Let’s talk about GHEE!
Have you heard of this wonderful source of fatty acids?
Ghee is a butter fat that is most commonly made from buffalo or cow milk, and is an Ayurvedic medicinal food that originated in India and has since made its way around the globe for being a lactose free and multi-purposed kitchen item! It is often used in tandem with herbal medication as part of Ayurveda, a form of alternative medicine that has been practiced in the region for centuries.
What is the difference between butter & ghee? While ghee is similar to clarified butter, ghee butter is processed and cooked a step further to remove most of the milk solids and a little more moisture. And when one browns these milk solids, it will bring out the unmistakable nutty aroma of ghee.
Uses for Ghee
Similar to coconut oil, ghee can be used for cooking and is a great alternative to butter or saturated vegetable oils due to its rich-contents of vitamin K and antioxidants. While it is a fat, a food group that should be consumed in moderation, it’s a member of the healthy fats group. In fact, searing or sautéing vegetables with ghee can even help your body absorb more nutrients from the food! Ghee is also rich in Vitamin E (a vitamin that had been linked to a lowered risk of cataracts, arthritis, and cancer). If you are concerned with gut health; ghee is also a great source of butyric acid. If you have had micro biome testing and were found to be low in clostridia… ghee could seriously assist in enhancing a healthier micro biome!
Ghee first originated in India centuries ago, as Indians discovered how to make ghee when attempting to preserve the cream or butter they had on hand, as there was no source of refrigeration available during those times.
4 Fast Facts on Ghee
As previously stated, it is used mainly in Ayurvedic Practices and Indian cooking and cuisine. More recently, however, ghee has seen a rise in popularity in high-fat diets as the fats in ghee have a number of healthy qualities.
- Ghee can also aid in treating mild burns and swelling. While this fact is not undeniably scientifically proven, ghee contains a fatty acid called butyrate, a substance with known anti-inflammatory properties.
- Ghee is easier to digest than other saturated fats and butters! This is because the MCTS (medium chain triglycerides) that are present in it are consumed very quickly as energy, meaning they are not stored as body fat unless one over consumes the calories by eating an excess amount.
- Ghee has a high smoking point (meaning it doesn’t burn as easily as other fats, like saturated fats). Due to this high smoking point, ghee doesn’t contain harmful free radicals that have the possibility to negatively affect our health in the long run.
- Because there are no milk solids in ghee as there are in butter, those who are lactose intolerant or lactose sensitive can feel free to use ghee, and can cook with it and include a moderate amount in their diet.
According to the science of Ayurveda, ghee is also a sattvic food, meaning it can promote positivity in one’s thoughts!
Not to mention, you can use ghee as skin cream and for dry and cracked lips! This is especially useful if you are a Vata dosha Ayurvedic type and your Vata is aggravated.
Many people add ghee to a coffee enema or bullet proof coffee! Here are instructions for making homemade ghee so you can always have it on hand!
Ghee is a deliciously healthy fat that you can make at home by slowly simmering butter until the water evaporates and milk solids gently rise to the top. The clarification process yields rich flavors with nutty, toffee notes!
To start off on this journey towards deliciousness bring cut-up butter to medium heat just enough to melt the butter.
Remove Milk Solids
Reduce heat to med-low and carefully remove the white milk proteins as they rise to the surface and discard these. Keep doing this until the butter is no longer yields the foamy white residue.
There will be milk solids that have drifted to the bottom of the pan. If you pour off the clear butter now, at this point you have clarified butter. Once in a while a recipe will call for clarified butter, you can use this for any of those recipes.
Brown the butter for homemade ghee
Continue cooking the butter at med-low heat to brown the white milk protein solids on the bottom of the pan. When the butter begins to turn golden brown with amber solids at the bottom, it’s time to remove this from heat. Be careful not too let your eyes or nose wander while waiting for caramelization because they can burn quickly. When you see this change and smell toffee flavors, remove the pan from the heat.
Strain the Ghee
Your last step is to strain this browned butter using a triple layer of cheesecloth over a heat-proof container. You now have homemade ghee! Transfer to an airtight jar and it can be kept at room temperature for three months! In a refrigerator it will keep for a year. Use it for recipes, or any of the uses above.
What is your favorite thing to do with ghee? We would love to hear your recipes!