Ghee is a totally delicious butter which has been clarified, which means that the milk solids have been removed, and what remains is pure butter fat. It posseses a unique, nutty, toasted carmel-like flavor, and creates a heavenly aroma when you prepare it. For many thousands of years, it has been a central ingredient in Indian cuisine and culture, and is considered a sacred food in the Vedic tradition. Ghee has been used in religious ceremonies, and is considered to have many unparalleled healing properties in Ayurvedic medicine, the ancient Indian medical tradition.
Ghee is rich in Vitamin A,Vitamin D, and CLA, (conjugated linoleic acid) which is protective against heart disease and increases the percentage of lean body mass. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent and anti-oxidant. Its high concentration of butyric acid has anti-viral properties, which strengthens the immune system and inhibits the growth of cancerous tumors. It stimulates the secretion of stomach acid to help with digestion, and aids in the absorption of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. It has been used in Indian medical practice to treat ulcers, constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, and to promote healthy eyes, bones and skin. Ghee also facilitates learning and enhances memory retention. Butyric acid has characteristics helpful in the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Ghee nourishes the connective tissue and makes the body more flexible. It is used in Indian beauty creams to help soften skin, and as a topical treatment for burns and blisters.
For cooking purposes, it is an excellent healthful fat for deep frying, as it has a very high smoke point, which makes it very heat stable.
Ghee is included from the very beginning of the Introductory phase of the GAPS nutritional protocol. It is a dairy food that is tolerated by most people, because it contains neither lactose (milk sugar) nor casein (milk protein). The absence of these two substances present in other dairy products makes it non-allergenic. I recommend that you use it liberally in cooking as it is so nutritious, tasty and a great tonic for the brain.
Ghee can be purchased, but it is expensive. It is very simple to prepare at home. Most recipes suggest cooking the butter in a heavy bottomed pan on the stove. I prefer to make it in a crock pot.
Place three pounds of unsalted organic butter in a 4 qt crockpot on low. Leave it for eight hours uncovered. If you would like it to cook more quickly, and you have time to keep your eye on it, you can start on high for 4 hours, then turn it to low.
When the ghee is finished, the milk solids will have separated into a foamy crumbly brown substance on top, and brown crusty curds on the bottom, with clear yellow butter fat in between. If the bottom layer still seems somewhat runny, that means that all the liquid has not bubbled off yet, and it needs more time. Ghee can take 12 hours or more, depending on the crockpot temperature .
When the ghee is done, pour it through a strainer lined with cheese cloth, and then into 2 Mason jars. It can be stored unrefrigerated for many months.
Lysa Miller says
nice site Judy.
Dr. Tsfrir – must you use unsalted butter to make ghee? Can it be salted before storing?
When using salted butter, it is difficult to guess how much salt will remain in the clarified butter. A lot of the salt can be found in the milk solids as it settles or foams up, but the exact amount will be different every time. Use unsalted butter to remove any uncertainty (you can add salt to the clarified butter later to achieve the desired saltiness).