Video/Recipe: Homemade Ghee

September 11, 2011 · 57 comments

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clarified butter, Indian ghee

Ghee has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years and is also used in religious ceremonies and as part of the Aruvedic healing arts. Much like the springtime butter of the traditional cultures studied by Dr. Weston Price, ghee is also considered a sacred food.

In American cuisine, it is know as “drawn butter”. However, it is much more than just melted butter. The process of clarification separates the butter into three layers; a foamy watery layer, a fat layer and a layer of milk solids. The fat layer is separated out and you are left with clarified butter or ghee which is pure butter fat.

Ghee has a high smoke point and so is perfect for high heat cooking or baking. It is also lactose, whey and casein free as these solids have been filtered out. For those with lactose intolerance, and/or casein and whey allergies, ghee is the perfect solution.

As with most fats, ghee contains about 14 grams of fat per tablespoon. It is pure fat without any additives. Ghee has traditionally been used to aid in digestion, help with ulcers, the eyes, constipation, learning and memory problems. It is also used topically for softening skin, and healing burns and blisters.

Most importantly, when made of butter from grass fed animals, ghee is full of vitamins A, D and E and the mineral activator K2. These nutrients are critical for the absorption of vitamins and minerals from other foods. Ghee is also high in butyric acid, a fatty acid crucial for colon health and one that has anti-viral properties as well.

In a previous post about butter I pointed out that traditional cultures put butter on their vegetables because they knew that the vitamins and minerals in vegetables need the activators in fat to be absorbed properly by the human body. I’ll repeat that. Vitamins and minerals need fat in order to be absorbed properly. These mineral activators are present in ghee. So if you are dairy-free, you can still enjoy the benefits of butter  without the dairy component.

As a result of the low fat craze of recent years, people are actually in much worse health. In the last three decades in which we have disparaged saturated fats, obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are on the rise — in fact, the first three are in epidemic proportions.

Ghee may be purchased, but it is also easy to make from butter. Be sure to use the butter of grass fed cows and your ghee will be bursting with nutrients and mineral activators so important for good health in general and good bone health in particular.

 

Ghee

Ingredients

one pound of butter from grass fed animals (get this from your farmer or, commercially, Kelly Gold Pure Irish Butter is great)

Equipment

Glass loaf pan or similar dish

cheesecloth

funnel

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees F
  • Put the pound of butter in the loaf pan
  • Let the butter melt for about 30 minutes
  • When close to being totally melted, turn the heat up to 275 degrees F for 10 minutes
  • You want the milk solids at the bottom to turn brown
  • When it is all melted and the milk solids are brown, it is finished
  • Take out of the oven and strain through the four layers of cheesecloth placed in the funnel, into a glass jar
  • If there are still milk solids coming through, strain it again until the milk solids are all gone
  • You should have a lovely bright yellow ghee that is full of nutrients
  • Refrigerate and it will keep for months and may also be frozen (traditionally ghee was not refrigerated)

If you want the best quality ghee without having to make it yourself, here is where to buy high quality ghee.

This post is linked to: Sugar-Free Sunday, Savory Sunday, Seasonal Sunday, My Meatless Monday, Melt in Mouth Monday, Mangia Monday, Midnight Maniac, Meatless Monday, Monday Mania, Weekend Carnival, Tuesday Night Supper Club, Tuesday at the Table, Tasty Tuesday Tidbits, Traditional Tuesday, Made From Scratch Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, What’s Cooking Wednesday, Real Food Wednesday, Whats on the Menu Wednesday, Whats Cooking Wednesday, Healthy 2Day Wednesday, Gluten-Free Wednesday, Cast Party Wednesday, These Chicks Cooked, Foodie Wednesday, Creative juice Thursday, Full Plate Thursday, Turning the Table Thursday, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Friday Favorites, Foodie Friday, Fight back Friday, Fat Camp Friday, Friday Food

 

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jean September 12, 2011 at 11:43 am

Thanks! so much for posting this. I read another post on making gluten free naam and wondered how I could make it without having to buy over my budget ghee. Thanks, again!

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2 Jill September 12, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Great! If you live near a Trader Joe’s the Kerry Gold is much cheaper. If you make your own butter — even better!

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3 Linda Etherton September 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm

I’ve been making ghee for a while now and have a blog post in the works.  I’ve never seen it done in the oven–always on the stove top.  Do you know if the oven method is preferred for any reason, or is it just another way of doing it?  

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4 Jill September 14, 2011 at 11:27 pm

Linda,
I think either method is fine. To me it is just easier to put it in the oven and forget about it for 30 minutes. Of course, I use a timer so I don’t really forget!

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5 Linda September 15, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I learned a lot from this post.  Thank-you!

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6 Trisha September 16, 2011 at 9:41 am

This was really informative. I make ghee at home all the time. I dont use butter though, I use the cream that appears on the top of whole fat milk and the stovetop. 

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7 Jill September 16, 2011 at 11:25 am

Wow. That must be amazing! I guess you get more fat that way? Do you use the milk solids in any way?

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8 Miz Helen September 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

Great recipe! Hope you are having a great week and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

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9 Shannon September 19, 2011 at 4:06 am

I’m really enjoying your link ups, and learning so much from them!

Thanks for linking up with Friday Food on MomTrends.com!

~Shannon (Food Channel Editor @ MomTrends)

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10 christy September 26, 2011 at 10:09 pm

another wonderful video…ghee is a great kitchen staple…thanks for showing us all how easy it is to make :) thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club.

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