Ghee – what is it and its health benefits.

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Peace-out, it’s just clarified butter.

WHAT IS GHEE?

Take butter, clarify it (heat it until the milk solids separate) then keep it on the heat longer still so that the milk solids caramelize – making for LUSH flavor, strain through a piece of cloth so as to separate the solids from the liquids and then you have ghee: the OIL of MILK (as Pepe Saya likes to say).

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Pepe Saya ghee. Da bomb.

WHAT ARE THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GHEE?

1. It is rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

VITAMIN A: rapid cell division (think GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT and REPAIR); VISUAL cycle (vitamin is stored in the retina and via a complex series of events it transmits nervous impulses that result in SIGHT); RED BLOOD CELL differentiation from precursor stem cells; and totally IMMUNE SYSTEM biggie: major anti-viral nutrient.

VITAMIN D: regulates CALCIUM METABOLISM – works closely with parathyroid hormone to keep calcium levels peaceful; rapid cell division (more GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT and REPAIR); T cell function and development: IMMUNE SYSTEM.

VITAMIN E: major ANTIOXIDANT. Actually spares other antioxidants that have become oxidised whilst protecting us. Whoa. Total Samurai.

VITAMIN K: so called for the German word koagulation vitamin K is essential for the clotting of blood – which let’s face it, if not properly controlled will see us bleeding to death – oh my!; also required for mineralization of bone tissue… so you see that K makes things firm and stable.

Allegedly margarine contains these same fat soluble vitamins, and perhaps it does. But it’s akin to comparing a real Fendi with a fake Fendi and you know you’ve gotta travel to The Valley to check out some dodgy Latino’s car boot to score a fake Fendi and risk your life being taken by a killer pitbull. Just ask Samantha.

2. It can be tolerated by those who can’t eat butter.

The process of separating the milk solids from the liquids means that ghee comprises marginal to no milk proteins and/or sugars and as such, it is generally suitable for those who are intolerant to these nutrients in milk (but can still pose a problem for those who are severely allergic).

3. It’s got lots of short chain fatty acid awesomeness in it.

Rich in the short chain fatty acid butyrate (butryic acid) which is formed in the guts of most animals (cows for example) by their gut bacteria from indigestible fibre sources such as cellulose and pectin (grass for example!)

We produce it too, when we eat fibre. Butyrate is readily recognised a source of energy, passing easily from the gut to the blood stream.

Butryate is a major source of energy for the mucosal cells of the gut. It promotes intestinal integrity (decreases intestinal permeability – which means less leaky gut shit and associated protein triggered reactions) and as such decreases inflammation and ALL the diseases that inflammation underlies, particularly gut and bowel diseases like Chron’s, ulcerative colitis, bowel cancer.

Oh yeah, and it decreases atherosclerosis. Wait, what? BUTTER FAT REDUCES ARTERIAL PLAQUES? Well yeah but it’s probably better to say that individuals who don’t eat rancid vegetable oil and shitty products made from it are less likely to have atherosclerosis than those who still fry their food in canola oil and spread their toast with margarine.

Oh Em GHEE! Butyrate… BUTTER-ATE??

4. It has a high smoke point, so you can fry stuff in it without it spitting and crackling and smoking out the joint (or spoiling the fat).

5. It tastes LUSH. Seriously, even the good ol’ spaghetti bolognese made with ghee tastes just… better.

6. You can store it on the shelf and it won’t spoil. It’s got such little water content (all evaporated off during clarification) that it won’t spoil outside of a fridge.

7. You can use it topically as an anti-inflammatory, healing, nourishing ointment. Like the traditional cultures (India / Ayurveda) who include it in their every day.

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GOLD!

I use ghee mostly in my high temperature cooking mixing it 1:1 with olive oil, so I’ll do a tablespoon of each when frying meat, eggs etc. But you can use it however you’d use butter or oil. Go for gold… liquid gold!

You can make your own ghee, I haven’t gotten around to that yet and I will one day, using organic high quality butter. For now, I buy Pepe Saya ghee from Harris Farm or Norton Street Grocer. The better the butter, the better the ghee.

Are you STILL using vegetable oils? Pray, tell me it isn’t so!

~Yours in clarification, K180, x

You might also like to read:

Butter vs. Margarine

Top5 – Vitamin D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. Thanks for the info, I found it to be a really interesting read. I’m off to buy myself some ghee tomorrow.

  2. Due to dairy intolerance, I’ve been told to eat Nuttalex instead of butter. Could you give your opinion on Nuttalex please?

  3. I made my own ghee last week! Putting it in everything.

  4. Anne At Home says:

    Lordy no, I am not still using vegetable oils. Olive oil & butter (and now ghee ) all the way chez nous. And I never thought I would read a blog post about ghee that would include a SATC reference, yesssss!

  5. Ooh yeah – gimme summa dat! I need to use Ghee more often. I normally just grab the block of butter, and the ghee gets used in stir fries or curries…but I have seen the light!

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