One of the key ingredients used in Ayurveda is ghee. It is used medicinally, in cooking and for internal and external body therapies. In a nutshell, ghee is unsalted butter minus the milk solids. When butter is prepared in this way, the health benefits abound, sounding almost too good to be true. Ghee has been touted as the “Golden Oil” by Ayurveda Vaidyas for centuries and more recently westerners have jumped on the ghee bandwagon. Ayurveda considers it a Sattvic food promoting positivity, health and personal growth. Here are some of the important healing benefits of ghee:
- High concentration of butyric acid which lowers cholesterol, aids in digestion, improves immunity, and reduces inflammation
- Lubricates the joints to improve flexibility
- Contains heart-healthy fats and Omega-3 fatty acids
- Contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) which helps fight cancer, heart disease and diabetes, and is a good source of vitamins A, D, E and K2
- Excellent to use for high heat cooking as it has a high smoke point and won’t break down into free radicals
- Easier to digest than butter for lactose intolerant people
- Aids in absorption of nutrients from herbs and spices making it medicinally useful
Ghee can be found in most grocery stores, but it can be a little costly. While we are stuck in the house and cooking more, this is a good time to learn how to make your own ghee. It’s simple! Be sure to start with good quality UNSALTED organic butter.
How to Make Ghee
1 pound of unsalted butter
Medium saucepan (preferably one with a heavy bottom)
Fine meshed sieve
Container with a pouring spout
Jar(s) to store ghee
- Cut butter into 1” squares to allow it to melt quickly and evenly
- Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently
- The butter will start to foam
- Keep stirring until it just begins to reach boiling
- Turn down the heat to medium-low and stop stirring, but keep an eye on it
- After about 5 minutes, bubbles will begin to form. As the bubbles get bigger and clearer, the foam will become thinner.
- As milk solids start forming on the sides of the pan, push them down so they sink to the bottom.
- Keep scraping the sides and bottom of the pan so the milk solids don’t burn
- Important to keep watching as the bubbles get larger. You are waiting for the foam to re-appear.
- As soon as the butter starts foaming for the second time, remove it from the heat. Let it settle for a few seconds
- Line your sieve with the cheesecloth. Slowly pour the ghee into the sieve and let it drain into a container (preferable one with a pouring spout so you can easily transfer it to your storage jars)
- Pour the ghee into your storage jars and let cool.
Ghee does not have to be refrigerated since all the milk solids have been removed leaving just pure oil. Depending on the temperature of your home, the ghee will eventually solidify. Enjoy :)!