other minerals are present in ghee.
- Ghee is known as a substance that gives longevity, its elemental qualities balance the aging characteristics by enriching the living body.
- Ghee has been used for centuries as a digestive and elimination aid, for energy, sexual vitality, skin and eye health, as a lubricant for the joints and for alkalizing the blood.
- The purity of ghee allows it to be deep penetrating and nourishing as it passes through the lipid membranes of cells. For this reason, the vitamins and minerals from food cooked in ghee will be drawn deep into the body where they impart the most benefit. The assimilation of the nutrients increases when suspended in a ghee matrix. When you add spices to ghee to cook with the flavor is carried deep into the food. Many herbal preparations use ghee as the carrier oil because of these characteristics
- It is good for treatment of burns. According to Ayurveda ghee promotes learning and increased memory retention.
- Lab studies have shown ghee to reduce cholesterol both in the serum and intestine. It does it by triggering an increased secretion of biliary lipids.
- Ghee is also good for nerves and brain. It helps control eye pressure and is beneficial to glaucoma patients.
- Ghee is most notably 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.
- Ghee is rich with antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods, serving to strengthen the immune system.
- A high concentration of butyric acid, a fatty acid that contains anti-viral properties, is believed to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors.
- Ghee has a pure, rich flavor: A small amount of ghee adds lots of rich, sweet, nutty flavor to food. A single tablespoon of ghee is as potent as three tablespoons of oil or butter.
- Ghee stimulates the secretion of gastric acid, thus aiding in the digestive process. Better digestion equals better health and weight loss.
- Ghee does not spoil easily so does not need refrigeration. Ghee has a longer shelf life: Ghee is able to stay well preserved with little to no effort. So long as it is kept in an airtight container, ghee can stay fresh for 2-3 months without refrigeration. However, when kept in a refrigerator, ghee is known to last up to a year. In India, some natives use ghee that is aged over 100-years, as it is thought to have healing properties.