While it’s best to make ghee from butter that came from grass-fed cows, we decided to give it a try from our regular old store-bought butter. Since it clarifies the butter we thought maybe it would make it slightly healthier. And until we can afford grass-fed butter, we’ll settle for this. And it’s good to practice on butter that you didn’t spend a lot of money on, just in case you totally screw it up.
Ghee has many health benefits. It’s a healthy saturated fat and contains fat-soluble vitamins and minerals that our bodies need. It contains Vitamins A, D, E and K, all of which are critical to bone, brain, heart and immune system function. Ghee is a great source of conjugated linoleic acid, an antioxidant that destroys free-radicals, boosts the immune system and aids cardiovascular health. It contains lauric acid, which helps fight fungus and candida (yeast). It’s a great food to help boost your digestive system and also helps establish a healthy gut flora.
Ghee is simply butter that has been slowly simmered to separate out the milk solids and water content. People who are lactose intolerant can easily consume ghee because the milk solids are no longer present. It is a stable, saturated fat that does not need to be refrigerated and will last for months. So keep it in a jar next to your stove for easy use. It also has a smoke point of up to 400 degrees, higher than butter, meaning it doesn’t burn as easily as butter. Use it anytime you would normally use regular butter; sautéing, baking, spread on your toast, etc… you get the picture.
There are many other health benefits to using ghee over butter, but right now let’s jump right in and get started making it.
What you’ll need:
We used one pound of butter from Publix and a saucepan. But like I said it’s ultimately better to use grass-fed butter. You can get fancy and use a double-boiler, which would simmer it more gently, but we just don’t have one.
You also need a slotted spoon, strainer, cheese cloth and a bowl large enough to catch the ghee as you strain it.
Put the butter in the pan, turn the burner on low and just watch it closely. It doesn’t take long for the butter to start melting (notice in the pic below I threw in some soft butter that we had sitting on the counter as well).
You’ll soon notice a foam starting to build up on the surface (see pic below). This is completely normal. It just means that the water content is separating out.
Ghee is good for you! There’s no reason to be afraid of healthy fats. Your body needs healthy fats to function properly. It will not cause heart disease or make you fat. Carbohydrates and sugars are what cause you to gain weight.
In the following pic you can see the different layers forming. I gently pushed over the foam to show the middle clear layer. The milk solids are also sinking to the bottom, forming the 3rd layer. These will remain in the pan when you are pouring off the middle layer.
Once you notice the milk solids, at the bottom of the pan, beginning to brown (and I mean only slightly beginning to brown) then it’s time to turn off the heat and begin separating the layers. While the above process was going on I prepared my strainer. I used a mesh strainer on top of a large measuring cup (you can use anything large enough to catch the ghee). I lined the strainer with cheese cloth to make extra sure no solids get through.
Now back to the pan…
You’ll need to use the slotted spoon to remove the foamy layer and discard. Then pour the rest through the strainer.
Make sure to leave the browned “solids” in the pan:
I ended up with exactly two (2) cups of ghee. How perfect is that?
It’s much darker & richer in color than the original sticks of butter were and it has a nice nutty-buttery aroma. If you use butter from grass-fed cows you’ll have an even richer color and aroma, since it will have a lot more vitamins and minerals in it. But I’m quite pleased with these results. It feels like a small step closer to being a little healthier for us.
Coming up next: Bone Broth/Stock and Rendered Lard. We’ve been quite busy in the kitchen this week. Our next step to making ghee will be to make the butter first from Raw Milk.