July 12, 2017; by Paul Fassa (Silver Bulletin e-News Magazine- UtopiaSilver.com) You may not have even heard of ghee. You know that real organic butter from healthy free grazing cows that have not been injected with all sorts of steroid hormones and antibiotics is very healthy and that margarine is very unhealthy. This answers the question of why is Ghee even better than butter?
But you may be surprised to know that ghee (the g is hard as in good the h is silent) is even better than butter for nutritional health benefits. If you frequent health food stores you’ll see jars of ghee. You can also purchase it online. You can even make it yourself from high quality butter. You’ll see how later in this article.
Ghee is hyper clarified butter, which is commonly served as a liquid butter for dipping lobster, shrimp, and artichoke leaves in restaurants. That final extra step from clarified butter creates a substance that can be solidified with refrigeration then used like butter for toast, pastry, and cooking with increased health benefits.
Ghee has been a staple for cooking in India for centuries because of it’s high smoke level, which keeps it from going rancid or oxidizing and becoming toxic after cooking. Over the past couple of decades, it has made a dent into our American market place.
Health Benefits of Ghee
Ghee contains short chain fatty acids, notably butyric acid. You may have read that coconut oil’s medium chain fatty acids, notably lauric acid, are easier to digest and convert to energy than long chain fatty acids found in other fats. Ghee has been used in India’s Ayurveda medicine as an ideal transporter of medicinal herbs.
Coconut oil also has a high smoke temperature level that makes it ideal for cooking, and its medium chain triglyicerides (MCTs) have demonstrated an ability to form ketones, which can be energy sources for the brain with Alzheimer’s patients, improving and even reversing those symptoms.
So what’s the deal with even shorter chain fatty acids and butyric acid? According to holistic Dr. Josh Axe, the butyric acid, also known as butanoic acid or BTA, in ghee has many healthy attributes:
- Animal tests have proven BTA to assist with weight loss and more importantly help deter metabolic syndrome – a precursor for diabetes 2.
- BTA is a colon cancer fighter. According to 2011 research published in the International Journal of Cancer, “the role of short chain fatty acids, particularly butyrate, in colon cancer therapy has been extensively studied, and its tumor suppressive functions are believed to be due to their intracellular actions.”
- Several studies have demonstrate BTA or butyric acid as therapeutic for Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other leaky gut issues.
- Studies have also shown therapeutic effects of BTA for Crohn’s disease, perhaps the ultimate gut inflammation.
- Axe referenced a study that concluded “dietary supplementation of butyrate can prevent and treat diet-induced insulin resistance in mouse.” Insulin resistance is the core of diabetes 2.
- Other anti-inflammatory effects of BTA or butyric acid in ghee are mentioned. Inflammation is the physiological root of almost all disease. So here’s another immune boost you can easily add to your personal daily cuisine.
Most of these animal studies don’t graduate to human studies because Big Pharma has no interest in natural substances that cannot be patented. But they should give some hopeful hints at trying ghee. If you purchase ghee, even though in stores it is refrigerated, realize ghee does not need to be refrigerated.
It holds up well, just soft enough for easily applying it to bread, toast, or pastries, and it doesn’t spoil. But try to avoid allowing crumbs into the mix. That could cause spoilage. If you can’t buy it, here’s how you make it.
Homemade Ghee Recipe
Raw milk butter is ideal but out of reach for most. Get at least one pound of organic, free range cow sourced unsalted butter. Make sure you have unbleached cheesecloth on hand for filtering the liquid, and make sure you have a clean, sterilized heat resistant lidded jar on hand for the finished hot ghee.
Put the butter into a large pan or pot over low heat. When the butter completely melts, continue heating at low heat until boiling occurs. There may be some sputtering as the water in the butter boils off. Before 30 minutes elapses, you should be aware of three layers in the liquid.
1) A top layer of foam, which is the water boil off
2) A middle layer of liquid
3) And at the bottom, the milk solids
If you want clarified butter for shrimp, crab, and lobster, here it is! But getting the ghee requires a couple of more steps.
Continue heating and now stir occasionally while closely watching to prevent the clarified butter from burning. Keep an eye on the milk solids as you stir occasionally. The milk solids will turn medium brown, and the liquid will become a translucent golden while emitting a fragrant nutty aroma.
At this point remove from the pan or pot from the heat. Let it sit for a short while to ensure all the milk solids drop to the bottom. But while it’s sitting, go ahead and skim the foam or froth from the top of the liquid. A gravy or fat separator can make this easier. This is an important step, as you don’t want any water in your ghee. Water will spoil it.
Then get your cheesecloth layered over twice, or once inside of a fine mesh filter, and place that over the mouth of your selected jar. Pour carefully into the jar through the cheesecloth to prevent those milk solids from getting into the jar.
Keep the jar lid off until it cools to room temperature to prevent moisture from forming on the inside of the lid and contaminating the ghee. Then put the lid on. You can refrigerate it for creating a solid mix, but you can simply keep it out on a shelf or on the kitchen or dining room table as-is.
Ghee keeps for a year, even without refrigeration. If you want to use it for buttering toast or pastry, you may prefer it in a more solid state. So you can refrigerate it to keep it solid, as it gets soft for buttering quickly when taken out. You won’t need to be concerned about having it spoil if you do leave it out. That’s the way we do it in the Fassa household after the wife, Charlene, makes up a batch.