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clarified butter

The Goodness of Clarified Butter

Ghee is back on the good-for-health platform, something Indian ancients have prescribed for eons!!

Ghee or clarified butter has been an important ingredient in Indian homes and kitchens. It has been used for many reasons …religious, cooking, medicinal and as a lubricant. In the past few decades, ghee had been vilified and made into a monster and anybody having ghee with their rice or roti was threatened with all kinds of health hazards. Over the past few years however, modern science has now verified what Ayurvedic health science has said for thousands of years: ghee, used in judicious amounts, has a host of health and cooking benefits and is good for the mind and spirit.

In Ayurveda, cow’s milk and ghee are believed to be among the best nutrients for human beings. It is ideal for heart patients and people with excessive cholesterol in their blood.

Its regular consumption enhances physical and mental strength, keeps the body healthy and increases the potency of the body. It helps in throwing out the impurities from the body. It corrects the eye, rebuilds and makes healthy muscles and tendons, and makes bones sturdy yet supple. It is now considered as one of the power foods!

shutterstock_391257766The benefits of ghee include:

  • A high smoke point. Food cooked in it will not break down into free radicals like other cooking oils.
  • Ghee has a much longer shelf life and does not spoil. Above all it need not be stored in the refrigerator.
  • Ghee is made from butter. As the milk solids and impurities have been removed, it can be safely eaten by people with lactose or casein intolerance.
  • Ghee is rich in vitamins A and E. It is rich in K2 and CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) and is therefore an antioxidant.
  • Ghee is as good as coconut oil and is a great source of energy.
  • Ghee helps in the digestive process and so benefits general health and weight loss.

shutterstock_381330925Optimize your use of ghee

  1. Fry spices in ghee to help your system to absorb its goodness. Ayurveda uses ghee in most of its herbal and medicinal preparations. Ghee helps the body to use these herbs and spices in the best possible way.
  2. Always store your ghee in an air-tight container and it will keep for two-three months. In the refrigerator it can last for a year!
  3. Ghee is one of the seven healthy fats you need in your kitchen.
  4. Use ghee instead of butter to spread on your toast or muffins.
  5. Use it for seasoning mustard and cumin that is used on most Indian dishes.
  6. Steamed vegetables with ghee and salt make an awesome side dish. Season it with your favorite herbs.
  7. For roasting vegetables in the oven, drizzle melted ghee over the dish before baking. Your home will have a divine aroma.

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Padmini Natarajan calls herself Dame Quixote for she is forever tilting at windmills! A storyteller, poet, columnist, blogger, editor and journalist, she has specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. She has worked for over 15 years as Part-time Language Editor and Writer of manuals, curriculum textbooks and other material with an E-education organization, EZVidya/Chrysalis that is aimed at empowering Teachers, Students and Parents. She taught Vedic Heritage at Kalavardini to children from the ages of 3 to 14 and written and directed skits and plays. She won the Gourmand Special Jury Award in Paris in 2009 as co-author of ‘Classic Tamil Brahmin Cuisine’. Her book of short stories - ‘Crossroads: Stories from South Indian Lives’ - has good reviews on Amazon. Padmini has been concerned with paying it forward with her involvement in organizations like Sneha, a suicide prevention NGO, Canstop, Cancer Support group and many women’s organizations. Her other passion was acting, on stage, TV and screen. She is a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff, a music maniac who listens to Golden Oldies and has a strong Facebook presence. Nowadays she is an armchair activist and world traveler from the safety of her home. Quite the hypochondriac, she is exploring spiritual enlightenment through Vedanta and loves to spout philosophical thoughts to unwary audiences.