What is Ghee?
Much like Matcha, Ghee is hot right now. Ghee (pronounced like geek without the k) is also known as clarified butter. One of Ghee’s most famous moments was in Season 2, Episode 13 of The Sopranos. Chef Artie Bucco tells Tony that Tony didn’t get food poisoning from his restaurant, “It’s clarified butter! I mean, you get a rancid hit of that and you can imagine.” It seems like Artie didn’t get the message on all the health benefits advantages of ghee!
Ghee is made from heating grass-fed butter. When you heat the butter, milk proteins are burned off and fall to the bottom of the pot. When you strain the liquid, the clumps of proteins are left behind and you have a silky smooth butter by-product that is ghee.
What are the benefits of ghee?
Ghee carries a long list of benefits ranging from its ability to be stored at room temperature for upwards of a year to improving your immune system. It is a great alternative to unhealthy or unstable fats, a replacement for traditional butter, and a great way to boost your overall health. Below are just some of the amazing benefits of ghee.
Ghee contains vitamin A, which we know from being told to eat our carrots as kids is beneficial to eye health. Vitamin A is fat-soluble so the fact that it comes already packed in fat gives you all the reason to consume ghee.
Strengthened immune system
Ghee has a healthy amount of the short-chain fatty acid butyric acid, or butyrate. Butyrate plays an important role in the production of t-cells which help regulate your immune system and play a significant role in the prevention of autoimmune conditions.
In addition to it’s eye boosting vitamin A content, ghee comes packed with vitamin E. Vitamin E has a wide range of roles in your body from skin health to having a healthy heart.
CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) is a fatty acid with a ton of health benefits. CLA plays a role in inflammation, blood pressure, insulin sensitivity, and body composition, just to name a few.
Ghee contains Medium Chain Triglycerides which, when paired with low carb consumption, can readily be converted to ketones. Much like glucose, ketones are another fuel source for our bodies and are the basis of the Ketogenic diet.
Due to the fact that Ghee is a safe and healthy fat, consumption can lead to weight loss. When you switch out cookies pasta, and candy bars and start cooking healthy and nutritious meals featuring ghee, you can start to shed the pounds.
Back to butyrate. Butyrate and the t-cells mentioned earlier play a role in your gut health and when you seal up a leaky gut, you can absorb nutrients much more efficiently.
Remember CLA? CLA encourages apoptosis, or the self-destruction of cells. This occurs when there are damaged or unwanted cells. If they are not removed, tumors and cancer can be on the horizon.
High smoke point
When consuming fats, it is imperative that you pay attention to the smoke point. Ghee has a smoke point of 485 degrees F. This compared to the smoke point of coconut oil’s 350 degrees F. Not to mention it won’t jump out of the pan and make you dance like coconut oil!
Does not spoil easily
Since the making of ghee removes milk solids, it becomes a much more shelf-friendly product. There are claims that ghee can be kept at room temperature for up to a year, although we doubt you will make it that long once you taste it!
Generally regarded as safe for those who are lactose/casein intolerant
As stated above, there are no milk proteins in ghee. This means no lactose and no casein so if you are someone who has an intolerance to one of these, you are good to go! You get the dairy without the bad part of the dairy, win!
When you think of things that are good for you, you probably things that don’t taste to great. Ghee is not one of those things. Ghee has all the benefits listed above and tastes great. Don’t believe us? Give it a try!
How do I make ghee?
Let’s preface the making ghee section by stating that ghee is available in stores already made. To be completely honest, we have not tried it yet because making ghee is just so easy. It takes a quick ten minutes and lasts a couple of weeks. Most store-bought ghee comes with a steep price tag too. We’d rather pay the three bucks and do it ourselves.
The first and most important step in making ghee is to buy grass-fed butter. If you buy regular butter you will not get any of the benefits listed about. Grass-fed is what makes sure your ghee is rich in vitamins, MCT’s, butyrate, etc. We usually go with Kerry’s Irish Gold Unsalted Butter because we know it is a high quality and trusted product.
Once you have your butter ready to go, follow the steps below:
1. Cut your butter into cubes and place in a medium sauce pan.
2. Turn the heat to low and melt the butter. Monitor and stir the butter often making sure the heat is not too high.
3. After a few minutes, you will start to notice the clear fat separating from the milk solids. It will then begin to bubble and foam. Continue to monitor and stir lightly.
4. Once the solids start to burn or turn brown and start to fall you can remove the ghee from the heat. You will notice that the bubbles will turn a little smaller once the ghee is about done. The heating process should take about 7 or 8 minutes from start to finish.
5. Pour your ghee through a cheesecloth and small colander (optional). Be sure you are pouring it into a glass or bowl that is heat-safe and will not crack (we’ve made that mistake before, whoops!)
6. Notice all the garbage/gunk/crap in the cheesecloth, say “ew, gross,” and throw the cheese cloth away (or clean if using a reusable one).
7. Allow the ghee to cool until it becomes smooth and creamy.
How do I use ghee?
The primary use for ghee is cooking. Instead of using various oils, dig into the jar of ghee. That high smoke point makes it ideal for cooking and it will make your food even more flavorful.
Outside of that, we recommend using ghee for whatever you would usually use butter for. Don’t over think it and adjust it according to your tastes and preferences. Toss it over a sweet potato, melt it on some broccoli, or pour it on your cheat-meal popcorn. It’s your world!
What hacks and tips do you have for me about ghee?
Don’t heat it too high.
We get it, it’s 2019 and everything is done fast and immediately. Take a deep breath and let your ghee go to work in the sauce pan. If you crank the heat too high you will just end up burning the butter and creating a very poor tasting product. The aromas and tastes that ghee is associated with come from the simmering process. Be patient!
Don’t overthink the making process.
The first time you make ghee, you might start thinking that it’s been on too long, you burned it, you took it off too soon, the bubbles are too big, or some other crazy thought. The ghee making process really is as simple as it sounds. Don’t over think it. Low heat, let the chunks fall, strain, cool, and eat. Boom.
Use the cheesecloth.
You might not even know what the hell a cheesecloth is and you might be tempted to replace it with a mesh colander, but don’t. Using the cheesecloth and the colander is a great idea and makes sure that no milk solids find their way through. The cheesecloth, however, is the real workhorse. Jump on amazon and order one, you won’t regret it.
Keep it in a mason jar, but don’t cool too rapidly.
Mason jars are pretty awesome. They come in all sizes and can be used for all types of things. Plus they look really cool and professional. Storing ghee in a mason jar makes it super easy to access, just be sure you don’t toss it in the fridge right after you pour it in. No one likes a cracked mason jar!
Use it earlier in the day to prevent inflammatory response.
Dairy products often create an inflammatory response in your body. Ghee can come to the rescue by giving you all the good qualities of dairy without the inflammation. Instead of using creamer or milk in your coffee, go with ghee. Even better, go make a Bulletproof coffee and use ghee instead of butter!
There you go, everything you need to know about ghee. The only thing to do now is go grab some grass-fed butter and get cooking! Take in all the advantages of cooking with this great source of fat and reap the health benefits. Butter will never be the same.
What do you use ghee for? What tips do you have for making it? We want to know! Leave a comment below!