You may have listened about ghee and the benefits of include it in your diet, or you have seen on the shelves of your favorite healthy food store.
Now, as part of the postpartum care it is a must in my meals, because during this period the use of healthy fats and oils should be more abundantly than normal. This is important for postpartum hormonal and rejuvenation needs.
But do you know what is it?
Also known as clarified butter, it’s basically the result of the alchemical process of cooking butter until separate into liquid fats and milk solids, these lasts are removes to preserve just the fat.
Ghee is an ancient and sattvic food, highly recommended in Ayurveda for its nourishing qualities and abilities as:
- Ability to enhance absorption of nutrients in the foods
- Aid digestion
- Promote balance
- Soothes the nerves
- Pacifies vata and pitta
- Lubricates the joints
But that is not all about its benefits
The Charaka Samhita, one of the classical texts of Ayurveda, says that “the intake of ghee is prescribed for those whose bodily constitution is dominated by vata and pitta, who is suffering from diseases due to the vitiation of vata and pitta, those desirous of good eyesight, the old, children, the weak, those desirous of longevity, those desirous of strength, good complexion, voice, nourishment, tenderness of the body, ojas (life-sustaining vitality), memory, intelligence, power of digestion, wisdom, proper functioning of sense organs, and those afflicted with injuries due to burns. Ghee also augments intellect and enkindles digestive enzymes”, according to the text.
And do you know how is the process of making ghee?
Ghee is traditionally prepared by gently heating butter until it becomes a clear, golden liquid. In the process the lactose and other milk solids coagulated are removed, so it doesn’t need refrigeration. Also evaporates most of the natural water content, what makes the ghee light, pure, and resistant to spoilage.
The final product retains a rich, buttery taste and aroma.
I like to make my own, and I love the smell and taste that it has.
How to make ghee
Making ghee at home is easy, and takes just 25 to 40 minutes, depending on the amount you’re making and the temperature you are using.
All you need is one pound of unsalted butter, preferably organic.
Place the butter in a heavy, one-quart saucepan, and cook uncovered over medium heat until the butter melts. Turn heat down to medium-low to maintain a low simmer. Keep a close watch, as the ghee can easily burn.
The butter will foam and sputter while it cooks, and whitish milk solids will begin to form on the bottom of the pot. Once the milk solids turn a light golden brown, take the ghee off the heat.
Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, and then pour through a fine sieve or layers of cheesecloth into a clean, dry glass container with a tight lid.
Ways to Use Ghee
Ghee is excellent for cooking and sautéing. Because it’s is a short-chained fatty acid, it has a high smoke point and thus doesn’t create carcinogenic free radicals when brought to a high heat.
You can also try these ways to use ghee:
- Spread it on toast instead of butter.
- Add a teaspoon to your porridge.
- Add to your coffee.
- Melt over steamed vegetables, potatoes or rice.
- Sauté your culinary spices in ghee and add to soups, stews and kitchari.
I love to use it with warm almond milk and spices as a tonic before go to bed.
And, if you burn yourself while cooking, put ghee on it! Along with all its other benefits, it has a cooling property that soothes and heals.
Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf, covered. It does not need refrigeration. Always use a clean, dry spoon or knife when using ghee, as introducing water or food into the ghee will create rancidity.