Ghee (Clarified Butter): Benefits + DIY Recipe
If there is one thing I love more than coconut oil, it is ghee. Also known as clarified butter or butter oil, ghee is loaded with nutritional benefits and is a must-have item to use in the kitchen. For those of you who are intolerant to dairy, you'll likely be able to handle ghee just fine as the milk proteins (casein and lactose) are removed in the process. More often than not, those who are sensitive to dairy have no issues with ghee for this reason alone. Ghee has been used for thousands of years in India for both cooking and medicinal purposes. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, and also contains butyric acid and conjugated linoleic acid, which are known for having anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties. Grass-fed ghee yields more omega 3s than omega 6s, but if you can't find grass-fed/pasture raised opt for organic butter (because we don't want to consume the hormones, antibiotics and pesticides from non-organic). Ghee also aids your immune system by increasing absorption of vitamins and minerals. No wait, there's more. In addition to containing all of the essential fatty acids, ghee is a good source for vitamin A. You can use ghee in baking, sauteing, braising and even deep frying. It has a long shelf life-up to 6 months in an air tight container or you can store in the fridge for up to a year (if you prefer to use it more like butter). Brilliant!
Back in San Francisco, I always purchased grass-fed ghee. Although it was pretty pricey, it was delicious and loaded with goodness, so I never minded the splurge and used it sparingly. Here in Hong Kong it cost twice as much, making it due time for me to make it myself. I have more than enough time-there were no more excuses. Turns out it is incredibly easy. I can't believe I haven't been making it all of this time! It's creamy and delicious. I really like cooking with both coconut oil and ghee in dishes, and find that it makes the perfect blend. You can't mess it up. Now it's your turn to give it a go. Try it out and let me know what you think.
Benefits of Ghee:
Aids in digestion and absorption of vitamins and minerals
Contains essential fatty acids
Good source of vitamin A-good for healthy skin, eyes, teeth, bones, mucous membranes
Anti-oxidants, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-carcinogenic properties
Stable fat for cooking at high temperatures
Easy to make with long shelf life
|”Brahman is the oblation; Brahman is the ghee; by Brahman is the oblation poured into the fire of Brahman.” (Baghavad Gita:4/24)|
How to make it:
Ghee is traditionally made over the stove; I prefer to make it in the oven, this way I don't have to monitor it the whole time. I just pop it in the oven and go about my business until the timer goes off. I can't always find grass fed butter here in HK so opt for organic instead. I made a big batch using all of the butter I purchased. You can make a small batch using less butter if you like, but be sure to adjust and monitor the time accordingly.
Yields just under 2 cups of ghee
4 blocks (16 ounces) of grass-fed (Recommend Organic Valley or Kerrygold if available) or organic butter. I prefer to use unsalted.
1. Preheat oven to 200F-250F (90-120C).
2. Place butter in glass dish, dutch oven or any available oven safe pan.
3. Put in the oven and bake uncovered for 45-60 minutes (times vary depending on amounts used).
You will notice 3 layers. The top layer is the whey that bubble ups creating a foam like topping. The middle layer is the clear golden butter oil-this is your ghee! And, the milk solids will fall to the bottom creating a milky white layer, which you will discard as it contains the milk proteins.
4. Take it out of the oven. Allow the ghee to cool and the rest of the milk solids to settle for several minutes.
5. Scrape off the foam on from the top. Then pour the ghee into a mason jar using a fine sieve or mesh strainer lined with a cheesecloth or coffee filter.
6. Discard the white liquid on the bottom.
7. Store in an air tight container for up to 6 months, 1 year in the refrigerator.
*Note: With some butters the milk solids will create the milk layer at the top. If this is the case, you can place the cooked ghee in the fridge for a little bit. The ghee will harden as it cools, and from here you can pour off the white liquid and scoop the ghee into the jar.