How to Make Ghee – use it simply as a useful cooking ingredient or for its many health benefits, ghee is a wonderful addition to your culinary repertoire!
Anyone else curious as to what all of this buzz is around Ghee? You are not alone – I have been seeing it on Instagram, Facebook…. pretty much everywhere. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to try and make it at home and do some research to see what it is all about. This is what I found….
Ghee originate in ancient India and, known for its purity, has been widely used in religious rituals, medicine and (of course) various cuisines.
If you really dig into some of the research (Wikipedia seems to have a decent summary) it seems like various cultures and religious entities all, at one time or another, seemed to claim that Ghee can help ______ (fill in the blank). In other words, it seems like if you randomly pick one health ailment, at some point in history someone believed that Ghee could help cure it.
That’s what is seems like anyway.
So what is Ghee, exactly?
There are 3 parts butter: butterfat, water and milk solids. Ghee is the product of burning off the water in your butter and then letting the milk solids and butterfat separate. The Ghee is, essentially, pure butterfat BUT it is butterfat that has been simmered so that it has a rich, golden color and nutty flavor. Don’t simmer Ghee long enough and you simply have clarified butter. Simmer Ghee too long and you end up with brown butter. (don’t worry I will give you a play-by-play below).
Here is list of benefits (cooking and health-related) I found so far (and hey – I am (quite obviously) not a doctor so ….. you know the drill. Ask your doctor before making some world-shaking health decisions based upon my couple hours of internet research – ya feel me):
- Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter. Butter can withstand up to approximately 350 degrees while Ghee is upwards of 450-480 degrees.
- Ghee is essentially dairy free as the casein, lactose and whey are removed through the cooking process.
- It is nutrient dense in Vitamins A, D and E.
- Contains Buyrate – a short-chain fatty acid that is thought to be a detoxifier, improve colon health and digestive health and generally reduce inflammation. [source]
- The flavor – is amazing.
Can you make Ghee at home and, if so, how?
1. Take one pound of high-quality butter and place in sauce pan. This is the kind of butter I used…
2. Let butter melt on med-low.
(you can see how there is a layer of milk solids at the bottom of the pan)
3. Bring temp up to medium and let butter come to a simmer (butter may start to foam).
4. Remove as much foam from the top as you can with a slotted spoon or small hand-held strainer. This will allow the butter to continue to boil off as much water as possible.
5. Then watch until the butter turns a very dark golden color and starts to smell slightly nutty. Remove immediately.
6. Pour though Unbleached Cheesecloth and a small strainer into a glass container (it will be VERY hot).
(the leftover milk solids)
7. Save the milk solids – they can be used in a pasta sauce or for other cooking in the future.
And there you go – you got yourself your very own Ghee! Really not that difficult is it?
Is it worth it to make your own? The answer is sometimes yes, sometimes no. If you got a really good deal on organic, grass-fed Ghee then the store-bought might be more economical compared to if you make your own with high-quality butter. Other times, it most definitely makes sense to make it yourself.
I don’t have a place super close to me that I could buy it from, so for now I will just make my own (although I am sure I could order it from places like Thrive and have it delivered).
Anyway, that is the story on Ghee. So what do I use it for?
Well, lately I have been just trying it out and attempting have a little each day for the health benefits. I put a little in my bone broth or in a smoothie. And then I have been cooking with it as well and will share a couple of my favorite recipes over the next week or so!
Here is the freshly-made Ghee:
For storing, Ghee can actually be stored out of the fridge for almost a month, but I have been keeping mine in the fridge anyways. It will last in there for several months.
Got all that. Well let me know what you guys think or if you have any tidbits of helpful information to add!
- 1 pound of butter (preferably grass-fed)
- Melt butter on med-low.
- Once melted, bring up to medium heat and let butter start to simmer (uncovered).
- Carefully scrape off any foam/solids that come to the top with a small slotted spoon or small, hand-held sieve/strainer.
- Once the top is clear it turns a dark, golden brown and starts to smell slightly nutty, remove immediately. (as for time frame - it all depends on your temp, but it should take about 5-7 minutes).
- Pour through cheesecloth and a fine, mesh sieve into a glass container.
- Store in airtight container on counter for up to a month or in the fridge for several months.