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Eidia Moni Amin

Health Benefits of Cooking with Ghee

How do you make ghee, and what are the health benefits of cooking with it?

Long familiar to South Asian cuisine, ghee is an excellent alternative to traditional cooking oils on the market, especially for roasting and sautéing vegetables. Olive oil can have negative health impacts when cooked because of its low smoke point (it can still have a lot of health benefits when used correctly), and coconut oil can sometimes impart too strong a flavor on dishes. Instead, ghee adds a creamy flavor, rounding out dishes without overpowering them.

Plus, it contains vitamin E (an antioxidant) and Vitamin K (good for injury recovery), as well as being high in Vitamin A (which is essential for bone-building and immune system health). Ghee, despite being a derivative of butter, is also rich in compounds that are anticancer, antidiabetic, anticholesterolemic, and antimicrobial. As such, it is frequently used in Ayurveda to transport herbs into the deep tissues of the body (when consumed and when used topically).

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To prepare ghee according to the traditional Indian method, slowly simmer butter in a saucepan to coax out the water and milk solids. After about ten to fifteen minutes (around when it “foams” for the second time), what remains is ghee, which has a higher smoke point than butter and a rich, soft taste. After letting this cool for two or three minutes, pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth, and store in the fridge. This semi-soft cooking oil is great for baking and sautéing, and our favorite way to use it is to melt and pour it over simmering vegetables.

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