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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

ghee whiz


GHEE WHIZ

Ghee is an Indian ( dot, not feather ) food where butter is clarified and turned into a room temperature oil.  Besides the sexual positions manual and some wicked cool world destroyer gods, about the best thing their civilization ever offered the world was Ghee.  Is it as good as butter?  Perhaps if you live in the jungle and your village alternates between being underwater and not seeing rain for half a year, yes.  If you are a descendent of northern cultures, perhaps not so much.  But for an age in which there is no refrigeration-you know, the one coming up real soon-it is an alternative to regular butter you should consider.  If you don’t yet have a regular source of milk and hence butter, such as the time spent in a hidey hole waiting for the die-off to complete, ghee will give you a relatively cheap relatively complete protein source.  As we talked about yesterday, storage protein is expensive no matter how you do it.  Butter is a great alternative.

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But, is ghee butter or is it an oil?  Is it a complete protein like other animal foods?  Unfortunately, I’m not sure.  I spent an hour Google’ing on Ghee and it was a very frustrating experience with few complete answers other than how to make and preserve it.  Back thirty years ago I was really into alternate medicines and diets.  I read a lot on the subject.  One thing that became clear early on, even to my unschooled ignorant nineteen year old brain, was that most of the authors were friggin loony toons bat crap crazy.  Like Wiccan practitioners putting back dried dragon scales for their spells.  Every food they deem worthy is treated and preached as the elixir guaranteed to grant eternal life.  It is aggravating as hell.  You can’t get impartial or even scientifically researched information.  And that is what the ghee information was.  I couldn’t find out if it stored for only three months or as long as freeze dried foods if stored in the dark.  I couldn’t find out if it was a complete protein with all the essential amino acids.

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So, while I’ve done my best to present a balanced article, just keep in mind I’m going more on common sense than factual information.  The only information I have is incomplete and heresy.  To make ghee, start with unsalted butter ( some claim salted can be made to work but given the choice just go salt-less ).  Start at medium heat to melt your butter.  Start at a pound during your learning process.  You can increase the amount as long as your pan is big enough later on.  Once melted it will begin to bubble.  Turn it down enough to keep the butter from burning but high enough to keep bubbling.  Foam will rise to the top but you don’t need to skim it.  Just stir occasionally to help prevent burning.  A white substance will form on the bottom.  When you can see all the way to the bottom, and the white substance turns brown, it is done.  Let it cool down before pouring through cheesecloth in a wire mesh bowl.  Pour the clear liquid into jars and seal.  It is probably best to NOT refrigerate as you MUST avoid introducing water into your ghee ( possible condensation ).  It is like with mayonnaise.  Avoid ALL contamination to keep it from prematurely spoiling.  In the case of ghee this means all water as well.  NO water on your spoon getting it out to use.

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Now, you can hot water bath these cans of ghee for long life.  Two inches of water over the lids and on for ten minutes.  The author of that stressed the need to keep water out of the cans.  He used a hair drier to completely dry the lids and jars.  You can, in theory, also store long term without canning.  If ALL the water was removed in cooking and you store the oil completely in the dark ( not even artificial light ) it is claimed to last a very long time.  In my opinion, you can probably say it has a three month life if left on the counter in a lit kitchen after being cooked by an amateur.  If cooked properly and stored carefully, I would count on a few years as a reasonable time to store the ghee.

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 As far as the complete protein issue, while it would have been nice to know I can’t claim it is that much of a concern.  While eating with a grain, you should get a complete protein.  Kind of like eating rice with beans.  The combined ingredients equal an animal protein.  Of course, I stress the word SHOULD.  I’m not making a claim I’d put money on.  I just look at it like you are much closer to a better diet with ghee than with wheat only.  You’ll probably still need to stock lots of shortening.  Ghee is no where as cheap and you need a long term source of fat.  Look at ghee as your replacement of butter protein for long term food storage, not as a fat source alone.  Once those jars of ghee run out you’ll still need your fat. 

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I would still stockpile that butter in your freezer.  First off, you can get it on sale at Kroger on a semi-regular basis for $2.50.  Stock that freezer full just for daily eating.  Then, when the collapse comes you can turn what you have to into ghee to save it.  Of course, yes, you are canning ghee just for storage now, also.  You do need the practice.  So, when the power goes out for good all that meat gets canned and cooked and dried and all the butter gets cooked into ghee.  No waste, all bought on sale ( you could also be canning meat on a regular basis with no extra cost besides lids and propane-a negligible cost considering you bought the meat on sale ).  Doesn’t all that sound cheaper and tastier than freeze dried meat at $200 a case?  Yes, the freeze dried still wins in longevity and if nothing happens for thirty years you’ll have spent the same on butter with replacements as shelf life expires ( even though you can consume it so it really isn’t a waste of money ).  But I don’t think you’ll have the luxury of three decades and in the meantime you’ll have multitudes of calories for the same cost.  Go ghee rather than freeze dried.

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29 comments:

  1. I am extremely skeptical about water bath canning ghee, I don't see how you could possibly do it without risking introducing water. Stuff expands when you heat it so you don't have that nice tight seal until it cools down again.

    On the other hand, I could see dry canning ghee. Basically just put your jars in an oven at least 250 degrees and let them heat through completely, then make sure the lids are tight before they cool down. If you don't have electricity this could be a Dutch oven or a solar oven.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm. Dry canning does indeed sound better.

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    2. Don't know about canning Ghee. I bought Red Feather canned butter made in New Zealand for long term storage. It cost a little more. (I paid $5 a can -- on sale.)

      However, I know from canning meat that canning jar lids do NOT like fat on the rubber sealing compound. It leads to the rubber compound getting gummy and failing.

      So proceed with caution.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. I've heard about the fat on the seal, then read from both sources ( Jackie & Keroscene Survivalist ) they canned and shook after sealing. Perhaps by shaking the pure fat doesn't separate and cause an issue. So, you can butter but not ghee? OK by me, I'd prefer ghee for after the collapse when there is no other choice.

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  2. try this one.. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/recipe/2603984/2 change qty in the drop down menu to 1 oz.

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    Replies
    1. Soooo, here it says complete amino acids, yet all fat and no protein. I'm still confused.

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  3. go to the ag college websites and look for info on clarified butter.
    the extension services [home economics] should have answers.
    'ask jackie' at 'backwoods home magazine' has recipes for canning butter in various forms.

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    Replies
    1. Good resource on Jackie-she's so safety paranoid I'd trust her opinion on canning butter.

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    2. Jackies book "how to grow and can your own food" which in theory has butter canning instructions, is available through Kindle Unlimited.

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  4. Uh... Ghee is nearly 100% fat, not protein. The "milk solids" filtered out are where the protein lives. Seems like powdered fat free milk would be a better way to store the animal protein in milk. Fat free powdered milk is about 1/3 protein and 1/2 carbohydrate (mostly lactose). If you want just protein, you can get bulk whey protein isolate. Its about 90% protein, but the product is so heavily processed that I wouldn't trust it for decent nutrition. You are spot-on regarding nutrition hocus pocus. Its nearly impossible to get good info without being overwhelmed by someone's personal dogma... so here's mine! Cow's milk seems to have a protein balance suited for, well, baby cows, not people. I'll stick with grain and beans along with a little dehydrated meat.

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    1. I would think to agree that ghee is all oil no protein but reading the vegetarian posts it was made out to be very complicated and contradictary. I was thinking this through the prism of saving the frozen butter, not the primary protein to buy now. I think cows milk is suited to certain generic mutants, but then that is my dogma!

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  5. “about the best thing their civilization ever offered the world was Ghee”


    Some of the women that I have seen are damn attractive. But they almost never date outside of their culture. And I'm not converting, getting married, or wrapping my head in one of those god awful, silly looking towels!

    But back to the topic. My brother always dries beef in his dehydrator and makes jerky. You might find beef at a reasonable cost from a local rancher or at a farmers market. You can dry any fish that you manage to catch, or purchase cheaply enough. You can do this off grid as well, but I'd imagine the dehydrator makes easier work of it. My brother also has a vacuum packer. This is probably optional for the jerky, but if you seal it off and store it in a cool place, it should last at least a year. One year should get you through the full die off phase.

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    1. Yep, dot gals are darn nice looking. Dried meat is of course optimal, but price per calories is far more than butter.

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    2. "...reasonable cost from a local rancher or at a farmers market..."
      =======================

      Don't know about elsewhere but around here most of the merchants in the farmers market treat their stuff like gold, with pricing accordingly. Some of the best deals out here in ruralville are found on the front porches with honesty jars and used plastic bags hanging on a nail.

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    3. Priced like gold everywhere. How can they help it with their costs? Still sucks.

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  6. Sir Lord BaltimoreAugust 16, 2016 at 3:44 PM

    Lord Bison what a fine coiffure you are sporting these days.....
    In case any of your readers happen to live in an area with a South Asian (aka Indian, Pakistani, Nepali) population they might be able to buy the stuff already packaged and ready to go. At a fairly reasonable price point. I will be out toward the Indian market in my area and will report on pricing tommorow or thereabouts.
    Another good storage form of fat that has an indefinite shelf life is coconut oil. It is certainly better for you than say Crisco...and has a myriad of uses other than eating. Skincare for instance.
    Costco usually has good deals on coconut oil should you have one nearby.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, again, its a question of low price with quantity or high price with quality.

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  7. here....

    2. Ghee does not spoil easily so it does not need refrigeration.
    Some ghee mixtures last up to 100 years.

    from: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/15-amazing-benefits-of-ghee.html

    You Know Who

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    Replies
    1. That might be correct on the storage life, but it might also be head up ass ranting by a more devout than factual adherent to the product writer. That was what I was talking about.

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    2. As my friend Steve said about 5 years ago, "There's TOO much information out there!", and to which I added, "And most of it is wrong."

      Late 90's to mid 00's the internet was a plethora of decent and useful information but with the proliferation of blogs and other opinionated websites (all mostly ad driven as the owner is unemployed like everyone else) the search for valid information has become downright difficult if not impossible.

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    3. I think that is the operating principle-the owners are unemployed and desperate.

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  8. I'd rather have cheese as a protein instead of that greasy butter.

    How bout this?.........

    All you have to do is buy the hard blocks of cheese that you want now in order to have them stored for up to the next 25 years. Cheese wax prevents your cheese from developing mold or bacteria and it keeps the moisture in. Simply use a combination of dipping and brushing with a natural boar's hair brush to apply the melted cheese wax liberally to your block of cheese, let it harden, and then, VOILA – you’ve got your wish. Cheese treated with cheese wax will store for up to 25 years at a mild to cool temperature.

    from:http://www.preparednesspro.com/cheese-wax-will-save-us-all-2

    You Know Who

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    Replies
    1. Hard cheese with wax is an excellent long term storage protein. But what are the calories per dollar? That is what I was primarily focused on.

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    2. I buy a decent quality cheddar cheese like Tillamook and store it in my basement and it will last over 12 months. The secret is to buy cheddar that is shrink wrapped already. I leave it in the wrapper -- no wax or any other treatment needed.

      It does get slightly sharper with time. In a year, it went from medium to sharp.

      Temperature wise, my basement ranges from 34* in winter to 57* in summer. I store the blocks in plastic storage totes in case of mice.

      I'm sure it would last longer than 12 months but I had bought only 12 two pound blocks for my experiment.

      Around here, Safeway will usually have a sale once a year on Tillamook Cheddar of $4.99 for a two pound block.



      Idaho Homesteader

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    3. I thought "Safeway Sale" was an oxymoron.

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    4. If you're willing to play the game, Safeway has some of the best sales in my area. In my town, I don't have a big choice on stores -- 2 regional grocery stores, Wal-Mart and Safeway.

      I only buy something from Safeway if it's on a good sale. Sometimes they also add on a sale of "buy $50 and get $5 off". Then top off with some manufacturers coupons.

      Idaho Homesteader

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    5. I think everyone has to Play The Game ( cherry pick, comparison shop ) anymore once Wally went tits up as the low price leader. When I was in Carson 8 years ago Safeway never had sales. Now that Albertsons/Safeway merged I can get SOME deals at Albies-but nothing like I did a few months prior to the merger with the last owners of Albies.

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  9. He said dot not feather. Took me a sec to figure it out. LOL you devil you

    ReplyDelete

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