Forget the health inspectors gabbing about avoiding fats. After seeing the effects about the goodness of this one 'fatty substance', I am committed for life! I am talking about the one thing most of had by the spoonful while growing up in India: Ghee, or clarified butter as it commonly known as in the West. There is much hullaboo made about ghee in recent times, and for good reason. I now see ghee stocked up in the Nashville Trader Joe's, so it has got to be special :)
Ghee is made up of butter, and yet it is dairy-free! How, you ask?? Well, basically the process of making ghee involves separating the fat from the milk and water, and what you are left with is 'clarified butter, that has the amazing properties of fat (such as Omega3s and butyric acid) and none of the cholestrol. Popular or not, ghee is super effective for many reasons, least of all during the cold winter months. Here are just some of the reasons I have been using ghee as part of our daily regimen.
You can buy ghee at your local Whole Foods or Trader Joes. There are a lot of local ghee companies sprouting up as well such as OMGhee, Banyan Botanicals, etc. The BEST PART is though that ghee is easy to prepare, and you can make it and store for at least a month or two. Here is how I make it:
- Buy Organic UNSALTED butter/sweet cream from the grocery store. (local grocers and farms are even better)
- Place the butter slabs in a steel or aluminum coated deep saucepan or small pot. I Do Not recommend using non-stick or cast iron pans because the milk solids will stick to the bottom and it's tough to get rid of them.
- Set the flame/heat to medium high and watch as the butter melts and slowly starts to sputter. This is the part where the milk solids and fat are separating.
- Let the sputtering continue for at least 10-15 minutes. Make sure you stir the pot at least once or twice to prevent sticking.
- Soon it will smell like butter popcorn..that is when you need to monitor closely. You will see some milk solids turning a light golden brown and settling at the bottom, while a whitish-yellow froth rises to the top. This is normal. Within a minute or two of this happening, turn off the flame and remove the pot from the heat.
- Let it cool for a few minutes. While it is still in liquid form, use a strainer and pour the ghee in a glass jar. (I have put it in plastic before, but prefer glass)
If done right, your ghee should have a nice white to yellow tinge and taste like heaven!!
Use it for sautéing, in your oatmeal, soups, rice dishes, just about anywhere. Because it does not have an overpowering taste, ghee blends in almost every dish.
For severe dryness, chapped lips and eczema, dab a little bit of ghee on the area a few times and it should heal magically :)
Any questions, comments, please feel free to ask me! in the meantime, here are some resources on Ghee.