Ghee has been rightly identified as a food of the gods with a history dating back as far as 1500BCE. It has so many uses including ceremonial, medicinal, and nutritional. Among the law verses in India’s Dharmasutra, a code detailing religious and political requirements, ghee is referenced as a key element of religious rituals. It also appears in the Bhagavad Gita’s, chapter 9, and in at least one of the hymns titled Rg Veda. Medicinally, Ayurvedic Medicine often uses Ghee in the preparation of herbal formulations. Medicinally and nutritionally, Ghee actually eases digestion through butyrate, a short term fatty acid. Also, just one tablespoon supplies 15% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin A. Since Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), it’s also a cancer fighter. Not just a cancer fighter, CLA may also aid with insulin resistance making it very beneficial for those with diabetes and prediabetes too. This wonderful source of natural fat also contains significant levels of Vitamin E and Vitamin D. Though many may think of fat as unhealthy in our diets, our bodies require fat to function properly. Ghee is also a source for Omega-3s (monounsaturated fats), another healthy fat. So, Ghee isn’t just another choice to coat your pan for cooking, it’s a great food choice for your healthier diet and lifestyle.
Begin with 1 pound of unsalted butter. Unsalted tends to cook down better without the residual salt. I’ve actually had some negative results using salted butter. It won’t be the end of the world if you end up with salted, but keep an eye on it while you heat. It seems to heat up quicker. I also try to stick to good quality butter with no growth hormones etc in the milk used to produce the butter. Raw butter is perfect. I’ve just found a good source for Amish butter and it’s wonderful!
Place the butter in a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium heat. Don’t use any coated pans. Stainless steel or glass to avoid chemical transference. Heres’s where the fun begins! It will start to spit and sputter gently as the water and milk fats separate from the butter. I don’t stir mine. I may occasionally skim some of the froth off the top with a fine stainless steel mesh strainer, but stirring spreads the solids around making more work for you.
Once the spitting and sputtering slow, the process can complete quickly so watch it closely. Skim aside some of the froth on top to see if you have any sediment forming on the bottom. Those are the separated milk fats. When they are golden brown and an aroma of freshly popped popcorn presents, it’s done. Remove it from the heat source. If the sediment goes dark brown (and this can happen quickly once it’s turned golden brown), you’ll note a nutty aroma. You’ve scorched the gee. It’s not ruined, but it will have a stronger taste. By the way, gently adding hot tap water to your pan after it’s cooled a bit to warm, to avoid burns, will make cleanup much easier.
If you have a stainless steel tea strainer, place it on the mouth of a pint mason jar and slowly pour the melted ghee into the jar. If you don’t, be careful on the pouring to avoid any sediment getting into the jar.* Once the sediment begins to pour from the bottom of the pan, I quit.
Remove the tea strainer from the jar. Screw usual mason lid on top. Careful, it’s hot! Leave on the counter to cool. And there’s your ghee.
It should solidify to a nice golden color. If it’s brown, it’s scorched/overcooked. Don’t throw it out! Just recall the process for next time and don’t overcook it. Your ghee doesn’t need to refrigeration because it’s pure saturated fat. It will keep indefinitely. If mold should appear in the jar, it’s because you didn’t heat it long enough and all the water during the heating process didn’t evaporate and it’s begun to go rancid.
FYI other names for Ghee are clarified butter or drawn butter! Enjoy! Have questions or comments contact me!
* Stainless tea strainers are great and can be found at most health food stores or tea rooms. Once I use that tea strainer for Ghee, I don’t use it for anything else to avoid contamination.
Quick Reference Directions:
One (1) Pound Unsalted Natural Butter with no Aditives or Hormones.
Place butter in a medium stainless steel or glass saucepan. Heat at medium heat until sediment forms at the bottom of the pan with a distinct aroma of freshly popped popcorn. Pour off remaining liquid (Ghee) into a one-pint canning jar. Gently screw on the lid (careful, it’s hot!) and allow to cool on the counter. Once cooled, it may remain on the counter or in a pantry unrefrigerated