Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ghee, how to make it and why it is healthy

When butter is melted down and the milk solids are removed the oil leftover is known as ghee, clarified butter, or butter oil.

Often times, people with milk allergies can tolerate ghee. This is because there is no lactose or casein in ghee when is properly made. This is true for me, dairy upsets my stomach and flares up my eczema. But I don't have any issues with ghee.

One nice thing about ghee is it has a long shelf life. After it can be kept in the cupboard for several months. You don't have to worry about it going rancid like butter. It will be semi-solid at room temperature but still soft enough to scoop out with a knife and spread onto food. It can be kept longer in the fridge but it will firm up and difficult to scoop out.

Ghee is perfect for high temperature cooking. It won't burn like butter because the milk solids are gone. It has a much higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil so it's a better option for frying. When olive oil is heated past 350-375 free radicals are released and act as carcinogens when consumed.

It's much cheaper to make your own than to buy it. Ghee comes in tiny little bottles and is rather expensive at stores. Take a little time to melt some butter and save your money. When purchasing butter make sure it's organic from grass fed cows. Chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones are stored in fat, so factory farmed cows often have toxins in their milk.

Ghee from healthy cows will have a deep yellow color. This indicates that it is very nutrient dense. It also has vitamins A, D, E, and K, antioxidants, and butyric acid (anti-cancerous).

The saturated fat found in ghee is good for our heart, brain, bones, and immune system. Saturated fat actually raises HDL cholesterol and protects the heart. Calcium can't get into our bones without the help of saturated fat, so it can help prevent osteoporosis. Our brains need fat and cholesterol to function properly. Finally, saturated fats have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral fatty acids that keep our immune system strong.

 Melt grass fed butter on med-low heat in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Once foam has risen to the top turn the heat down to low and carefully scoop off the foam
 let it simmer on low for about 15 more minutes, or until the milk solids have turned a light brown and sink to the bottom of the pan.
 Let the ghee cool for about 10-15 minutes and prepare a glass jar, a funnel, and cheese cloth. I prefer to use a nut milk bag instead of a cheese cloth because the mesh is even smaller.
Pour the ghee through the cheese cloth into the jar. It should be a deep yellow color without any milk solids. Let it cool completely before putting the lid on, then keep it in your cupboard or fridge. Use it for frying, baking, add to steamed veggies, or put a spoonful into your morning oatmeal. It has a wonderful rich flavor that is good on anything!  

Sources Include: The Weston A. Price Foundation, Mary Enig, Sally Fallon, and Dr. Mercola.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Battling GMO's

Genetically Modified Organism's have been in the news lately. California is trying to get them labeled (crossing my fingers they do), and there are petitions going around in many states tyring to get them labeled as well. The Non-GMO Project has tons of information that is well worth reading.

Reasons to avoid gmo's.
  1. They have never had standard testing done to see if they are safe for human consumption
  2. They have been shown to be harmful in animal studies
  3. Most gmo's are paired with an herbicide that is linked to several health problems
  4. The future consequences of gmo's are not yet known
  5. Monsanto control's 90% of genetically engineered crops. It's never good for one person/company to have complete power over our food.
  6. Those that produce gmo's threaten farmers and silence scientists, because they don't want the truth about them to come out
  7. Farms can be safe and sustainable without gmo's.
I thought I had created a gmo free kitchen. When shopping I buy locally grown and organic as much as possible. I've been avoiding any companies that have given money to support gmo's. It's pretty easy to remember the big brand names, but it can be harder to remember the "natural" brand names that are owned by these larger companies.

It may only contain peanuts but it is owned by Smuckers....

The other day I saw a jar of Adams peanut butter in my fridge. It's labeled as all natural and the only ingredient is peanuts. Out of curiosity I emailed Adams to find out if they use or support gmo's. Here was their response:

"In recent years, agricultural science has developed and grown crops using modern biotechnology techniques in an effort to produce a higher quality, more economical and dependable food supply. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have determined that existing “biotech” foods are safe and do not differ in any meaningful way from other food.

Due to the expanding use of biotechnology by farmers and the commingling of ingredients in storage and shipment, it is possible that some of our products may contain ingredients derived from biotechnology. We believe that safety is an important issue. We support continued evaluation of the best methods to assure safety and we encourage discussion by all interested parties with respect to developing appropriate means to assess its risks and benefits. We also support a more rigorous and transparent regulatory process. Internally, we utilize a cross-functional team to monitor and evaluate developments in biotechnology and advise senior management of the impact to Adams®.

You can be assured that we will continue to manufacture the safe and high quality products you have come to expect. If you should have further questions or need additional information, please visit us at

Yeah....a simple yes or no would have sufficed. Nothing like getting the ol' run around. I went and looked at the jar again and down at the bottom I saw that it is owned by Smuckers. This is a large company that has given money to support that gmos don't get labeled. Time fore me to find a better peanut butter company, Yikes!!

When I called CB's Nuts and asked them if they use gmo's I was answered with a simple no. Then I was invited me to come to their store and sign a petition to get gmo's labeled. This is the kind of company I want and will support. Another plus is that they are located here in Washington.

CB,s Nuts. Local and made without gmo's! 
*Note: I took this photo from google images.*