Ghee is one of the best oils for cooking. It stimulates digestive fire (or Agni) according to Ayurveda. It has a very high smoke point (~400°F) and its chemical structure does not change at high heat. When you cook with ghee, there is no hissing, popping or splattering. It produces sweet aroma when heated. You use less than half of other oils and it enhances the flavor of food.
Cow Ghee is considered a sattvic food in Ayurveda. Cow milk has the essence of the grass and plants, and cow ghee possesses the essence of cow milk. Ghee does not contain harmful trans fats or hydrogenated oils which can cause heart disease and many other serious health problems. Ghee is a carrier of nutrition due to its ability to penetrate deep into tissues. Ghee also aids in the absorptions of vitamins and minerals in the food. This is the reason so many of Ayurvedic supplements are based on ghee.
Ghee is considered one of the best oils for baking, sauteing and deep frying. Casein and lactose are removed from butter during the clarification process, making ghee suitable for people allergic to dairy or with casein or lactose intolerance.
A well-prepared ghee has very little moisture content and it is shelf-stable. You do not need to refrigerate it for 2-3 months if you keep it in an airtight container. This makes it suitable to carry while traveling or camping. When kept in refrigerator, ghee can last up to a year. Ghee has slightly alkalizing effect on the body whereas butter has a slightly acidifying effect.
A ghee which has been properly washed accordingly to Ayurvedic specifications is very beneficial in healing the skin. A small amount of ghee applied to belly button nourishes the entire body and is especially helpful is healing dried lips. Ghee is widely used in Ayurvedic massages and supplements.
Ghee is most notably said to stimulate the secretion of stomach acids to help with digestion, while other fats, such as butter and oils, slow down the digestive process and can sit heavy in the stomach. I've tried several high quality ghee over the last few years and am so excited to have recently tried Pure Indian Foods and so happy to find 100% grass fed ghee! It is as delicious as it is nutritious.
What are your opinions on using ghee vs butter/oil for cooking?
Edited by Simon, 11 September 2009 - 09:37 AM.