How to Make Ghee (Homemade Ghee)
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There are few recipes that call for just one ingredient, but if you have never seen one - here it is:
Butter then magically turns into ghee.
What the heck is it? Ghee is a Hindi word referring to butter that is cooked until it becomes clear. So, it's *like* clarified butter, but it is its own entity. It's often mischaracterized as clarified butter but ghee is processed differently. Clarified butter is cooked to the point of the water evaporating and the milk solids separating. At this point, the butter is strained. This technique is frequently found in France and is widely used in French cuisine.
Ghee, on the other hand, comes from India. The butter is cooked to the point where the milk solids caramelize, which gives it a distinctive nutty flavor. If you like butter, you'll probably love ghee.
Benefits of Ghee
I've made ghee before, but got out of practice as I went completely dairy-free for a while and assumed that ghee would be problematic. Now that I'm doing the GAPS Diet, however, I learned that ghee is part of the protocol if one is able to tolerate it. I actually love butter, cream, and other dairy, but in the past I have always had trouble digesting it. However, I have already found that I am able to tolerate small amounts of ghee without any adverse effect, and it is delicious!
There are numerous benefits to ghee:
High in essential fatty acids.
High smoke point - You can cook at a higher temperature with ghee and still have that lovely buttery flavor.
Lactose-free - Ghee is cooked to the point where are the milk solids are removed and you have essentially only butter fat.
Shelf-stable - You can leave ghee on your counter for several months without it spoiling, unlike regular butter.
Dairy-free - Folks in the paleo community can use ghee, because the milk solids have cooked out.
High in butyric acid - This is one of the reasons ghee is ideal for gut healing protocols, because it supports the health of the intestinal walls. (1)
Now that we know how good it is for us, let's make some!
200 grams or 8 oz. of organic butter
Place the butter in a sauce pan on medium heat. You will notice after it has completely melted that it will begin to sputter. Once it starts sputtering, turn the heat down a bit. After a few minutes, you'll see that the milk solids are starting to separate. You can take a wooden spoon and push the solids to the side to see the golden fat cooking beneath them. Continue to let it simmer until you see that there are some solids that have caramelized on the bottom of the pan. Turn the heat to low and continue to simmer for another minute or two. Then pour into a clean, glass container through a strainer to clear out the last bit of milk solids.
That's it! It's pretty simple, but can be intimidating if you've never done it before. It's very easy to do once you have the hang of it. Just be careful to not burn the milk solids which will turn your efforts into brown butter!