Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Vegetarian Alert: Heal your Diet with this Ayurvedic Superfood

Your own Self-Realization is the greatest
service you can render the world
--Sri Ramna Maharshi

Grass-fed organic ghee is as delicious as it is healing. Among its chief nutritional benefits; it calms inflammatory conditions associated with the pitta dosha, like acne...and it's high in CLA, an important nutrient abundant in red meat and dairy, often lacking in vegetarian diets.

CLA, (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) increases satiety, promotes weight loss, and lowers insulin resistance. Why grass fed? Grass-fed cows have 500% more CLA in their milk than do grain-fed. If you do nothing else but include adequate amounts of CLA in your diet ( 2 - 4 grams a day), you'll lighten up by 2 - 4 lb in a year.

Ghee, which is actually clarified butter, maximizes absorption by carrying nutrients and protective spices deep into the tissues. Its ability to penetrate rapidly into the blood stream earns it a starring position in ayrurvedic medicine; it's been used as a 'carrier' for over a thousand years – essential to allowing nourishing formulas to strengthen the body (like chyrandush) and delivering potent formulas that target the blood brain barrier.
Heated ghee is slightly alkalizing, unlike cooking with butter and traditional cooking oils, which when heated, acidify the system. (An alkaline system is stronger and more inhospitable to 'foreign invaders', like bacteria, virus', etc...whereas acidity breeds toxicity, weaker immune function, vulnerability to infection, etc.) Ghee also has a higher smoking point than butter and most oils. Since casein and lactose are removed from ghee during the clarification process, even those allergic to dairy, casein, or lactose can benefit it.

3. CLA's benefits have shown to include lowering insulin resistance and “if there is inadequate intake of CLA, dietary fat cannot be moved into cells or stored as energy. The end result is that the body stores this fat” according to James Howenstein, MD in 'A Physicians Guide to Natural Health Products that work.'
In 1945 Dr. Weston Price identified what he called “Activator X” as a critical nutrient to optimal health. The vitamin, since identifed as Vit K2 is naturally occurring in the fat of ruminants that graze upon growing, green grass.

Delicious, Nourishing Ways to use Ghee:

Add a teaspoon of ghee to chai recipes to deliver healing spices deep into tissues.

Chyrandush – ghee and honey-based ,with ayurvedic herbs; nourishing, delicious, and child-friendly. A tablespoon a day keeps the Doctor way. (great for back-to-school).

Drizzle melted ghee over popcorn.

Prepare omlettes with ghee.

Add ghee to oatmeal.

Saute veggies in ghee.

Drizzle over favorite bread.

Saute garlic in ghee, spread on naan,or brushcetta.

Add ghee to hot spiced rice.

Guilt-free dessert: Mix 2tsp. Ghee with 1tsp carob powder add agave nectar to taste. Spread on rice cake for a satisfying, gluten-free treat.

Guilty Desserts – substitute grass-fed ghee for butter or shortening in cookies, cakes, etc. The taste will be enriched and bakery will stay fresh longer.
Spiced Chai with Ghee

(Serves 4)
4 whole cloves*
2 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
3 cups water
1/4 inch fresh ginger*
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups grass fed milk
Sugar to taste
2 tablespoons black tea
2 teaspoons organic grass fed ghee

*Pitta should avoid pungent herbs; go lightly on these. If you are Pita, also avoid salt, cheese, yogurt, and alcohol; all too acidic.

Slow Food Method: Add spices, water, ginger and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer on low for 5 minutes. Add the milk and sugar to the pan and bring to a boil again. Add tea and bring to a boil again. Strain. Add 2 teaspoons ghee and cool slightly before serving.
Quicker Method: Bring water and spices to a boil. Add tea and milk and bring to a boil once more. Strain. Add 2 teaspoons ghee before serving.

Benefits of Chai Spices:

Cardamom: Supports digestion without increasing heat. Mucus forming properties of milk neutralized when cardamom is added. Promotes expectorant, digestive actions.

Ginger: Has heating, cleansing, toning and stimulating properties. Promotes digestion, and helps resolve respiratory issues due to phlegm; arthritic conditions due to coldness.

Cinnamon: Warming spice used in cold formulas; aids digestion.

Clove: Energizing herb, aromatic, benefits lungs and stomach.
Fragrant Naan with Ghee(Makes 8 – 16 naan)
1 1/2 active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 cup warm water (105F-110F)
1 tsp salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
5 tbsp ghee
3 tbsp plain yogurt
additional ghee for brushing
additional salt, for sprinkling

Mix yeast and water, let sit for 10 minutes. Add salt and flour, then ghee and yogurt. If necessary to bind the dough, add additional flour or another tablespoon of ghee. Knead until smooth and elastic (about 4 minutes in bread mixer). Cover in an oiled bowl and let rise for about 90 minutes in a warm place, until doubled. Punch down dough and knead for 10 minutes more on a floured, clean surface. Divide the dough into 8 or more balls, then roll out; try for teardrop shape. (Roll thicker for frying; if broiling about 1/4” is good.)

To pan-fry:Brush one side of a rolled out naan with ghee and sprinkle lightly with salt. In a hot skillet or griddle, place ghee-side down. Brush the other side with ghee. Flip after about 2 – 3 minutes. It should be turning slightly brown, with darker spots (similar to tortillas). Remove.

To stone-broil:Preheat oven to broil, place a pizza stone in the lower third of the oven (about 20 minutes). Once the stone is sizzling, naan can be placed onto stone. After 90 seconds, check for bronw spots; depending on oven temperature, it may take up to 2 -3 minutes per naan. Carefully remove naans with tongs. Drizzle ghee over naan and a pinch of kosher salt.

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