What's great about ghee?

What's great about ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter that's been cooked slowly until the liquids have dissipated, and the milk solids (which are what make butter burn) have settled in the bottom of the pan. When these are removed, it constitutes the basic difference between ghee and butter — the preparation process for superior purity. 

Ghee, originally used in Indian cooking to prevent butter spoilage in warm weather, has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries. In fact, ghee is the Hindi word for "fat."2 Today, it's gaining ground in the Paleo diet, the reason being that it's versatile, good for you, and has its own unique, nutty flavor and aroma.

You can keep ghee on your counter for weeks and it will be fine. In cooler weather, it solidifies much like coconut oil. Just like butter, you can spread ghee on bread, crackers or toast, but you can also sauté broccoli with it with far less chance of it burning.
While there are nutritional benefits to use ghee rather than butter (which I'll get to in a bit), there are several practical reasons as well:

• Ghee has a higher smoke point. Regular butter begins to brown, smoke and scorch even at low temperatures, which you may have discovered if you've ever tried to fry eggs in butter. However, butter may be better for baking because it has a sweeter taste. Ghee, on the other hand, doesn't burn as quickly because the flammable milk solids have been removed. The smoke point for ghee is 385 degrees F,4 which makes it better than butter when it comes to browning, searing or sautéing.

• Ghee has a longer shelf life. The process used for making ghee prevents it from spoiling as quickly, so it will last for around six months in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer. Especially if it will be used sooner than six months, ghee stored at room temperature remains spreadable. Just make sure it's stored in an air-tight container to keep it free of moisture.

• Ghee is easier for lactose-sensitive people to digest. For the lactose-sensitive, ghee may be an option since the trace amounts of dairy are in a form dairy-sensitive people can tolerate. You can use ghee to toast spices rather than dry-roasting them, which imparts a deeper, richer essence, especially in authentic Indian cuisine. In fact, one delicious way to make spiced ghee is to add herbs or seasonings such as garlic, cumin, rosemary, ginger or cinnamon at the beginning of the clarifying process.

It's important to note that ghee is only as good as the milk used to make the original butter. Always use grass-fed butter, which is butter made from the milk of cows that munched grass as opposed to grains such as genetically engineered (GE) corn. Cows don't digest grains well. In fact, grains alter their gut bacteria in ways that promote disease, besides the fact they have a detrimental effect on the nutritional composition of the meat and milk.

Raw milk from organic, grass-fed cows contains better nutrients, and poses a lower risk of contamination from growth hormones, antibiotics and pathogens common to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), where most conventional dairy cows are raised.
Milk, cream, butter and other dairy from cows contain the fat along with beta-carotene, which is where the yellow color comes from. Even whole milk is mostly water, with just over 3 percent fat. Ghee contains medium-chain fatty acids, which may be easier to digest and better for your heart compared to other saturated fatty acids.

Ghee also has a higher concentration of butyric acid than butter — a type of acid known for its positive effects on immune function and anti-inflammatory activity. Some early evidence also suggests that butyric acid is linked to improvement in irritable bowel syndrome." 
Healthy saturated fats in raw animal products like butter, cheese and whole raw milk are crucial for good health.

The problem is that scientists lumped all fats together and called virtually all of them unhealthy, when it's the artificial fats, like synthetic trans fats, that are harmful and can cause heart disease and diabetes. In fact, what consumers have been told about saturated fats is the opposite of the truth. In addition, grass-fed dairy introduces more beneficial omega-3s into your system to balance omega-6s compared to grain-fed dairy.