All the amazing health benefits and rich, buttery flavor of ghee are at your fingertips any time you have butter on hand because it’s super simple and easy to make!
What’s the Difference
While the terms “ghee” and “clarified butter” are often used interchangeably, they’re technically different. Each is made the same way, but one is achieved just before the other. Clarified butter occurs when the water has evaporated from the butter, milk solids have floated to the top, and the remaining liquid is golden and transparent. When cooked down further, milk solids settle to the bottom as well as float on the top and the remaining liquid is heated until it emits a light, nutty aroma.
Why Ghee & Clarified Butter are So Great
- High smoke point. Ghee has a smoke point of 450° F. Why is that important? Because it means you can heat it up to a higher temperature when frying or cooking with it. Any fat or oil that is cooked beyond its smoke point turns rancid and will cause free radicals in the body. So having a fat with a high smoke point means healthy fried food!
- Good for people with lactose and casein intolerances. Since the creation of ghee and clarified butter removes the milk fat solids, many people who are lactose or casein intolerant can enjoy it.
- Richer flavor. Both pretty much taste like butter on steroids (especially the ghee). They have an extra rich, super buttery flavor.
- Stores at room temperature. Since the stuff that causes butter to go rancid (the water and milk fat solids) is removed from ghee and clarified butter, they can be stored at room temperature in a dark place (think a cupboard or inside an opaque container) for about a month. But feel free to store them in the fridge it you’d rather.
- Conducive to a healthy body. Ghee and clarified butter are full of vitamins A, E, and K2; CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid); and medium chain fatty acids. They’re great for boosting energy, achieving or maintaining a healthy weight, and for supporting digestive and immune health. And they have anti-inflammatory properties.
Uses for the Milk Solids
When making ghee or clarified butter, milk solids float to the top and sink to the bottom. You can simply discard the milk solids, or you can put them to good use.
- Flavoring veggies. Mix the solids with veggies before roasting them for added flavor.
- Treating animals. Feed them to your cat, dog, or even chickens for a yummy treat.
Uses for Ghee and Clarified Butter
- Seafood dip. Season some melted clarified butter or ghee with garlic salt and paprika and dip lobster, crab, or shrimp in it to enhance the flavor of the meat and be extra fancy.
- Spread on bread. Lightly salt it and spread it on bread or toast.
- Use in cooking. Use it in lieu of olive or coconut oil when cooking.
- Fry things. Use some to pan fry chicken or other foods.
- In place of butter. Wherever you’d use butter, use clarified butter or ghee instead (such as when roasting veggies).
Ghee (or Clarified Butter)
- 1 cup unsalted grass fed butter
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter, stirring a bit to help it out, over medium heat.
- The butter will become foamy then bubbly. Once bubbly, turn the heat down to low or medium low and allow to simmer. Do not stir for the remaining of the process.
- The butter will reach a second foamy stage and the milk solids will separate by floating to the top and sinking to the bottom. The liquid portion will become transparent and it will steam a bit as all the water from the butter evaporates.
- If you stop at this point, you have clarified butter.
- To achieve ghee, continue cooking until the milk solid sediment at the bottom of the pan darkens a bit and a nutty scent emits from the pan. Be careful not to overcook and burn it.
- Once the clarified butter or ghee stage is achieved, remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 4 or 5 minutes.
- Place 3 or 4 layers of cheesecloth over the mouth of a mason jar (I like to loosely screw on the mason jar's ring to hold the cheesecloth steady). Slowly pour the ghee/clarified butter through the cheesecloth and into the jar; the milk solids will get caught on the cheesecloth. Skimming is not necessary, but you're welcome to do so if you wish.
- Remove the milk solids and enjoy the ghee or clarified butter!