It seems to be everywhere these days but what is it? How does one make it? How does one eat it?
In many parts of the world, France, I’m looking at you, ghee is called clarified butter. At its most basic definition, ghee = butter - water - milk solids. So, ghee is the essential fat that is left from butter once the water has been boiled/evaporated off and the milk solids have come out of solution. The end product is the magical substance, ghee.
In life, ghee is a great cooking medium because it has a high smoke point (much higher than butter without those milk solids) and is a very pure fat. In Ayurveda, ghee is also known for being easy to digest, quick to penetrate the tissues of the body, and nourishing. Ghee helps bring all of the nutrients of your food into your body more easily.
Ghee can be used to cook, to spoon onto toast or over oatmeal and soup, and added into lunch or dinner for some extra delicious fat when your body is craving it.
The ghee making process is fairly simple, but does require that you stay present. Step away for a few minutes and you risk burning the finicky milk solids which will change the flavor or spoil the batch. Try to find local, cultured butter if you can. Happy cows make for happy fats- but organic from the store will do just fine.
It is possible to buy very high quality ghee now in stores. However, it’s very easy to make and a nice way to start adding homemade ingredients and skills to your repertoire. Why not give it a try.
2-4 sticks of organic unsalted butter
Place the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. If possible, don’t use a non-stick pan. It’s easier to see the milk solids if the bottom of the pan is not black.
After the butter has melted, reduce the heat to low and wait. A white froth will develop and you’ll hear popping sounds. This is a water from the butter evaporating and boiling off. At this point, it’s important to stay and watch the ghee. When the popping slows, pay close attention! At this point, move the froth from the pan and see how the milk solids on the bottom of the pan are doing. The yellow liquid should be clear and golden.
When the milk solids at a golden color, the ghee is done. Remove the pant from the heat and cool for 10-15 minutes. This waiting period will make straining a lot easier! Strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth into a sterilized glass jar. If any foam remains in the ghee, skim it off with a clean spoon.
As long as you use clean utensils in the ghee, it will keep at room temperature for quite some time. You can also store it in the refrigerator.
It’s fall and we need fats- enjoy your ghee!!