All About Ghee

What is ghee?

Ghee is butter that’s been clarified and cooked down to remove the milk solids, including lactose, whey proteins, and casein. These tend to be difficult to digest for many people, so it is a great alternative to butter especially if you’re lactose or casein intolerant.

Ghee has been around for thousands of years. Historically, it’s been used in religious ceremonies and therapeutically, with both internal and external applications. It’s especially popular in Indian cooking, though it’s become increasingly popular and mainstream in recent years.

There are many nutritional benefits associated with ghee. It is an excellent source of saturated fat and aids in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K. It is also incredibly healing for the gut. Ghee contains a considerable amount of butyric acid which acts like a natural probiotic, supporting digestion and the immune system. In order to reap the full health benefits of ghee, it’s important to use grass-fed (pastured) butter.

Ghee makes a great cooking fat. It can be used just as you would butter, although the flavor profile is a little bit richer. You can find it at most grocery stores but I find it’s much cheaper (and maybe even easier) to just make my own at home. I like to make a batch about every week or two and use it frequently to saute’, roast, and even blend in my coffee.

How to Make Ghee 

What you’ll need:

  • Small sauce pot
  • 1 pound grass fed, pastured butter (preferably unsalted) I usually use Kerrygold brand
  • Cheesecloth (about a 12″ x 12″ piece. I bought this unbleached kind on Amazon)
  • Mesh strainer

Directions:

  1. Cube the butter. Then, melt in a small pot over low heat
  2. Once melted, bring to a simmer. The butter should start to foam for a few minutes.
  3. After foaming, the butter will now begin to bubble. It will do this for roughly 10-15 minutes and will turn from a bright yellow to color  to a deeper golden yellow. 
  4. Finally, the butter will begin to foam again and you should notice some browned solids at the bottom of your pan. These are the milk solids that have cooked out. 
  5. Remove the ghee from the heat and let cool for a few minutes. While it cools, prepare a dish to store the ghee, grab a few layers of cheesecloth cut to roughly 12″ x 12″ and lay them in a mesh strainer. 
  6. Place the strainer with the cheesecloth over the container for the ghee. Carefully pour the ghee through the strainer and into its container. The cheesecloth will filter out the milk solids, leaving only the liquid ghee. 
  7. Let cool uncovered for an hour. Then, cover and store either at room temperature or in the fridge. The ghee will become much more firm, like butter, in the fridge and more smooth and spreadable at room temperature.