Being a yogini and a crossfitter I strive to find balance in my physical workouts as well as my nutrition, sometimes this can be challenging due to differing philosophies, good thing I am always up for an experiment. The other day my Ayurvedic practitioner told me to start using ghee when cooking. My initial response was a disgusted look and the words "No that's not going to work, what else can I do?" I have distinct childhood memories of various Indian food gatherings where the byproduct of a tasty meal was a puddle of ghee in my plate, maybe that's a slight exaggeration but you get the point. I have put aside my preformed opinions and have adopted the use of ghee this week. So far it's not too bad and it's less expensive than cooking oils since I make it at home!
I did a quick Google search on Ghee and surprisingly it has been mentioned on various crossfit blogs and other nutrition sites.
What is ghee?
It is clarified butter- meaning butter without the milk proteins, water and solids which makes it dairy and lactose free. There is some confusion about ghee and fat. There IS still fat in ghee, in fact it is all fat, but because it is more concentrated than butter so a little goes a long way. Ghee is considered to be high in stable saturated fats and is better for cooking at higher temperatures also known as having a high smoke point (375-485 degrees Fahrenheit), this also prevents the release of free radicals, enjoy cooking with it for the grill or your next stir fry. The taste? It tastes like butter but nuttier.
Ghee has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years and transcends the cooking realm as it is used in many healing arts. I guess you could call It an all purpose fat!
Benefits of ghee (incorporated from eastern and western studies)
- Stimulates the secretion of stomach acids and helps with digestion while butter and other oils may slow down digestion and sit heavy in the stomach.
- rich with antioxidants and acts as an aid in the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods
- strengthens the immune system
- has a high concentration of butyric acid, a fatty acid that contains anti-viral properties, is believed to inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors
- Longer shelf life. Ghee can be stored for a long period of time, longer than butter can, and it doesn't need to be refrigerated when it is stored.
You can find ghee at your local whole foods, make sure to look at the ingredients to make sure it is made only from pure butter and does not include vegetable oil.
Better yet try making it at home: Place 1 to 2 pounds of unsalted, (preferably grass-fed) butter in a saucepan on low heat. Melt until white curds separate and sink to the bottom. Scoop out the yellow liquid on the top and store in a jar.
What are your thoughts on ghee?