Ever used ghee? It is the best of both worlds. It has the benefits of butter without the casein and proteins that some people react to in butter.
What is Ghee?
In technical terms, Ghee is a clarified, unsalted butter with the milk proteins removed. It has a high smoke point, making it perfect for cooking, and an incredible flavor. Many people who cannot tolerate dairy can handle ghee and it is a revered food in Indian cuisine.
The Benefits of Ghee
I’m a sucker for traditional foods. I love reading about them and re-creating them. I’m a big believer that traditional cultures knew things about food that science is still catching up to, and ghee is one of these foods!
Ghee is considered “liquid gold” and revered in Indian culture (and has been for centuries). When made from high quality butter, it is a great source of fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin K and is great for teeth, hair, skin and nails.
Ghee is like butter on crack. More intense flavor and more nutrients. A little bit goes a really long way and the flavor is great in many different recipes and dishes.
I like using ghee for making stir frys in a wok since it has such a high smoke point and with wok cooking, only a tiny amount is needed. Ghee is also incredible on a baked sweet potato, in eggs or on steamed or roasted vegetables.
Ghee is expensive to buy but simple to make. Unlike butter, it does not need to be refrigerated (though I typically still store in the fridge) and it is great for traveling. If you’ve never tried it, I highly suggest making ghee and using it in your cooking.
How to Make Ghee
Ghee is a traditional food that was considered sacred in some cultures. It is a form of clarified butter, made my separating the milk proteins from the pure healthy fats, creating a flavorful and delicious fat for cooking or on vegetables.
16 ounces (1 pound) of butter- preferably unsalted, organic and grassfed
Equipment: A medium size saucepan, a fine wire mesh strainer, cheesecloth, a spoon, a 16-ounce or larger measuring cup, a clean jar for storage
Cut the butter into cubes and place in the saucepan.
Heat the butter over medium heat until completely melted. Reduce to a simmer.
Cook for about 10-15 minutes (this will vary based on how hot your stove is). During this time, the butter will go through several stages. It will foam, then bubble, then seem to almost stop bubbling and then foam again. When the second foam occurs, the ghee is done. At this point, the melted butter should be bright gold in color and there should be reddish brown pieces of milk solids at the bottom of the pan.
Let cool slightly for 2-3 minutes and then slowly pour through the wire mesh strainer lined with several layers of cheesecloth. The small bits of milk protein are usually discarded, though a friend told me that her grandmother used to mix those with flour (or almond flour) and a small amount of honey to make a flavorful fudge-like treat.
Ghee will last up to a month at room temperature or even longer in the fridge. I typically store mine in the fridge, just to me safe.
Use as a cooking oil for stir frys, to top sweet potatoes, or melted on steamed/roasted vegetables. Ghee is much more flavorful than butter, so use sparingly!