Tuesday, November 15, 2011

International Oils

International Market

Oil is a great problem to food storage because of the shelf life factor. This is the shelf life of oils:

Can be left unrefrigerated for 1 or 2 days before becoming rancid.
Refrigerated butter keeps for 1 month past sell by date on the package.

Keeps 6-9 months in freezer.{Salted butter will keep longer than unsalted butter}

Olive Oil
Opened - pantry or refrigerated, keeps 18-24 months
Unopened – two year shelf life

Corn oil, Canola, Peanut oil, Vegetable oil or Shortening
Opened - 1 year on the shelf
Unopened- 2 years

Oil is a complex puzzle to solve because each type of oil provides different flavor and texture to the foods you are using them with. Vegetable oil has a neutral flavor, Olive Oil has a savory flavor, and butter provides a sweet flavor. Shortening provides a lighter texture than butter, but not as much flavor. So when shopping for oils to store, it's good to consider how you will be using the oils and what would be best for your cooking.

That brings us back to the international market. Shopping at these great stores provides a little bit more options for our oil food storage. Ghee is the first option. Also known as clarified butter or drawn butter, it has a wide variety of benifits including needeing no refrigeration!

Ghee contains vitamins A, D, and K. It is a source of Omega-3 and Omega-6, which are essential fatty acids. Ghee doesn't contain salt, so it doesn't make you thirsty. It also is great for people who are lactose intolerant. So the most important question of all, how long is the shelf life?
Well, I researched and researched this question and no one seemed to agree. Luckily I have a family member from India. She recently married my nephew and we adore them. I asked her how long ghee lasted and she said it is good for 6 months, and much longer if it is refrigerated.

Regular butter will go rancid within 2 days of being left out of the refrigerator. Ghee will last 6 months or longer. It is healthier that butter, and doesn't burn until 400 degrees, which is much higher than butter.

Ghee has been used for thousands of years in India, Africa, and the Middle East. At the international market, you can find it in various sizes. You can even make your own at home, but that is another post, for another day. So this is another great discovery at the international market.  
The second option for oil is Coconut Oil. You can get coconut oil at the grocery store also, but you will find that it is much less if you find it at an international market. This is a great alternative oil because it also needs no refrigeration and has a very long shelf life of about 5 years.
This is the longest lasting oil available. The tricky part about coconut oil is that it needs to be "softened" in a plasic bag by running it under hot water, before it is ready to use. It is more of a solid when in the container {microwaving is not recommended}. So it does have an additional step before it is ready to use. I also love using coconut oil.

Coming Soon: Battle of the Cookies- ghee vs. coconut oil....


Mrzitro said...

How about freezing Ghee?

Linda said...

I can't find any information on that subject! I did find where you could buy canned ghee which will last for over 10 years. I will give a link on my next post.