What is this mysterious ghee or clarified butter?
First, Ghee is the Sanskrit name for clarified butter. It is simply butter that has had all of the milk solids removed. It is simmered until all that remains after straining is a pure combination of fats.
Benefits of Eating Ghee
1. Ghee is great for those with a dairy intolerance or allergy.
A number of people who cannot have dairy can have ghee because, as mentioned above, all of the milk proteins have been removed. I have a niece who cannot have dairy or she will become asthmatic. I never realized how much we eat dairy until we were around them for the holidays! No cheese on pizza, no butter in the mashed potatoes, no mac-n-cheese. At least with ghee the family can easily cook with “butter” and she can have toast etc. with ghee. Not everyone does perfectly well with ghee (possibly because not all milk proteins were removed?) so I can’t wait to see how it goes!
2. It is a Nutrient Rich Food
Yes, I called this awesome fat, “food”. When you buy fresh, non-pasteurized (not heated to a high temp.), and non-homogenized (not zapped so that the fat stays mixed and doesn’t rise to the top) milk, all the nutrients are still intact. It’s great for drinking. Then, you can use a turkey baster and suck up that cream from the top and use it to make butter!! THEN you can use some of that awesome fresh butter to make ghee!! How great is that!
- “Omega-3s (monounsaturated fats) are healthy forms of fat that can be found in ghee, in addition to other fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid and butyric acid, both of which have positive health benefits in the body.”1
- It also is high in Vitamins A and D and E.
3. Ghee May lower Bad Cholesterol
Ghee may decrease bad cholesterol when taken at a rate of 2 or less Tbsp a day; LDL and very-low-density lipoprotein, as well as triglycerides. Ghee seems to affect the metabolism of cholesterol.2
4. Ghee protects the Heart
A study done in 2003 showed that ghee helped arteries from hardening by lowering bad cholesterol and raising good cholesterol.3
5. It doesn’t have to be refrigerated
Yes, just like coconut oil, it can be kept in your cupboard or on your counter for months. This is because there is no protein remaining, only a pure combination of fats.
6. Ghee has a high smoking point
Many oils will begin to break down at medium to high temperatures, releasing free radicals. For example, olive oil should not be used for frying, grilling, or other high temperature cooking due to this very reason. On the other hand, ghee (and coconut oil) have high smoking points, meaning that they can reach very high temperatures before beginning to smoke or break down. This makes ghee (and coconut oil) great for cooking.
How to Make Ghee
Ghee is very simple to make.
1. Place your butter (from grass fed cows for better nutrition) in a sauce pan over low heat.
2. Melt butter.
3. Skim any “foam” (milk protein) off of the top using a slotted spoon. Get as much as you can.
4. Continue to cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
5. The rest of the milk proteins will sink to the bottom and begin to brown.
6. Once the mixture is clear with solids on the bottom, pour through a cheese cloth into a jar (or coffee filter, or old t-shirt…).
7. Keep on the counter or in a cupboard until needed. It will keep for many months at room temperature.
How and Why You Should be Making Ghee
- Organic Butter
- Place your butter (from grass fed cows for better nutrition) in a sauce pan over low heat.
- Melt butter.
- Skim any "foam" (milk protein) off of the top using a slotted spoon. Get as much as you can.
- Continue to cook for 20 minutes on low heat.
- The rest of the milk proteins will sink to the bottom and begin to brown.
- Once the mixture is clear with solids on the bottom, pour through a cheese cloth into a jar (or coffee filter or old t-shirt).
- Keep on the counter or in a cupboard until needed. It will keep for many months at room temperature.
You can save the toasted milk solids for stir fries and other dishes that you want to add a slight nutty flavor to.