Saturday, March 22, 2014

have you heard about ghee?

Recently I was in a discussion about oil pulling (you know the old/new teeth cleaning method) and it was brought up about oils that were used were usually native/local oils. Well I was wondering (in my ever long quest to source things locally) what oils could I use that would be considered local (there aren't any coconut trees in Michigan, lol). That brought me to ghee. I have come across things about ghee while on my searches for information, but I never really gave it more than a secondary thought of maybe some day I'll look into it more. well the time came and I did look into, I made it and I LOVE it!

Benefits of ghee:
  • Fight inflammation, reduces leukotriene secretion, reduce prostaglandin
  • Use if lactose or casein intolerant, those are removed in the process of making ghee
  • Boost anti-oxidants, vitamin e and a, caroteniods
  • Boost micro-nutrient intake, vitamin k, CLA
  • Flavor (more buttery, nutty flavor)
  • Cooking, high smoke point, fry and saute without the burn. (400˚-500˚F)
  • Acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Known for its ability to remove toxins and is used to remove deeply seeded impurities in the organs as a preparation for the Ayurveda seasonal detox program, Panchakarma. (Dr oz)
  • The Susruta Samhita, an Ayurvedic classic, claims ghee is beneficial for the whole body, and recommends it as the ultimate remedy for problems stemming from the pitta dosha, such as inflammation. (yoga journal)
  •  Wonderful body oil for massage and can serve as a base for herbal ointments (for burns, skin rashes, etc.)
  • Nourishes ojas, tejas and prana
  • Lubricates the connective tissue. Ghee makes the body flexible and, in small doses, is tridoshic (the 3 doshas equally present in your constitution).
  • In Ayurvedic literature ghee is acclaimed for supporting self-awareness and intelligence and promoting a clear complexion and voice.  
  • Rich in high quality fats, saturated, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, butanic acid, linoleic acid
  • Good source of vitamins, A E and K
  • Aides in digestion, stimulates secretions of stomach acids
  • It is believed that it helps cure ulcers, prevents constipation, and promotes eye and skin health
  • It enhances the function of brain cells and promotes learning. It helps increase memory retention.
So you have read the wonderfulness of ghee and now you are wondering how to get this amazing stuff. Here are the couple ways I have made ghee. One is on the stove top the other is in the oven.
So here are my methods:

I put a pound of raw butter into a thick bottom pot on medium heat or in an oven safe dish, the oven is set to 200, let it melt.

One pound of butter in oven safe dish, ready to be melted.

it's melting, melting......

foamy casein on top of the melted butter.

Once melted let stand for 20 minutes. Skim the foamy crust of casein off the top, do not pour it off or strain through cheese cloth! . the reason you don't want to pour off the liquid is that there is whey still in the bottom. The casein can be used in vegetable dishes or to flavor and enrich bread when you have spooned off as much of the golden ghee as you can, put the remaining amount in a custard dish and place the dish in the refrigerator. 

you can see the whey sitting on the bottom and the golden ghee on the top.
once the ghee has solidified take it out of the custard dish, the remaining liquid is whey. you can discard the whey or use it in bread or pancake batter. rinse the solid ghee off with cold water and add to the rest.

Golden ghee in it's container.

Ghee should be stored in the refrigerator or it can be frozen for 6-8 months.
There are a couple of things I'd like to say on this. First thing is that this is also known as clarified butter or butter oil (hhhmmm....lobster.). Ghee and clarified butter are made the same way, except for the fact that ghee is cooked a little long to allow the casein to brown (NOT burn). The browning gives the ghee it's nutty roasty flavor. In North African countries, when naturally ripened sour cream (raw) is used it is called smen and i have read, is stronger in flavor than ghee.