There are certain items that I always keep as a staple in my cupboard, organic ghee is on that list. I love it and I would shout that from the rooftops if it wouldn’t result in a psyche evaluation. Really, it’s great stuff and I’ll tell you why.
First, let’s be clear on what ghee is. It all starts with unsalted butter which is then cooked at a low temperature to remove the milk solid proteins, impurities, and any moisture. This is most commonly known as clarified butter. Ghee goes just past this point, you’ll notice it has a deep golden yellow color, and almost nutty flavor. The heating process makes it a great alternative for lactose intolerant people (Hurray!) and conveniently, also shelf stable for up to a year.
I’ve done my fair share of skulking around online and it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t mention that ghee has heavy roots in India where they practice Ayurveda, a Hindu system of holistic medicine. Practitioners use it both internally and externally. For more on that, see www.amritaveda.com/learning/articles/ghee.asp.
Ghee is a healthy natural fat, and I’m all about that (hey, I rhymed)! You’re probably thinking, “ok, but if this is made from butter, how could it be ‘healthy’?” My particular ghee is organic and comes from pasture raised, grass fed cows; because of this, high levels of natural Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) exist. CLA is a potent anti-oxidant and immune system booster. Research also shows that CLA aids in metabolism, elimination, lowering cholesterol, and building lean muscle. This cannot be said for grain fed cows, their CLA production is four times lower…womp, womp. Grass fed cows also have a much higher vitamin content thanks to their diet, specifically A and K2 which are passed on to you. Neat, right?! Fat is essential to our diets and I am not afraid. To keep this positive party bus going all the way to pasture, my ghee contains omega 3, 6, and 9 essential fatty acids, that’s something we can all appreciate. Three cheers for the fight against heart disease!
The mixed fat content of ghee is made up of 89% short chain fatty acids, read – they are easily digestible. A short chain fatty acid (SCFA) is also known as butyric acid, which is superb for your colon health among other things. Butyric acid is what feeds colonocyte cells, these are what maintain the integrity of our intestinal lining. In short, ghee is helpful in preventing/reversing colon inflammation if you have Crohn’s disease or an inflammatory bowel disease (in moderation of course).
Back in the kitchen, I love to cook with Ghee and my guess is you will too. The flavor is rich, and just a dab goes a long way. You can use it in place of butter or oil, the options are endless. One last point to make is that it has a very high smoking point (375 degrees F) so it won’t burn if you choose to deep fry.
It appears this was my first rave on Smashed Garlic – I knew it was bound to happen! The moral of my story is that I hope the next time you see a jar of Ghee in your local Wal-Mart (where I buy mine, believe it or not!) or specialty food shop, you consider giving it a try.
Thanks for reading 🙂