What is Ghee?
It is a form of highly clarified butter and is usually made from cow’s milk. The clarified butter is melted until the liquid fats separate from milk solids. The residue is pure butterfat, which has a rich, nutty flavor to it. Ghee can be used for sautéing, frying, or even preserves on popcorn and vegetables. You may be wondering if ghee is a form of butter, how can it be healthy? Well, due to all the health benefits it offers, it is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and a staple ingredient in Indian cuisine. Once you understand the health benefits of ghee, you will be quite excited to add it to your daily diet.
Health Benefits of Ghee
Rich in antioxidants Antioxidants help neutralize any free radicals present themselves that lead to cell and tissue damage. It, in turn, leads to various diseases, which can be prevented if your intake of antioxidants increases. Ghee is a rich source of one of the most potent antioxidants- Vitamin E.
Filled with nutrients Ghee doesn’t usually contain any unhealthy preservatives, additives, or harmful trans fats. Since it is 100% natural and pure, has low moisture content, it has a stable shelf life. So, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and stays fresh for up to almost a year. It contains a variety of fat-soluble nutrients such as vitamins A, K, D, and E. It is also a source of healthy amino acids known as omega-3 fatty acids. All these nutrients improve a variety of body functions ranging from the rest of the immune system to the brain. Ghee also improves your body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble vitamins and minerals from the food you consume.
Reduces the risk of cancer When oils are exposed to high temperatures, they are broken down and transformed into unstable elements or free radicals. When there are too many free radicals present in the body, it leads to cellular damage. It, in turn, increases the risk of cancer-causing agents. The smoking point of ghee is around 500°F, so its structural integrity isn’t compromised even at high temperatures. This is one reason why ghee can be used for different forms of cooking. Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. This substance is incredibly important to fight cancer-causing agents and other cardiovascular diseases.
Anti-inflammatory properties Inflammation is the body’s natural response to any illness, disease, or presence of foreign bodies. Moderate unregulated levels of inflammation are desirable, but excessive inflammation is a painful condition. Information is also a risk factor for painful conditions such as the leaky gut or even arthritis. In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, ghee is a common remedy for treating swelling and burns. It contains plenty of essential fatty acids known butyrate, which is directly linked to the body’s immune system response. Ghee has various anti-viral properties and helps strengthen the digestive system. It can also help heal and repair the lining of the stomach, which is incredibly valuable to treat intestinal disorders.
An alternative for dairy products Only trace amounts of milk sugars and proteins are left in ghee, and a majority of milk solids are eliminated. So, even those with dairy allergies can easily consume ghee without any worries. Lactose (a form of milk sugar) is the primary culprit for a variety of dairy allergies.
Improves heart’s health Ghee is a rich source of heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. These monounsaturated fatty acids are commonly found in oily fish, such as salmon, that are believed to help improve one’s cardiovascular health. It is believed that regular consumption of natural ghee helps reduce levels of cholesterol and improve the heart’s health.
Weight loss Ghee is a rich source of essential amino acids, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids promote lean body mass and reduce the presence of unnecessary fatty deposits. It is also believed that ghee helps mobilize fat cells to provide energy instead of burning glucose. When your body starts to burn its internal reserves of fat, it leads to fat loss and weight loss.
Good for skin and hair
Ghee is not just used for cooking, but it is a natural moisturizer too. It can be used as a topical moisturizer to improve the health of one’s skin. Its naturally rehydrating properties help relieve dry skin and leave it feeling supple and fresh. It can also be applied to the scalp to fight dryness. Regular consumption and topical application of ghee will improve the health of your skin and hair.
Wow, ghee is a powerhouse of nutrients and other helpful vitamins and minerals. So, the simplest way to improve your health is to add ghee to your diet! If you are excited to do this, then don’t forget to try Velamore’s authentic and delicious ghee!
Here are some recipes to get you started.
Potato Curry Serves: 4 Ingredients:
4 medium-large potatoes, boiled, peeled
3 – 4 tomatoes, finely chopped
2 – 3 green chilies, halved
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoon ghee
Chopped cilantro, to garnish
Cut 3 of the potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Mash the 4 potatoes well.
Place a pan over medium-high flame. Add ghee and let it melt. Add cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add green chilies and stir-fry for 20 – 30 seconds, stir frequently.
Add tomatoes and cook until soft. Add potatoes and salt and mix well. Cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often.
Pour about 1 – ½ cups water and stir. Cook for a few minutes until slightly thick.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice or naan bread or chapatti.
1 ½ cups long grain basmati rice, rinsed well, soaked in water for 20 minutes, drained
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mixture of whole spices (pepper, cloves, green cardamom and an inch of cinnamon)
1 bay leaf
7 – 8 cashews, halved
A fistful of raisins
1 green chili, cut into 2 halves
3 cups water
Place a pan over medium flame. Add ghee and let it melt. Add the whole spices. Add cashews after 5 – 6 seconds and cook until light brown.
Add onions and sauté until light brown. Add raisins and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion is brown.
Add rice, salt, green chili and water and stir. Cover and cook until dry. Turn off the heat and let it sit covered for 5 minutes.
Using a fork, loosen the rice and mix lightly.
4 tablespoons ghee
½ teaspoon salt, preferably Himalayan pink salt
2 ripe bananas, peeled, mashed
½ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 – 4 tablespoons milk
Whisk together eggs, salt, flour, baking powder and milk in a bowl.
Add banana and whisk well.
Place a nonstick skillet over medium flame. Add about a tablespoon of ghee and let it melt.
Make 2 – 3 small pancakes on the pan. Cook until the underside is light brown. Flip sides and cook the other side until light brown. Remove onto a plate, and stack them.
Repeat steps 3 – 4 and make the remaining pancakes.
Melt the remaining ghee and drizzle on top of the pancakes and serve.