How To Make GheeWednesday, March 26, 2014
I love Ghee. It's a shelf-stable butterfat made from unsalted butter with the water and milk fats removed; if you're lactose-intolerant, this can replace butter for you. Some recipes call for it as 'clarified butter', but if you have Ghee on hand, that's all you need. You only need one ingredient and a few common kitchen tools to make it!
The benefits of Ghee are many. Ghee is okay to use if you’re lactose or casein intolerant, it has been linked to decreased cholesterol levels in lab trials, it has been shown to reduce leukotriene secretion and reduce prostaglandin, both of which play a role in inflammation, it contains antioxidants that fight free radicals and promote skin cell growth, good vision and immune system health, as well as reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease, besides being delicious. As with any fat, use in moderation. Ghee is also very important in Ayurveda:
"Ayurveda places ghee, or clarified butter, at the top of the oily foods list, as it has the healing benefits of butter without the impurities (saturated fat, milk solids). The Susruta Samhita, an Ayurvedic classic, claims ghee is beneficial for the whole body, and recommends it as the ultimate remedy for problems stemming from the pitta dosha, such as inflammation.
Long a favorite of yoga practitioners, ghee lubricates the connective tissues and promotes flexibility, says Dr. Vasant Lad, director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Traditionally, the preparation has been used to promote memory, intelligence, quantity and quality of semen, and to enhance digestion. Modern science tells us that ghee also harbors phenolic antioxidants, which bolster the immune system."You can buy it in many health-food stores, or even online, but it's easy to make on your own. I make mine and store it in a mason jar by the stove. It starts out as a liquid, but solidifies into a creamy texture. I use it in place of butter in my cooking, on my toast or bagel, or wherever I would normally use butter. Use it sparingly!
Once I decided to try it, I started searching for resources when I ran across this video from Live Simply (where I fell in love and now want chickens of my own...) showing you how to make it yourself. What did I do? I jumped in.
Her instruction is very clear, but when I tried to make my own, I found that it didn't react in the pan as hers had. Maybe it was my brand of butter, maybe it was my pans or my cloths, I don't know, but when I tried to strain it, I had a lot of itsy-bitsy solid white curds in my Ghee. Since, I've searched online for some direction and found that you should cook it a bit longer, until the curds start to brown, which is what I do now, and it gets an amazing, nutty smell to it.
What you need:
- 1 lb. (4 sticks) of Unsalted Butter (real butter, not margarine or "spread")
- Cheesecloth, or a loose-weave fabric for straining
- A small pot
- a Pint-sized Mason jar (or any similar-sized, clean jar with a lid)
- Place your sticks of butter into your pan.
- Heat over medium heat until melted and vigorously bubbling.
- Turn your heat down to Low and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour (sometime mine takes a little longer than this.)
- There will be a scum of milkfats curdled on the top; tip your pan a little so that you can see the bottom. Is the scum on the bottom browning? Is it smelling nutty and delicious? Then it's done.
See the brown bits on the bottom?
- Remove from the heat and strain through a few layers of cheesecloth into your jar.
- Cap tightly and allow to cool.