Liquid Gold! Ghee! Clarified Butter!
Mention the word Ghee (clarified butter)!!! And you see expressions of “high cholesterol-unhealthy-heart attack-weight gain & etc” and that is simply because we are ignorant of its health benefits. Now the recommended daily allowance of fat per person is in the region of 10 to 15 grams, (now that is all you are allowed in a 24 hour day).
Keep in mind that 10-15g of fat per day is not a lot, and there is some form of fat in almost everything that we eat on a daily basis-the bread, the muffin, the salad dressing, the piece of meat, fish or chicken or the stir fried veggies-all these fats are part of your allowance of 10-15g per day. Ghee seems to be a popular choice for health conscious cooks because it lacks hydrogenated oil and is composed of mainly saturated fats. Consuming large amounts of ghee or any other fat is obviously an unhealthy choice, however because of its rich flavour; a teaspoon of ghee goes a long way in adding flavour to any dish-making it more suitable for those on low fat diets. Yes! Ghee is also safe for those that are lactose intolerant-1 tablespoon of ghee contains approximately 14g of fat-minus all the artificial additives, preservatives and Trans fats and minus all of the milk proteins are removed during the clarifying process. The western world is still performing tests and there has been ongoing research on the medicinal benefits of ghee, but for centuries now ghee has been used in Indian medicinal practice and beauty treatments.
- In addition to ghee’s nutritional value, it is rich with antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins A, D, E, and K and minerals from other foods, feeding all layers of body tissue and 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 tumours
- Ghee is said to stimulate the secretion of stomach acids that assist with digestion, whereas other fats such as butter and oils –slow down the digestive process.
- An ancient Indian folk remedy claims that ghee is said to promote learning and increased memory retention.
- Ancient yoga teachers advised that a little ghee in ones diet, will aid in loosening the hamstrings and Ayurvedic physicians recommended ghee for a host of ailments
- For those with cholesterol problems ghee is a better option than butter because ghee is lower in fat
- If you follow a well balanced diet, exercise regularly, ghee helps in stimulating the digestive system, thus it also aids in weight loss
- Like most cooking oils, ghee does not break down in high heat cooking-it has a high burning point, and therefore it will not smoke or burn when cooking
- To help soften the skin, ghee is added to a number of Indian beauty products, and it is also used as a topical treatment for burns and blisters
- The list of benefits seems to be never ending, however it is most important to exercise portion control when using or consuming GHEE, everything in MODERATION
750g salted or unsalted butter
- Place the butter in a large, deep heavy bottomed pot and cook on medium heat
- Once the butter has melted and come up to a simmering point, lower the heat and continue cooking (this process is called “rendered”)
- Stir the mixture at regular intervals and you will notice a ‘foamy watery layer’ forming on the surface
- The foam needs to skimmed of and poured into a bowl (foam can be used to prush pastries, scones and etc)
- Allow the butter to cook till there is no more foam and all you can see is clear liquid gold, with all of the milk solids stuck at the bottom of the pot
- Durring the process of making Ghee you will have 3 layers in your pot, the watery foam layer right on the top, the liquid gold in the centre and bits of milk solids stuck to the bottom
- The separated butter is the Ghee-a liquid mass of rich golden clarified butter
- If necessary you can use a tea strainer that has been lined with a piece of paper towel to strain the clarified butter into a glass or stainless steel jar
- Allow to cool completely before storing (no refrigeration necessary)
- Make sure you use a heavy bottomed deep pot
- Unsalted butter is better and easier (less foam)
- Stir regularly to avoid boiling over
- Once it reaches simmering point—lower heat and keep it on low
- 750g butter will yield you about 500ml ghee