Butter has not always been my first love. I just never really cared for it. Olive oil, yes, I need it like I need air! But certain dishes are completely lifeless without butter. Since I'm not eating dairy of any kind it's been challenging having to whip up delicious scallops and using olive oil or making a scrumptious risotto sans butter. So, the solution has been ghee!
Ghee is clarified butter that's widely used in Indian cooking and in the majority of Southeast and Middle Eastern Countries. It is also used in Ayurveda for medicinal purposes.
Unlike olive oil, coconut oil or butter, ghee has a high smoke point (450-485°F) so it holds up very well in cooking and tastes nuttier than butter, providing all the flavor of butter with none of the casein. This is particularly good for individuals who are lactose intolerant or have a casein sensitivity.
Additionally there are numerous health benefits to consuming ghee on a regular basis.
- Ghee is great for the gut. It contains butyrate, a short chain fatty acid, which has shown to reduce inflammation and help heal the gut lining, making it particularly beneficial for those suffering from IBS, IBD, Autoimmune disease, Crohn's and other digestive issues.
- Ghee is rich in the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and especially K, which is essential for building strong bones and combating heart disease, aside from its commonly known role in blood clotting.
- Ghee made from grass fed butter contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which in preliminary studies has shown to assist with insulin resistance and also quite possibly fight cancer. The jury is still out on CLA but research thus far has been promising.
- It can be used as a moisturizer on hair and skin.
Basic Ghee Recipe
- 1 lb grass fed butter
- small sauce pan
- cheese cloth (or if you're desperate, gauze could work too)
In a small sauce pan, melt butter over low heat, swirling it around at the beginning. Let it simmer for 10 minutes and remove from heat. By simmering the butter, the milk solids will naturally separate and you will be left with a golden liquid. Let stand for 1 minute, while preparing the strainer with cheese cloth draped over it. Strain the liquid in a storage container and keep in the fridge or at room temperature. At room temperature, it will keep for several months, but I prefer to keep mine in the refrigerator.