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Archive for June, 2013

Ghee is a super food!  Good fats are integral to our health—almost 30% of total calories in our diet must come from fat. Ghee contains vital, essential fatty acids, the Omega 3s.  In a zero- size aspiring culture, fat has become synonymous with”bad for us”.  Ghee, when it is a by product of organic milk (milk from grass fed cows, raised without hormones or antibiotics), is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids.

Traditionally made ghee lubricates joints and tissues, cleanses intestines and arteries.  It improves hormonal function and digestion.  It boosts the immunity and the Omega 3 fatty acids in it have a calming influence on an over active immune system.  Ghee also contributes to creating a better ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol, and helps control triglycerides.

Ghee which is made traditionally (recipe follows), with organic butter, is often included in the diet of dairy allergic people.  As always, introduce with caution. For an absolutely ‘yum’ taste, use a small dollop of ghee to enhance flavors when making dairy free dishes which have to be cooked in water/rice milk/soy milk.  Try it with rice and tapioca puddings, Indian sweets such as carrot and other halvas, and even use it as a much healthier alternative to margarine in baked goods.  It is healthier than butter and tastes great in Western / American style cooking.

Ghee,like other fats helps to lower the glycemic index of sugar  In other words, it helps to metabolize sugar slowly and prevents a ‘sugar high’ in the system.  (An oatmeal cookie actually has a lower glycemic index than a bowlful of breakfast oatmeal)  Add a level teaspoon of ghee to oatmeal when cooking it with water, sprinkle a little cinnamon powder and serve—just delicious!

Ghee made the traditional way, at home, is most beneficial to health.  Grandma added yogurt culture to milk fat, churned it into butter, then boiled the butter to make ghee.  She also added a big helping of loving care along the way.  The only shortcut to home made butter is store available organic, unsalted white butter.  There is a big difference between homemade ghee, and the so called ‘pure ghee’ available on store shelves.  Most of the time, commercially made ghee consists of hydrogenated vegetable oil and heated milk fat without the use of active cultures.

Making ghee is actually quite easy.  Here is a simple recipe–

 

Ghee

Home made ghee served in traditional silver tableware

 

Melt 2 cups home made or store bought unsalted, white organic butter in a saucepan.  Once melted, allow butter to simmer gently.  After 5 minutes or so, foam will rise to the surface.  Do not remove or stir the foam.  Let butter cook till foam thickens and settles at the base of the pan.  There will be a continuous crackling sound as the butter boils. Once the foam caramelizes and turns into a brown sediment, butter has turned into ghee.

You will find that the liquid is a golden color and is now boiling silently, with  just a trace of air bubbles on the surface.  Remove from heat.  When a little cool, pour the liquid, using a strainer, into a clean, dry container.  The strainer ensures that no trace of sediment enters the final product.

Although ghee lovers like to add sugar or jaggery to the caramelized sediment and eat it like a rich snack, it is not meant for the dairy allergic.

Once you taste home made ghee, you will never be able to settle for any thing else! 

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