So I make my own. It’s very easy to make and it tastes so much nicer than most bought versions as is often the case with home made.
Ghee is actually butter that’s had the milk solids and water removed. When you use butter to fry with, it burns at a fairly low temperature. You’ll notice that it goes black and grainy. That’s actually the milk proteins and sugars that are burning and making the butter go black.
When you use ghee to cook with instead of butter, you can heat it to high temperatures (up to 250 degrees C/480 degrees F) without burning or damage.
You might be familiar with ghee and it’s traditional use in Indian cooking but really it suits almost every type of cuisine, savoury or sweet.
Often people who don’t like the flavour of other fats such as coconut oil or tallow find that ghee offers a much more delicate and less obtrusive flavour to their food and cooking.
And open a jar of the home made stuff and take a whiff……Oh my goodness, it smells delicious – a jar full of nutty, buttery, caramelly yum! It comes with with the added bonus of making everything you cook in it taste even more wonderful.
Cooking with Ghee
It’s great to fry with – any meat; fish, beef, chicken, lamb, pork, will cook beautifully when ghee is used as the fat medium. We often have beef schnitzel coated in a mix of grated Parmesan and either rice crumbs or almond meal and the ghee really does do the best job at frying them. The schnitzels come out all golden brown, crunchy and delicious.
It’s a great fat to use for that first step of browning meat in braising dishes like osso buco and lamb shanks because it doesn’t burn the meat – it just allows it to brown nicely. Steamed veggies taste wonderful tossed in ghee while ghee baked veggies are amazing. I use it for making oven baked chips too – using sweet potatoes or white potatoes. Here’s a link to my duck fat chips but feel free to sub ghee for a result that’s on par!
I also use it to “stew” fruit in especially when Miss E wants something sweet for dessert. She loves apple and cinnamon cooked in ghee with some fresh cream – actually, so do I!
I have it in my coffee every morning too. I make a long black coffee and add some high quality organic extra virgin coconut oil, some grass fed gelatin and a tablespoon of ghee and whiz them all together for a highly sustaining, delicious morning drink. If coffee’s not your thing, try some ghee in your home made chai. Somehow the flavour of the spices melds with the ghee beautifully. Just as with the coffee, once you’ve made your chai (with milk or not – works with nut milk chai too!), add about a tablespoon of ghee and whiz till frothy.
The health benefits of Ghee
And if I haven’t sold you on this magical golden stuff already, here’s more reason to add it to your diet. Ghee contains the vital fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K2. And provided you use grass fed ghee or make your own from grass fed butter, it contains Conjugated Linoleic Acid or, CLA which is an important fatty acid shown to be defensive against certain cancers, heart disease, asthma and osteoperosis .
It also contains butyric acid which is a short chain fatty acid that provides energy to our intestines and keeps our intestinal walls strong – so important these days with leaky gut/intestinal permeability rampant! Our gut bugs naturally make butyric acid from fibre we eat but if we consume ghee, we are boosting our access to this important nutrient.
All of this along with all the other benefits of consuming healthy fats like:
- better metabolic function
- increased brain health and function,
- lower incidence of obesity and other auto immune/inflammatory disorders
- and so much more including keeping us fuller for longer.
And yet another benefit – those of you have dairy allergies or intolerance may well find that ghee, with it’s dairy solids removed, is tolerable to your system. Exercise caution when testing obviously as it will depend on your individual condition and the purity of the ghee.
Oh and it lasts for ages at room temperature. It’s the milk solids that cause butter to go off, especially when not refrigerated but because ghee is purely the butter oil, and a very stable oil at that, it lasts and lasts. Mind you, I seem to be replacing mine quite often!
Which Butter makes Good Ghee?
Make sure you use unsalted butter if you are going to use your ghee for warm drinks – salted butter makes your coffee taste DISGUSTING. You can always add high quality salt to your cooking!
So here’s how I make it.
500 grams unsalted grass fed butter – I use this one (available at Woolworths)
Place butter in a medium saucepan on the smallest hob of your stove top.
Using the lowest flame/temperature possible, allow the butter to slowly melt and cook away gently for up to an hour or even more.
When a stiff crust has developed across the top with the butter oil underneath, remove from heat. The oil will have darkened slightly with the extended cooking
Carefully remove the crust in one piece with a slotted spoon
Strain the butter oil through a muslin lined strainer into a clean storage jar
I’d love to know if you make your own ghee. Let me know what you use it for too!