Ghee The Gods' Food
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Ghee the Gods\' Food

I love Indian food. I have heard about Ghee and even have seen it in health food shops but never knew what it was, how to use it and what it is good for. In the last years through some very serious health challenges I have learnt a lot about nutrition, healthy (even healthier) eating, herbs and herbal teas, herbal infusions, good fats and oils and turned away from supplements and looked more seriously into the concept of "Food be thy medicine". Now, I don't want to sound arrogant, but I always have been pretty good with my diet. Not so much with my work-life balance, until 2008 when I quit my job and started to work for myself. Seven years on, although I had many difficulties, I look back and I know, this was the right path for me.

This freedom allowed me to spend time on things I wanted to. I realised that besides being an artist, I am originally a musician and teacher, I have a huge passion for health and wellbeing. This led me to many things, including what I want to write about. The discovery of Ghee!

Just a few days ago I came across Ghee, reading about good fats and butter, skin care and anti ageing. I was so fascinated by what I read that you can cook butter further and get a different, healthier, more beneficial substance, that I decided to try it.

You need to know that I believe that there is nothing wrong with eating and using butter. Better than many other things. My reason for this is the French. Being European, I have seen enough, how the French eat and use butter all the time, eat the most delicious bakery products like croissants made with butter and fantastic cheese that we think of as fattening and unhealthy. Still, French woman are slim, healthy and live long enough despite eating all these deadly things.

I could tell the same about Italian women and many other nations in Europe and on other continents. To me, Indians look pretty fit and healthy. Of course, I know that many who live in poorer areas can be malnourished.

However, this observation of healthy French and Italians eating all the things that we label as unhealthy or dangerous, lead me long time ago to think that there is something very wrong with our food or with our habits here in Australia. I came to Australia 21 years ago then slowly I put on weight then as I learnt about all these things, beautifully slimmed back to my end of high school, early uni competition weight which I am maintaining without any effort. Now, I would add, I am not exactly spring chicken! Many of my frieds are struggling with their weight.

So, after reading about this wonderful Ghee, I bought three boxes of organic butters and got to cooking. I really did not know what to expect, when I should finish cooking, to skim the froth or not, stir it or not but what I read led me and my instinct helped me. You need to know that I am not a domestic Goddess, who cooks and bakes and spends a lot of time in the kitchen. If I decide to make something and have the cooking book, my iPad or a recipe ready, within the first steps I detour and start improvising! I don't think more than a couple of times I stuck to a recipe. When I just cook without recipe, I am fine but many times when I try to follow a recipe and I change it, things not always turn out the way they suppose. It's quite entertaining!

My butter started to melt, bubbled and turned liquid, had a wonderful smell and started to change. Luckily, I knew that it takes time to cook the butter and turn it into clarified butter to get rid of the milk solids that you will find at the bottom of the pot at the end. I decided to spoon off the froth, collect it in a separate bowl. Then at the end I changed my mind, reading somewhere on my iPad while making the Ghee that no need to do that so I poured back in the pot. That is when disaster hit, I thought! It started to boil more and there was this caramelised, burnt smell and I thought, I have ruined my Ghee. But, didn't! Once the boiling settled, Ghee had a beautiful golden colour, that lovely nutty smell and yes, had the brown, caramelised solids at the bottom of the pot but no disaster. I left it cool down just a little before pouring the hot Ghee into a large glass jar with an airtight lid. I learnt somewhere that it is wise to place the blade of a large knife under the jar. This seems to prevent the jar from breaking from the heat. Just in case....I also suggest that you do this around the sink or put the jar in a large bowl, again, just in case. I can't imagine anything nastier that cleaning fat and glass from the kitchen floor!

Don't be alarmed, you will find these caramelised milk solids after pouring your Ghee into glass jars at the bottom. When I saw the bottom of the pot at the end, I thought that I totally ruined my pot. However, I just put some bicarb soda and water in the pot and let it stand. Next morning I was able to clean up the pot and use it as normal!

I absolutely fell in love with the cooking process and the final product, especially the beautiful golden colour of the Ghee. It is a very special feeling using your own, home made fat for cooking. Everything, and I mean, everything tastes different. My eggs, my soup, the stew, the roasted chicken, my brown rice, all the vegetables, the raw vegan desserts that I made for Easter. Everything. And I love it!

Some articles warn you to keep the Ghee in the fridge. I would not keep the Ghee in the fridge, that makes it solid saturated fat. For me that is a no, no. However, keep it in the pantry and out of direct sunlight in an airtight jar. I am preparing to make my second batch and keep one jar int he pantry to age. I want to experiment and see how ageing changes Ghee and adds to its benefits as I read about it. I probably won't be able to tell it but still!

Ghee has years of shelf-life and is more effective as it ages. Aged Ghee had the value of gold in the old India and a jar of Ghee was passed from generations to generations as medicine.

It is perfect for saute's, stir-fries, in baking and over the snacks. Delicious on toasts, in soups and stews, on steam rice and vegetables, too. Ghee makes Indian or any food tastes so good! It is good for children, adults, elders and all!

Ghee, in Ayerveda is praised as God's Food and is a key in lubricating the body, keeping the joints, organs, our skin lubricated and soft, reducing the hardening of our arteries, our organs and our skin as part of the normal ageing process. One word of warning that people with high cholesterol should be careful with Ghee. Of course, I am not a medical person and this article is not intended to give any medical advice or guidance to anyone. You need to discuss your situation with your trusted specialist.

In the ancient Ayerveda, Ghee has been used to deliver spices like turmeric or cinnamon and is called medicated Ghee because it enhances the delivery of herbs. Ghee is a nourishing food and it activates digestion. It can be taken first thing in the morning followed by a glass of hot water. It helps to remove mucus from the body that stores and carries toxins. At night, Ghee taken and followed by a glass of hot milk provides great sleep and prepares the body for elimination first thing in the morning. Ghee has been used as therapeutic food for detoxing and healing the body.

But here comes the best thing. Skin care. Ghee is an absolutely wonderful and cheap skin care. It makes your skin soft like nothing else. Regular use of it, even starting it at an elderly age, makes a huge difference. It is now many years that I have stopped using any chemicals or skin care other than food on my skin. Remember, our skin is our largest organ of our body and it absorbs everything we put on it or come into contact with, even indirect contact. Humans have never been exposed to so many harmful chemicals that nowadays. No wonder that so many people are responding to this. So putting Ghee on your skin makes a lot of sense. Ghee definitely has changed my life and my eating and cooking habits.

So be brave, buy some organic butter and make your own Ghee and start using it for everything. Take it, cook and bake with it, add it to your rice, use it on your toast, put it on your skin and even use it for oral health for Oil Pulling.

Listen to your body and it will tell you if Ghee is for you!


Street Talk

Kavinah  

I never knew so much about ghee. I use a similar product called Shea butter although I don't use it for cooking though it is possible. I have a lot of Asian shops around me. I will try some. Thanks for posting. Health is wealth.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thank you Juan.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Very interesting and informative article!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
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