Ghee..... oh how I thee

Ghee

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Oh my lord this stuff is the best, tastes gorgeous melted over Kitcharee but as a cooking medium it's gold standard, such a high smoke point ie doesn't degrade into a "bad " fat with high heat and did I mention it's delicious!!!!! Ghee has a very long history in Ayurvedic cooking, I notice many recipes substitute it with coconut oil, another fabulous oil, in my experience flavour wise there is no substitution to Ghee. Ghee has many health benefits and when incorporating it with Ayurvedic practices like a Kitcharee cleanse I believe it's best to stick with tradition.  Ghee can be frightfully expensive especially organic, try doing it yourself it's dead easy.

5 Health Benefits of Ghee

All fats are not created equal and ghee, as an animal-derived fat, may be one of the best options. We are fast realising the dangers of partially hydrogenated oils. While it's taken modern medicine some time to catch up, traditional Ayurvedic medicine has long prescribed ghee for digestive issues, ulcers, and for the product’s natural vitalising properties.

That said, it’s important to choose the source of your ghee carefully, if the animals aren’t raised naturally or healthfully, as with conventional butter products, this concentrated ghee can have the opposite effect and at the very least, it won’t boast nearly as many health benefits.

1. Lactose-Free

Ghee is both lactose- and casein-free; both of these elements of butter are removed during the clarifying process. Ghee can often be enjoyed by those who cannot consume other dairy products. Do be aware that this is not the case for all lactose intolerant people.

2. Contains Alkalizing Short-Chained Fats

Unlike butter, ghee is an alkalinising food thanks to its short-chained fats known as butyrates which are thought to promote healthy bacterial growth in the intestines. This is one of the reasons why ghee has traditionally been used for bowel enemas in Indian medicine.

That said, you can obtain many of the same benefits just by consuming ghee, as Cate Stillman, founder of Yogahealer.com and Ayurvedic expert, explains, “Beneficial intestinal bacteria convert fiber into butyric acid and then use that for energy and intestinal wall support. Therefore, this aids in your body’s natural digestive function.”

3. Rich in Metabolism-Boosting Medium-Chain Fats

Ghee is also rich in medium-chain fatty acids which, like carbohydrates, are absorbed directly into the liver and metabolized as energy. According to Stillman, “Studies show that when replacing butter with ghee, metabolism increases, and cholesterol remains unaffected.”

4. High in CLA

An additional fat that is particularly present in grass-fed ghee is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has been associated with anti-cancer and weight loss benefits.

5. Good Source of Vitamins K, A, and E

When made from quality butter, ghee is also a great source of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins K, A, and E. “Since the volume is reduced, the concentration of these vitamins is increased,” explains Major. “Plus, with all the healthy fats, the required co-nutrients to help absorption are right there with the vitamins.”

The How To

1 block 250g unsalted best quality butter you can find
Ive recently found a supplier of hand churned butter made from unhomogonised happy cow milk, keep your eye out you'll find the better the butter the better the ghee

To make ghee, gently melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. After melting, the butter will separate into three layers. This should only take a few minutes.
Foam will appear on the top layer, the milk solids will migrate to the bottom of the pan and clarified butter will float between the two. Let the butter come to a simmer and hold it here until the middle layer becomes fragrant, more golden than when you started and clear - push the solids on top out of the way to have a peek.
The milk solids at the bottom will begin to brown. At this point it is a matter of preference, you can let the solids lightly brown, or let things progress a bit further. When the ghee is finished (I find it a little easier to skim off the top layer if you give it a minute to cool and solidify just a fraction) skim absolutely all of the top layer of foam into a bowl with a spoon or strainer, turn off the heat, and allow things to settle and cool for a few minute or so.
Next, carefully pour the golden central layer through a strainer, into a clean glass jar, leaving the milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
If you were able to get all the solids out and use clean and dry utensils in the jar, ghee will keep at room temperature for weeks. It can be used as a cooking oil, finishing element, and is also a traditional body moisturizer and massage medium.

 

Blueberry & Brazil Nut Rock Cakes

These are a great lunch box filler, gluten free if need be and at the very least wheat free, let's be honest we could all do with cutting down on wheat. We've eaten these as breakfast on the go, as well as an afternoon pick me up...an all rounder. Not too bad sugar wise,(you can always cut it back further but up the coconut oil a little or the mixture will be to dry) great fat profile and the kids and adults in my house liked them.....
This recipe is pretty forgiving swap around nuts, macadamias, cashews etc and the jam could have any berry really, Raspberries would be delish. Make extra of the jam it's a winner with barely any added sugar compared to a traditional jam but it won't last as long without a truckload of sugar as the preservative.

Easy Jammy Spread

1 Cup/125g Blueberries
1/2 Tablespoon Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
1 & 1/2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

The Rock Cake Dough

3 Cups/ 300g (gluten-free) Rolled Oats
1 Tablespoon Arrowroot powder (ensure it is pure Arrowroot)
1 Teaspoon fine Sea Salt
1/3 Cup/80ml Coconut Oil
2/3 Cup /150ml Pure Maple Syrup or Raw Honey
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/3 Cup/45g Brazil Nuts

makes approx 16

- Make the jam, blend the Berries with the maple Syrup in a food processor (I use my nutribullet) until smooth, add chia and incorporate
- Transfer to a glass jar, to chill before using and clean food processor
- Preheat oven 180 degress and line two baking trays with baking paper (remember baking paper can be reused)
- Process 2 1/2 cups of oats in a food processor until it is a rough flour, transfer to a largish bowl and add extra oats, Arrowroot powder and sea salt
- In a small saucepan melt coconut oil and maple syrup or honey over a medium heat, stirring to blend and then stir in Vanilla
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine, it may feel like it's to dry keep stirring it should come together, if it doesn't add little extra coconut oil
- Using wet hand roll the dough into golf ball sized balls, leavifn a little room around them on the baking trays. Using your thumb press an indent into the top of each ball, deep enough to spoon a little jam into.
- Bake for 20 mins or until the edges of the rock cakes are golden, tranfer to a cooling tray.
 

Recipe inspired by Sarah Britton