Ayurveda Recipe: Ghee
What is Ghee?
Ghee is an amazing substance with countless benefits to our body and mind. It has been used in Ayurveda for thousands of years due to its numerous medicinal properties. Ghee is highly clarifed butter. It is made by cooking butter until the water has evaporated, and then removing the dairy solids. Research shows that ghee contains the least saturated fat of any fatty substance. The process of making ghee removes 100% of the hydrogenated fats and 75% of the saturated fats from the butter. Unlike butter, ghee helps to stimulate the healthy flow of fluids throughout the body. Butter can congest; ghee removes blockages. No other substance stimulates the flow of bodily fluids as ghee does.
Benefits of Ghee
- increases digestive fire and improves absorption and assimilation
- strengthens the brain and nervous system
- improves memory
- lubricates joints and connective tissue and makes the body more flexible.
- strengthens the immune system while decreasing heat, acidity and inflammation that occurs due to excess pitta.
How To Make Ghee
Only One Ingredient!
- One pound of unsalted butter (preferably organic)
- Place butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a clean, dry spoon to prevent sizzling or browning until all butter melts.
- When the butter has melted, increase heat and bring to a boil.
- Once the surface is covered with froth/foam, stir one last time and reduce heat to very low.
- Simmer, undisturbed, uncovered, until solids have sunk to bottom and turned from white to golden brown and a thin crust of transparent butterfat remains on the surface. Ghee will smell like movie theater popcorn at about this time, and it will grow quiet with just a mere rumbling, bubbling sound.
- Allow ghee to cool for approx. 1/2 hour so that you can handle the pan without burning yourself.
- Slowly and carefully, remove pan from heat and without disturbing the solids that have collected on the bottom. Pour the liquid through a sieve lined with triple-layered cheesecloth or single muslin cloth or my favorite unbleached paper towel). Place the sieve over a kitchen funnel. Pour into a sterile, dry, wide-mouthed glass jar/container (such as mason jar). Avoid disturbing solids at the bottom.
- You can keep the bottom solids for adding to soups, sandwich spreads, veggie dishes, etc., but they must be stored separately and refrigerated.
- Allow ghee to cool completely (to room temperature) before adding lid. Then, cover tightly and store at room temperature in a cool, dry, dark place. Can be stored for years at a time;
- Store ghee at room temperature. Ghee contaminates easily, so always use a clean, dry utensil when dipping into the jar.
BONUS: Water will contaminate it. If this happens, mold will grow on the surface; simply scrape it oﬀ and continue to use. Since this process of cooking the butter removes all the water, if you undercook ghee, it will mold easily; however, overcooked it will burn. A touch of light browning, on the other hand, can lend a delicate flavor.
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Meet Your Facilatator: Eleni Tsikrikas
Eleni discovered YOGA as a means for reducing stress in 1995 while practicing law in Sydney, Australia. Smitten, Eleni completed the Sydney Yoga Centre’s teacher training course. In 2000, Eleni quit the legal profession to teach Yoga full time. In 2004 Eleni moved to Los Angeles and began intensive study with Robert Birnberg a senior student in the T. Krichnamacharya lineage. The major focus of her studies is the “Yoga Sutras of Pantajali” the guidebook dedicated to creating a satvic mind.
Eleni is a Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, CAS, a Pancha Karma Specialist PKS. She runs a private ayurvedic practice and teaches “Ayurvedic Skills for Living” courses in Silverlake and Sydney. She is a faculty member of The Yoga Institute in Sydney and at California College of Ayurveda, where she teaches and mentors students. She continues to pursue her passion for herbs, studying with renowned herbalist KP Khalsa. Eleni has completed the educational component leading to qualifications as a Western Herbalist. She is presently working on the accreditation process for the American Herbalist Guild.
Eleni passionately believes food is medicine and is looking forward to sharing her passion at The Yoga Institute with a monthly Ayuveda Workshop.