Looking for a healthy high- temperature cooking oil? You might want to try clarified butter, or ghee. Ayurvedic consultant Christine Hoar of Bristol Yoga and Ayurveda in Bristol, Vermont, says clarifying butter removes the impurities that increase ama, or toxins, in the body. According to Ayurvedic medicine, this staple of East Indian cooking enhances digestion, improves memory, and boosts immunity.
How to make your own. Widely available in natural products stores, ghee is also easy to make. Melt 1 to 2 pounds of butter in a saucepan over low heat. When the white milk curds separate from the oil and sink to the bottom and the mixture stops sputtering, skim the foam off the top. Gently spoon the clear portion into a glass jar, straining it through several layers of cheesecloth. Discard the curds and foam.
Using ghee. “Ghee is very versatile,” says Hoar. “You can cook with ghee or use it as massage oil or base for herbal ointments.” Use ghee like you would any other cooking oil. Because it’s purified, it won’t burn like butter. Add a small amount of ghee directly to foods for a healthy and healing dose of fat that will improve digestion by kindling agni, the digestive fire. Keep water and food out of your jar of ghee and it will last indefinitely.