Ghee is stable fat. It’s great for cooking because unlike butter and some oils, it has a high flash point and won’t easily smoke and burn. Once opened, ghee stores well for several months in a dark, cool pantry or for up to a year in the fridge. However, ghee is not a “forever” fat. If you notice your ghee has an “off” smell or a distinct sour odor or flavor, it’s likely been stored for too long. Before you throw it out, remember that ghee has many uses that go beyond consuming it. Here are some ideas for using that jar of old ghee:
- Use it to make a ghee “lamp” without an actual candle. Pinch off some of a cotton ball; shape it into a wick then soak it in melted ghee. Place in a small earthen (clay) bowl or in a candle holder with additional ghee. Light the wick and you have a beautiful, clean burning flame. In India, these beautiful ghee candles are used in rituals honoring deities and saints.
- Rub into cast iron skillets and Dutch ovens to keep them seasoned.
- Oil tools in your toolbox to keep them shiny and in good working order.
- Add favorite essential oils and use as a massage oil for dried feet and ankles (apply at bedtime, wear old socks and wash off in the morning).
- Massage into your belly button. In the ancient Indian healing tradition of Ayurveda, rubbing warm, melted ghee or oil into the naval is thought to be nurturing, calming and detoxifying. Plus, it just plain feels good!
- Rub a bit into the palms of hands along with an essential oil such as rosemary, lavender or ylang-ylang. Smooth into hair and massage gently into scalp. Let it soak in before washing.
- Mix with honey and apply to a small cut or burn to help speed healing. Cover with a bandage.
- Mix with relaxing essential oils and gently rub a bit into temples to relax and calm the body.