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I just realized that my mother cooked with ghee. This was long before I had any knowledge of nutrition or Butyrates (short chain fatty acids which are a source of energy for cells in the intestinal lining. Studies suggest that it is butyrate which gives fiber its anti-cancer effects. Cells incubated in high butyrate environments tend to not mutate as frequently.).
This revelation came last week when I was preparing food for a book club meeting at my house. I had just put up Thanksgiving decorations, and I wanted to do healthy snacks that went along with the decorations. I fixed Cranberry Crunch, which everyone loved, sweet potato fries, and shrimp. Ok, shrimp aren’t exactly Thanksgiving fare, but they were high protein and they were on sale.
I had sliced the sweet potatoes into thin rounds in my food processor, when I realized I was out of light olive oil and out of ghee. Butter will just have to do, I told myself, and I put a Tablespoon on each of my cookie sheets and put them in the oven. A few minutes later I pulled out the pre-heated sheets and realized that I had quickly made just enough ghee for the fries. It had the same look and smell as ghee does when I make a whole pot of it.
Suddenly I remembered how my Mom scrambled eggs. She put a teaspoon or two of butter in a skillet, and heated it until it was bubbly and starting to turn brown. Then she poured in the beaten eggs and chunks of cheese. My Dad always said she made the best scrambled eggs in the world. It had to be the ghee.
I still need to go to the store for more olive oil. The best place to buy is in the opposite direction from my mother’s rehab facility, and I just haven’t had time to make the extra drive. I still need to make a batch of ghee for the refrigerator. But over the weekend, when I needed oil for cooking, I made Quick Ghee.
A Tablespoon in a sauce pan turns quickly into ghee. One warning. It is easy enough to burn ghee when I am making ¾ cup. It is really, really easy to burn Quick Ghee. If you try this, stay by your stove. Don’t turn your back. You can have a smoky mess faster than you think. Fortunately I did not smoke up the kitchen, but once I came close enough to remind myself and you to be cautions.
I'm not a chemist, but clearly ghee is different from melted butter. It's the butyrates that I'm interested in, and they seem to form during the heating process. My body is not so sensitive nor my digestive system so fragile, that a few unfiltered milk solids would outweigh the beneficial effects of the butyrates.
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