Another season is on its way, yet again... time is flying this year and we must remember to step back and take time to reflect upon the changes going on within our bodies and externally as well. As the Summer Solstice approaches, I thought it appropriate to share this blog about ghee and how wonderful it is to support our bodies in transitioning seasons.
My very favorite way to do this is with an Ayurvedic Kitchari Cleanse. This week I am going to share information on a key ingredient in this cleanse called Ghee. I will explain how and why it is used, and of course how it is made!
So what is ghee anyway?
Well let's start out with how to pronounce it...
It is said with a hard "g" sound and rhymes with "see".
Ghee is basically liquid gold. According to the system of Ayurvedic Medicine, ghee is a sattvic superfood that enhances digestion and heals the body from the inside out. It is what we know as clarified butter. This means butter is heated for up to 50 minutes or until it separates into three layers. The bottom, heavy layer, in which all of the milk solids sink down to the bottom of the pot and create this bottom layer. Then the middle layer - this is the good stuff - this is essentially the ghee. Then we have the top layer, in which a white/yellow foam forms. The process of making ghee includes skimming the foamy layer off the top and filtering or straining the rest of the liquid through many layers of cheesecloth in order to get the middle layer on its own.
Here are 5 reasons to use Ghee:
It is the perfect cooking oil. It can withstand heats up to 480 degrees f!! And not only that, it tastes fantastic. It is rich, nutty, buttery and delicious.
It contains butyric acid. Butyric acid is a saturated short chain fatty acid that supports the overall health and healing of the small and large intestines. It is known to benefit those with chronic digestive issues by decreasing digestive inflammation and enhancing the gut wall's integrity. Not only will it decrease inflammation in the gut, it can decrease overall inflammation, potentially allowing for increased joint mobility and connective tissue flexibility.
It can be used for Oleation. Oleation is an ancient Ayurvedic technique in which ghee is taken for a series of morning during an Ayurvedic kitchari cleanse and it used to pull fat soluble toxins out of fat cells. This means ghee is a wonderful tool in the detoxification process. When it is used in this cleanse, ghee triggers fat metabolism.
It is PACKED with nutrients! Not only is ghee a huge source of butyric acid, it also contains significant amount of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin K, omega 3 and 9 fatty acids, and various other long, medium and short chain fatty acids.
Last but not least, according to Ayurveda, ghee is a spiritual oil. As it comes from cows, and cows are a sacred animal according to this traditional system, ghee is a pure, sattvic (nourishing and balancing) oil that can help with many conditions. It is said to purify the mind, bring in mental clarity and help one reach deeper states of consciousness. So to all the yogis out there trying to find more depth and relaxation in savasana, this could be a very beneficial addition to your day!
How it's made
Here's what you'll need
16 oz of organic, grass-fed, unsalted butter (I usually use Kerrygold)
A medium sized pot (I use my Instantpot)
16 oz Mason jar
Here's what you'll do
1. Add butter to your pot. Turn your stove top to medium heat.
2. Allow the butter to melt and then let it sit on the heat as it bubbles up, adjust the heat to keep it at a nice gentle simmer. A foam will start to form on the top.
3. The butter will start to smell super amazing and turn golden below the white layer of foam. You can skim this foam layer off the top with a clean stainless steel spoon and discard it.
4. You know the ghee is ready when it becomes pretty clear and you can see the bottom of the pot where you'll see crystal-like milk solids that have sunk down. This can take anywhere form 30-50 minutes depending on the stove top you use. Using the Instantpot, it took a bit less time, around 20ish minutes on medium.
5. At this point, turn the heat off. Grab your mason jar, rubber band, and cheesecloth. Band at least 5 layers of cheesecloth around the mouth of the mason jar in order to create a filter. Now,, slowly pour the ghee into the jar. This cheesecloth filter should strain out the remaining foam that was not skimmed off the top. The bottom layer of milk solids tend to stick to the bottom of the pot.
6. And voila, it's as simple as that! There you have it, your own beautiful jar of liquid gold a.k.a. GHEE!!!
Please comment below if you have ANY questions about this recipe. I know making ghee for the first time can be a little confusing and scary, but don't fret! You can do it :)
I hope your (near) future is filled with delicious and nutritious homemade ghee. Enjoy the recipe!
Love and Light,