Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originated in India. In traditional Indian medicine, ghee is considered the most health promoting fat available. It is made by removing the milk solids (proteins) and water from raw, unsalted butter, resulting in a lactose-free butterfat that is packed with nutrients. Even those with a true dairy allergy find that ghee presents no trouble for them. It can even be consumed on a paleo diet (it’s Whole30 approved!) You can easily buy ghee at the store but it’s even easier making it yourself at home. It takes only 15 minutes from start to finish to make. Ghee has a long shelf life and can be kept at room temperature- when stored in an airtight container.
According to Ayurveda, ghee has essential healing properties that are lacking in other butters. These properties, which are slowly being validated by science, are listed below.
- Fights inflammation: Ghee has been shown to reduce leukotriene secretion and reduce prostaglandin. Prostaglandin levels and leukotriene secretion both play a role in inflammation, which can not only lead to unpleasant physical reactions (redness, swelling, itchiness, etc.), but it can also accelerate the aging process.
- Boosts antioxidants: Ghee contains carotenoids and vitamins A and E. These antioxidants fight free radicals and promote skin cell growth, good vision and immune system health.
- Boosts micro-nutrient intake: Ghee is a good source of vitamin K2 and CLA, nutrients that are not found in very many other foods. Vitamin K2 may help prevent calcification of the arteries by activating the body’s system that removes calcium from the arteries to deposit it where it’s supposed to be, in the bones. And CLA, a special kind of fat that may provide anti-oxidant benefits and help promote a healthy metabolism.
- Rich in high quality fats: One serving (56 grams) of ghee contains 46 grams of pure fat, of which 29 grams are saturated. These fats contain 179 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids and 1,548 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids, as well as butanoic acid and conjugated linoleic acid, which possess antibacterial and anticancer properties.
- Aids digestive health: Unlike many other oils and butters, which can make us feel sluggish and bloated, ghee actually improves the digestive process by stimulating the secretion of stomach acids. This helps increase the absorption of other nutrients, including the fat-soluble vitamins present in the ghee itself.
- And if you need any other reason to try ghee, read Weston A. Price’s article on Why Butter is Better
What you’ll need:
- 1 pound organic, unsalted, grass-fed butter (the better your butter, the yellower your ghee will turn out)
- A medium saucepan
- A large spoon to stir
- A fine meshed sieve
- A nut milk bag or several layers of cheesecloth to line your sieve
- A large bowl or measuring cup to receive the ghee (preferably one that has a pouring spout)
- One or two glass jars to store your ghee
- In a small saucepan, gradually melt the butter over medium-low heat until it is melted completely. The butter will start to gurgle as the water evaporates.
- The top will cover with foam. Simmer uncovered on low heat for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the milk solids start to brown on the bottom of the pot.
- Check after 10 minutes by pushing aside the foam and tilting the pan to see if the solids have browned.
- As soon as the solids turn brown, turn off the heat and let the residue settle to the bottom.
- Pour the liquid butter through the nut milk bag and fine meshed sieve.
- Discard the brown solids that will be left in the nut milk bag.
- Pour ghee into a container.