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Ghee 101: Everything You Need To Know

Ghee, also known as clarified butter, grows more popular by the hour, being deemed as a super-fat in health. While many think ghee is something new and trendy, it actually has a long history in the culinary and medicinal world of Southeast Asia. If you are wondering what the fuss is all about, this article is just for you! We’ve got the details on the delicious clarified butter, so keep on reading to learn more!

What Is Ghee?

Let’s start with the basics. Traditional butter is made up of milk fat, milk solids, and water, while ghee consists only of milk fat (clarified butter). The water and milk solids from the butter are removed by simmering it over low heat for a long period of time. What’s left behind is a golden liquid fat that has a highly appetizing, caramelized flavor and wondrous aroma.

Ghee originates from India, and it is commonly used in Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian cuisine. It is an alternative to butter or vegetable oils, and a highly versatile product, as it can be used in both sweet and savory recipes. Additionally, it has therapeutic properties, when used together with herbal medication as a part of Ayurveda – a centuries-old form of alternative medicine. Beyond its believed spiritual and medicinal properties, ghee has recently gained traction as a healthier alternative to butter and other culinary oils.

How Is It Made?

Centuries ago, in India, the liquid heaven was most likely born out of necessity. As we all know, butter spoils fairly rapidly in the heat, while ghee keeps for a longer time and is shelf-stable.

It is made by melting a large amount of butter and slowly (like, super slowly) simmering it over very low heat. With time, the milk solids in the butter sink to the bottom and begin to brown. At the same time, the water evaporates, and what’s left is pure butterfat. The milk solids get scooped out, and what’s left behind is ghee.

You may ask: Isn’t that the same as clarified butter? Well, it is actually a type of clarified butter. Their process of making is similar, but ghee is cooked for longer than the traditional clarified butter. It has a richer, nuttier flavor compared to standard clarified butter. Furthermore, ghee lasts about a year in the fridge and three months out. What a time to be alive, right?

Health Benefits

Ghee Is Casein- And Lactose-Free

Ghee is an all-natural butter derivative that is both casein and lactose-free. This is especially beneficial for people who struggle with dairy sensitivities or allergies, including those that are lactose intolerant. The butter derivative can be implemented in various dietary regimens such as keto, paleo, gluten-free, Ayurvedic, or Whole 30.

Has A High Smoke Point

Fats and oils heated past their smoke point start to break down and release free radicals into the food. Eating those free radicals can wreak havoc on your organism and cause health issues. Ghee is said to have a smoke point of about 250°C. Because of its stability, it is the healthier choice when it comes to high-heat cooking.

Boasts Bioavailable Vitamins

The dairy products of cows, sheep, and goats grazing on grass are an excellent source of fat-soluble vitamins. Studies show that cooking with this clarified butter can help the organism absorb essential vitamins,  minerals, and macronutrients easier. Delicious and healthy! But remember the dose makes the poison, so always consume fat-dense foods in moderation!

Ghee Is A Nutritional Powerhouse

It is also a powerful nutritional bomb. It’s notably high in vitamin A, which is essential for the immune system, liver health, hormone control, stamina, and eye health. Ghee contains anti-inflammatory fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and butyric acid. It contains slightly more CLA than butter which is great, as CLA plays a role in obesity control. It also contains butyric acid (again, slightly more than butter), linked to potential anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.

No wonder it’s so popular in Ayurvedic medicine!

Potential Risks

The clarified butter is rich in fat, so it is best to consume it as a part of a balanced regimen. While ghee can help lower the risk of heart disease in moderation, too much saturated fats can elevate the risk of heart disease. Though the CLA plays a role in weight control, it is also a calorie-dense and fat-rich food. Despite its health benefits, consuming too much ghee can have a rebound effect and lead to weight gain. Consult with your doctor when considering your dietary choices. Better safe than sorry, right?

Ghee Vs. Butter: Which Is Better?

Is ghee healthier than butter? They are similar in a nutritional aspect, but ghee does not contain any milk proteins. This makes it superior to butter, especially for individuals who struggle with sensitivities and allergies associated with dairy products.

Does ghee taste like butter? The derivative has a richer, more nutty flavor than standard butter. Since the milk solids are scooped out, the consistency of ghee is thicker. Furthermore, this butter derivative has a very high smoke point, around 250°C, while butter has a smoke point around 150°C. This makes ghee the better choice for high-heat cooking.

There is a slight difference regarding the number of calories each contains. One tablespoon of ghee has approximately 120 calories, while butter has around 100 calories. The same serving of ghee has roughly 13 grams of saturated fat compared to butter which has 11 grams. Both contain no protein, sugars, or carbohydrates. Whichever you choose to buy,  look for grass-fed versions. They are richer in flavor, nutrients, and have a better effect on general well-being.

How To Implement Ghee In Your Daily Routine?

While it is similar to butter from a nutrition standpoint, it has a higher smoke point (closer to that of vegetable oil). This means the butter derivative is a versatile fat that can find its way into your cooking in different ways. Furthermore, it can be used outside of the kitchen, as it has non-cooking properties.

Use Ghee For Cooking And Food Preparation

It has been a part of Indian cooking for centuries and is famous in the modern world. The clarified butter is perfect for frying, roasting, and sauteing. Listed below are interesting ways to implement ghee into various sweet and savory dishes. Get creative with this liquid heaven:

  • Pour melted ghee over popcorn and enjoy movie night;
  • Leave it to harden at room temperature and spread it over crackers or toast;
  • Make some delicious pancakes with the delicious, nutty flavored clarified butter;
  • Add ghee to cooking pans when scrambling eggs to prevent sticking;
  • Use it to enrich the flavor and consistency of mashed potatoes and baked potatoes;
  • Drizzle the clarified butter over vegetables before roasting for a caramelized taste;
  • In addition to cooking up veggies, meat, and eggs, try putting ghee in your coffee. Buttery coffee has become so trendy that you can’t miss trying it out!

Keep in mind, ghee has more moisture than butter, so you may need to alter your recipes.

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Use Ghee For Your Skin And Hair

The clarified butter is an all-natural cooking ingredient that has a role in the beauty industry. Its essential fatty acid content makes ghee an excellent moisturizer, perfect for dry skin. It also makes a perfect hair mask. It can help nourish split ends, encourage hair growth and prevent dandruff. Keep on reading to learn how to implement it in your skin routine:

Step 1: Combine an equal amount of the butter derivative and water to create a smooth paste.

Step 2: Apply the mixture and gently rub it on the skin. Let the paste sit for 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse off and enjoy your smooth as silk skin!

This paste can also be used for treating wounds, burns, or preventing heavy scarring.

Use Ghee For Glossy Lips

As mentioned above, ghee makes a perfect moisturizer, which can be used for chapped, dry lips. Apply a few drops before going to bed, and wake up with soft, moisturized lips.

Use Ghee for Ayurvedic Massage

The clarified butter is normally linked with rejuvenation in Ayurvedic medicine. It is a perfect great addition to Ayurvedic massage.

The Takeaway

Why do we love ghee? It is a healthy butter derivative and particularly beneficial for people who suffer from dairy sensitivities and allergies. Various diets promote the use of ghee, as it is as nutritional as butter but lacks proteins and lactose. This golden buttery liquid is also high in fat-soluble vitamins and antioxidants, which are excellent for the immune system and overall well-being. It has a richer, nuttier flavor than butter and is culinary versatile. It can be used in numerous recipes due to its high smoke point. While butter serves strictly in the kitchen, its derivative has other uses and benefits.

We hope this article was informative and helpful. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment!


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