Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ghee, how to make it and why it is healthy

When butter is melted down and the milk solids are removed the oil leftover is known as ghee, clarified butter, or butter oil.

Often times, people with milk allergies can tolerate ghee. This is because there is no lactose or casein in ghee when is properly made. This is true for me, dairy upsets my stomach and flares up my eczema. But I don't have any issues with ghee.

One nice thing about ghee is it has a long shelf life. After it can be kept in the cupboard for several months. You don't have to worry about it going rancid like butter. It will be semi-solid at room temperature but still soft enough to scoop out with a knife and spread onto food. It can be kept longer in the fridge but it will firm up and difficult to scoop out.

Ghee is perfect for high temperature cooking. It won't burn like butter because the milk solids are gone. It has a much higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil so it's a better option for frying. When olive oil is heated past 350-375 free radicals are released and act as carcinogens when consumed.

It's much cheaper to make your own than to buy it. Ghee comes in tiny little bottles and is rather expensive at stores. Take a little time to melt some butter and save your money. When purchasing butter make sure it's organic from grass fed cows. Chemicals, antibiotics, and hormones are stored in fat, so factory farmed cows often have toxins in their milk.

Ghee from healthy cows will have a deep yellow color. This indicates that it is very nutrient dense. It also has vitamins A, D, E, and K, antioxidants, and butyric acid (anti-cancerous).

The saturated fat found in ghee is good for our heart, brain, bones, and immune system. Saturated fat actually raises HDL cholesterol and protects the heart. Calcium can't get into our bones without the help of saturated fat, so it can help prevent osteoporosis. Our brains need fat and cholesterol to function properly. Finally, saturated fats have antimicrobial, antifungal, and antiviral fatty acids that keep our immune system strong.

 Melt grass fed butter on med-low heat in a heavy bottom sauce pan. Once foam has risen to the top turn the heat down to low and carefully scoop off the foam
 let it simmer on low for about 15 more minutes, or until the milk solids have turned a light brown and sink to the bottom of the pan.
 Let the ghee cool for about 10-15 minutes and prepare a glass jar, a funnel, and cheese cloth. I prefer to use a nut milk bag instead of a cheese cloth because the mesh is even smaller.
Pour the ghee through the cheese cloth into the jar. It should be a deep yellow color without any milk solids. Let it cool completely before putting the lid on, then keep it in your cupboard or fridge. Use it for frying, baking, add to steamed veggies, or put a spoonful into your morning oatmeal. It has a wonderful rich flavor that is good on anything!  

Sources Include: The Weston A. Price Foundation, Mary Enig, Sally Fallon, and Dr. Mercola.


Nichelle said...

First of all, thank you for this post! I can't wait to try and make this! Next, how is "ghee" pronounced? I'm assuming "gee" as in "glee" minus the "l"? Or is it more like the letter "g"? Just curious! :)

Tyler and Kathryn said...

gee as in glee!