You’ve probably seen ghee popping up everywhere as a healthy source of fat, but what is it?
What is Ghee?
Ghee, very simply put, is clarified butter. Ghee is clarified butter that was produced using either cow or buffalo milk. So, what makes ghee different than butter? The clarification process makes all the difference. A majority of the clarified butters are made by removing milk solids in their early steps, while ghee differentiates itself by continuing to simmer with milk solids to give the final product a distinguished taste. As the butter melts, the milk solids contained within the butter separate and the result is a golden liquid that when cooled will be ghee.
How to Make Ghee
Perhaps the greatest thing about this amazing healthy source of fat is that you can make it in your own kitchen. Sure, many health foods promise that you can make a version in your kitchen (homemade almond milk) but then they end up requiring extensive time, tools and sometimes money. Ghee can be made using products and supplies you already have on hand and is done in less than 20 minutes. To make ghee all you will need is a stick of unsalted butter, a saucepan, a strainer, cheesecloth and a container where you can place the finished ghee. Give your health a boost by following these super simple steps for making ghee.
- Place the unsalted butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Heat the unsalted butter over medium heat until it is completely melted.
- When the butter is completely melted, reduce the heat to low and allow your melted butter to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. You will see foam or bubbles appear on the surface on the melted butter and at the end of the time, you’ll be able to actually see milk solids among the golden liquid.
- Line your strainer with several layers of cheesecloth and place over the container that you planning on using for ghee and wait about two to three minutes before straining.
- Strain the butter. You will see the solids that remain in the cheesecloth and the golden liquid in your container is your homemade ghee.
You can purchase ghee from some specialty or health food stores, but it is so easy to make at home that you might as well do it yourself. Plus, making ghee at home is way cheaper than buying it.
Why Eat Ghee?
So now you know what ghee is and how you can make it for yourself, but why would you? As a healthy source of fat, ghee has quite a few exciting health benefits. Some of the most awesome benefits are –
- Aids Digestion – The components of ghee can actually improve your digestive functioning. Ghee contains butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid, which your digestive tract uses for energy and to support a healthy intestinal wall. Additionally, this fatty acid helps reduce inflammation, which is an important part of healthy digestive function.
- Weight Loss – Okay, so eating ghee by the spoonful will not help you lose weight. While ghee is a healthier option than butter, it is still butter and has a high saturated fat content. Consumed in moderation, however, ghee produced from the butter of grass-fed cows contains linolenic acid which can aid your weight loss efforts.
- Vitamins – A one tablespoon serving of ghee contains approximately 15% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Ghee is also rich in other fat soluble vitamins like D, E and K.
- No Casein – Those who have a lactose intolerance will be pleased to hear that ghee may be a great substitution. The proteins responsible for lactose intolerance, particularly casein, are found in the milk solids. Because ghee separates the solids from the rest of the butter, only healthy butter fats remain in the final product.
- Enhances Flexibility – Flexibility is a huge asset when it comes to physical activity, especially if you love Pilates or yoga. Ghee has properties that lubricate your joints, which results in an increase in flexibility.
The benefits of ghee are so worth the 20 minutes that it takes to make your own. Not only does this healthy fat benefit your body, but it also keeps for a much longer time than regular butter. In fact, if you store ghee in an air-tight container, it can last for up to three months meaning you don’t have to constantly be melting and simmering your butter. Ghee also makes for a great cooking oil because it has a higher smoke point than regular butter or oils such as olive and coconut. Lastly, you should give ghee a try because it tastes great. Ghee often features a slightly nutty flavor, giving your food natural flavor. With all of these benefits, it’s not hard to see why ghee is making a huge name for itself as a healthy dietary source of fat.