What is Ghee And How to Make Ghee at Home
A butter derivative with no lactose? It almost seems too good to be true, and yet ghee is very real.
What is Ghee
Ghee is a clarified butter that has had its milk solids toasted then skimmed away from the fat, resulting in a product that combines oil’s very high smoke point and butter’s rich, nutty flavor and excellent nutritional profile.
Is grass-fed ghee better than grass-fed butter?
Sometimes. Depending on the situation, you may want ghee instead of butter, or vice versa. Both are pretty damn good, and you’ll want to stock both in a fully Keto kitchen.
As a butter byproduct, ghee is a type of cooking fat. That said, as last year’s update to the federal health guidelines confirmed, not all fats are created equal, and ghee, as an animal-derived fat, may be one of the best options.
Ghee is both lactose- and casein-free; both of these elements of butter are removed during the clarifying process. Because of this, ghee can often be enjoyed by those who cannot consume other dairy products.
Unlike butter, ghee is an alkalinizing food thanks to its short-chained fats known as butyrates, which are thought to promote healthy bacterial growth in the intestines. This is one of the reasons why ghee has traditionally been used for bowel enemas in Indian medicine.
Ghee is also rich in medium-chain fatty acids which, like carbohydrates, are absorbed directly into the liver and metabolized as energy.
An additional fat that is particularly present in grass-fed ghee is conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has been associated with anti-cancer and weight loss benefits.
When made from quality butter, ghee is also a great source of fat-soluble vitamins, including vitamins K, A, and E.
How to Make Ghee
It’s actually pretty easy. When you simmer butter for a while, the water and dairy proteins rise to the top, and the pure, clear butter fat stays at the bottom. Skim the water and protein off and you’re left with ghee – a concentrated, clarified form of butter.
You’ll need 1 pound of butter and either a coffee filter, paper towel or cheesecloth. Using cheesecloth will be much quicker than a coffee filter.
Start with a high-quality grass-fed butter like Kerrygold. Just simmer it over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Now cooking this fast means no walking away. You have to pay attention the entire time. The butter will be very active and bubbly. Notice how the milk solids have formed a ring around the oil. All the solids are now at the top. Then let it cool down for 2-3 minutes. Pour off any water and put the remaining protein and fat through a strainer that’s double-lined with cheesecloth into a pint jar and seal. The fat will go through; the dairy protein will not.
Ghee is great for cooking
Smoke point determines how hot you can cook a fat before it oxidizes. Butter smokes at 350°F because the casein and lactose start to burn. Ghee, on the other hand, is one of the most stable cooking fats around. You can heat it up to a full 485°F, making it ideal for pan-frying or baking pretty much anything – far better than butter, coconut oil, MCT oil, or olive oil.