“How lovely.” Annie smiled at the handwritten note from Kelly and Mark. “LJ, your brother, and his wife invited us to lunch next Sunday. Kelly’s note says we’ll sit outside, so socially-distancing should be easy.”
“That’s nice. I want to see how the backyard remodel turned out. Let’s bring a veggie bouquet because we have lots of asparagus and broccoli right now.”
“Ok, I’m also thinking about making a batch of ghee, and we can bring them a couple of jars.”
“Gee, ghee, what a good idea,” quipped LJ. “I know we’ve been eating it instead of butter, but why again?”
Annie gave him the side-eye, “Ghee is a variation of clarified butter. The process for making it includes slowly melting butter, not margarine or that other fake stuff, but real butter, until it’s liquid. As the butter melts, the liquid fat separates from the milk solids, dropping to the pot’s bottom. Ghee is slightly different from clarified butter which, is immediately strained through a sieve to capture only the butterfat when melted. Ghee instead is left to cook longer so the milk fat on the bottom browns, contributing a deeper rich flavor with a slightly roasted taste. That’s why clarified butter has a light golden appearance, and ghee has a richer, deeper look. Once ghee cools a bit, it is also strained through cheesecloth or a paper towel to remove all of the milk protein.”
“So, by removing the milk fat ghee is easier to digest for those of us who are lactose intolerant?”
“Yes, LJ, and you are worth the effort to make or buy it. Ghee contains many of the same nutrients as butter but without casein and lactose. Casein is a protein in milk that can trigger allergies, and lactose is a sugar that, for some, the small intestine can’t digest. By removing both through making clarified butter or ghee, the dairy-sensitive can enjoy this friendly fat. Ghee is high in Omega-3s, a reliable mood-booster and butyric acid that supports immunity and gut health.”
LJ bit into his apple, “don’t we need to be careful about overeating butter? After all, we are talking about saturated fat, right?”
“Yes, all things in moderation. The American Heart Association recommendation is no more than 5–6 percent of a person’s daily calories in saturated fat, around 13 grams per day. According to WebMD, Ghee has about 42 calories per teaspoon and 5 grams of saturated fat. Keeping that in mind, ghee is rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) a fatty acid known for its cancer prevention and weight loss properties, and is a good source of vitamins A (vision), D (weight-loss), E (skin,) and K (bones).”
Annie smiled at LJ, “I used ghee last night on our popcorn. Did you like it?”
“You butter believe it!”
Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.