Last week we discussed the amazing benefits of ghee for gut and overall health. Many people question the benefactors of this dairy product. But western science is beginning to prove the credibility of Ayurveda and the healing properties of ghee.
What’s so good about ghee?
Ghee is the best carrier of the healing properties of herbs, spices, and nutrients and lubricator of the intestines. Why? Butyric acid. This short chain fatty acid found in butter protects the integrity of the gut wall and is a byproduct of beneficial microbes in the gut. Healthy fiber that we ingest is broken down by these beneficial microbes and converted to butyric acid, which is then immediately used by the colon for energy and intestinal wall integrity. Poorly functioning gastro-intestinal tracts and issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, have compromised butyric acid production due to unhealthy gut microbes. By ingesting ghee, which has cooked off the byproducts of the butter making process, we feed out gut butyric acid and support healthy gut functioning (1).
Why Make Your Own Ghee?
Although commercial ghee is available, it is made using a centrifugal separator and is not always an appealing price. Cooking your own ghee is more economical, easy to make, and will be more delicious. By making ghee in the peace of your own kitchen, you infuse the ghee with personal love thereby increasing its healing properties and taste! I consider making ghee a meditation practice. Keep a clean appearance and a calm focused mind. Chant, sing, or pray over the cooking process. Infuse your ghee with LOVE!
What will you need?
1 -2 lbs Unsalted high quality butter (organic, grass-fed, cultured, European style)
2lbs of butter will yield 1 quart of ghee
Medium stainless steel saucepan
Quart size sterilized container
Place the mason jar in boiling water and let dry to sterilize. It is important that no water is in jar.
Cheese cloth or fine sieve/strainer
The most important factor to consider is the quality of unsalted butter. Highest quality is organic cultured butter from grass-fed local cows. Cultured butter means that the cream sat in a cool place for a day before being churned. This increases flavor and makes it easier to digest.
Do not stir the ghee during the entire process.
Place the butter in stainless steel medium saucepan on medium heat until butter melts. Do not cover the pot so water can evaporate.
Turn heat to low. The butter beings to boil and bubble. Enjoy the sputtering sounds of the butter.
Notice the first thick foam that appears. Allow this foam to boil and settle to the bottom of the pan as sediment.
After 12 – 15 minutes the ghee will smell like popcorn and turn a lovely clear golden color. You will begin to see to the bottom on the pan where the foam has settled.
Be careful as to not burn the ghee from here.
When the ghee boils quietly with only a trace of air bubbles on the surface, and the curds turn a brownish/red color, the ghee is done. You can tilt the pan to the side to get a better look at the color of the sediment.
Take it off the heat immediately as it is most likely to burn at this stage. Cooking time should be no more than 15-20 minutes depending on your pan and heat source.
Let the ghee cool until just warm.
Strain the ghee through cheesecloth or fine sieve into container.
Leave container uncovered until ghee is fully cooled, about 1-2 hours. Covering the warm ghee creates moisture and adds a grainy texture to the ghee.
Ghee can be kept on the kitchen shelf and does not need refrigeration. Medicinal properties are said to increase with time. Do not let any water get into the container because this will create conditions for bacteria to grow. Always ladle out the ghee with a clean, dry spoon. Enjoy your love filled ghee on oatmeal in the morning, as an oil to sauté veggies, in boiled milk at night to aide sleep, or by titself as a tonic.
Lad, Vasant. “The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies.” Three River Press, NY 1998.
Tiwari, Maya. “Ayurveda: A life of balance”. Healing Arts Press, VT 1995.
Many Blessings, Santa Cruz Ayurveda