Ghee: The Better Butter


Butter is back after being banished in favor of margarine. Margarine contains trans-fats that damage artery walls setting the stage for heart disease. Butter isn’t perfect. It contains milk solids that cause inflammation leading to heart disease, arthritis, asthma, ear infections, skin diseases and more. These solids burn at low heat, leaving an awful taste and look behind. Butterfat is a good source of saturated and monounsaturated fat, as well as fatty acids with anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. Always choose organic unsalted butter. Conventional butter is a concentrated source of antibiotics, hormones and pesticides. Salt hides rancidity when older cream is used.

Enter ghee, the staple of Ayurvedic medicine from India. Ghee is pure butterfat without the pesky milk solids. It tolerates high heat, but becomes soft solid at room temperature for spreading. Substitute ghee for butter or oil in recipes. People with dairy sensitivities generally can eat ghee.

You can buy ghee, but it is easy to make at home. Get a canning jar with the two-part lid, some cheesecloth and some organic unsalted butter. Boil the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. It will make lots popping sounds. Meanwhile, cut a 6 inch square piece of double layer cheese cloth. Place it over the opening of the canning jar. Tighten the rim of the lid over the cheesecloth, pushing down on the cheesecloth to slacken it a bit. When the popping sounds quiet to one every second or two, carefully pour the hot liquid through the cheesecloth into the canning jar. Use hot pads to move the jar to a safe place to cool. The amber liquid will turn yellow-white as it cools. Remove the rim and the cheesecloth, assemble the lid and close the jar. Four sticks of butter make 12 ounces of ghee. Store at room temperature. Ghee has a long shelf life, but never lasts long in our kitchen!

Bethany Klug, DO specializes in holistic medicine at the Kansas City Holistic Centre.

She teaches whole foods nutrition and holistic living online. Visit University Of Masters [] for information about her courses. Please enter “DRKLUG” in the referral box when you enroll.

She authors the monthly column “The Doctor Cooks” for the Kansas City Wellness Magazine. The Doctors Cooks Weblog is now online with past articles, menus, recipes, tips and other resources. Please subscribe!

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