One of my favourite natural fats is Ghee, I absolutely LOVE it. For many years now it’s been one of my biggest staples in all of my recipes. I will generally always have a back-up bottle of ghee in the kitchen pantry 'just-in-case' I ever run out!
What is Ghee?
Ghee is clarified butter. It is made by heating the butter to separate the water, salt and milk solids which leaves the golden butter fat. What you're left with is an easily digestible fat that is highly nutritious with a subtle caramelly aroma and flavour. It has it’s origins in India and to this day is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine because of it’s healing properties. Ghee has been used for thousands of years, quite literally. It’s truly an “ancient” health food and is definitely not a fad.
But Isn't Fat Bad for You?
Let’s clear up the myth that (natural) fat is bad for you. Humans need fat to be healthy – it is actually essential for our bodies. The simplistic idea that eating fat makes you fat is completely wrong.
Quality fats are ESSENTIAL to have in our diet and it’s very clear that our human physiology needs fats because every membrane of every cell and every organelle inside of cells are made of fats. Healthy bile release and a healthy gall bladder requires fat, the brain is comprised of 60% fat and even detox requires fat. Ghee can also enhance our immune system, as well as aiding in hormone and blood sugar balance.
Here are some more facts to ponder on if you are questioning whether you will be using butter over margarine (which by the way is a concoction of chemicals)
10 Reasons to Incorporate Ghee Into Your Diet
1. It's Packed Full of Fat-Soluble Vitamins (A, D, E, K)
Fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed with fat and stored in the gastrointestinal tract — and they are essential to maintaining a healthy metabolism and required for so many different biochemical processes within the body. Vitamin A and E have been shown to act as powerful antioxidants, and Vitamin A and D are critical in immune function as well as in bone health and development. Ghee also contains a uniquely absorbable form of Vitamin D that helps with the proper functioning of the synapses in the brain. Vitamin A plays an essential role in our liver health, fertility, hormone balance and long-lasting energy. Ghee also contains Vitamin K2 which is essential for the body to help utilise minerals, including calcium. Pretty amazing right?!?
2. Is a Great Source of Butyrate
Butter and ghee are great sources of naturally occurring butyrate in our diet. Butyrate, or butyric acid, is a short-chain fatty acid that acts as a detoxifier, it's anti-inflammatory and improves colon health. It’s been shown to support healthy insulin levels and may be helpful for individuals suffering from IBS, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Basically ghee is great for your guts!
3. It's Heat Stable – YES, you can cook with it!
It's an excellent fat to use in your cooking and baked goods as it is a stable and natural fat, meaning its chemical structure will not be altered or damaged when it's heated.
4. Helps Fight Illnesses
Ghee contains both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties making it a great way to boost your immune system and also protects us from infection, especially in the digestive tract. It also helps heal minor illnesses like stomach upset or cold and flu.
5. It Has a Stable Shelf-Life
Ghee can stay in your kitchen pantry for up to a month once it has been opened, and it lasts in the fridge for about 7 months. This is due to the lack of moisture in the oil. Be sure to store your ghee in a sealed jar away from heat.
6. It's Anti-Inflammatory
It's a great source of cholesterol. Cholesterol is a healing agent in the body, cholesterol levels increase during periods of stress or when inflammation occurs, so when we provide the body with good quality fats such as ghee, it helps the body to address this inflammation.
7. Aids with Detox
Fats, and especially omega-3 fatty acids, are strong natural antioxidants and are used to eliminate petrochemicals, pesticides and heavy metals. Both are high sources of butyric acid—the primary energy source for the gut that helps to reduce inflammation. Grass-fed butter and ghee also contains lauric acid—a potent antimicrobial and anti-fungal substance. By stimulating bile release, good sources of saturated fats like butter encourage detox, balanced hormones and weight loss.
8. Aids with Hormone Balance
We must consume sources of cholesterol-rich saturated fats like ghee to provide the building blocks for sex hormones, including testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone. The cholesterol, vitamin A and vitamin K2 found in ghee also plays an important role in hormone synthesis and toxin detox.
9. Easily Digestible
Ghee is very easy to digest. Because ghee is free of casein and other milk solids, it is a great option for people with sensitivities to dairy. Butyrate helps support a healthy digestive tract and decreases inflammation.
10. Ghee Tastes Amazing
“Fat gives things flavor.” – Julia Child...enough said right?
How to Use Ghee in Everyday Life
Sautee your leafy greens, onions, garlic, tomato, mushrooms and other vegetables in ghee, it's a beautiful fat that add so much flavour to your food
Swap it for margarine spreads and refined oils
Roast your vegetables and/ or meat in it
Make my Crispy Broccoli Chips
You can use it in any savoury or sweet recipe that requires oil or butter
Add some ghee and toss it through some steamed veggies
Add it to Cauliflower Puree
Add it to homemade dark chocolate to add a delicious fudgey texture
Use it as a leg moisturiser with a few drops of essential oil
To make sure that your ghee is pure, I recommend purchasing a quality brand you trust (I choose the Bulletproof Ghee or Grass-Fed Ghee from Primal Collective which are fantastic for travelling)......or better yet, make it yourself! Ghee can easily be made at home from grass-fed butter. I have provided a recipe below if you want to start incorporating this golden, delicious and nutritious fat into your diet.
Click HERE for my easy peasy ghee recipe!
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