Nourish - What’s the Scoop on: Ghee and How to Make it
Today we’re talking about ghee – a delicious ingredient that I highly recommend you add to your kitchen cupboard. Today’s blog post is all about what ghee is, why it’s so marvellous and then how you can make it yourself!
What is Ghee?
Ghee holds a special place in Ayurveda (India’s traditional natural system of medicine) and is considered to be an incredibly powerful medicine. It’s very similar to clarified butter, where all the milk solids are removed, but in ghee’s case, it’s cooked just a tad longer. The extra few minutes allow the milk solids on the bottom of the pan to begin to brown and this gives ghee a slightly different, more nutty flavour in comparison to clarified butter.
Since the milk solids are removed, many people who are sensitive to dairy (specifically to lactose and casein) find that they don’t have any problems with ghee. This makes it a great alternative to butter in the diet.
It’s easy to get your hands on it if you don’t wish to make it. We stock Happy Butter Organic Ghee in-store and online.
The Benefits of Using Ghee
- Balances all doshas
- Source of fatty acids – contains easy to digest short-chain fatty acids. These are essential for healthy skin, nerves and cells.
- Boasts plentiful amounts of Butyrate fatty acid. This is vital for the health of the intestinal walls. This beneficial fatty acid helps support healthy immunity, cholesterol, energy and regulates elimination.
- Supports digestion – ghee is known to kindle the digestive fire (Agni). It helps to stimulate the secretion of acids in the stomach that help break down food. Additionally, it’s used to help remove excess toxins from the body.
- Improves absorption of nutrients – when ghee is consumed, especially with nutrient-dense foods, it actually increases the ability of the intestinal walls to absorb nutrients. This quality also enhances the healing power of the herbs ingested. That’s why it’s common to see ghee used in conjunction with many herbal preparations. It has the unique ability to drive the healing properties of the medicinal herbs deep into the body. As a result, this helps to increase the herb’s effectiveness.
- Lubricates the body – ghee nourishes, moistens and lubricates the bodies tissues, helping to reduce dryness of the skin and colon. As a result, it’s also great for promoting elimination.
- Anti-inflammatory – ghee is often used to help with inflammatory conditions because it contains anti-inflammatory properties. As a result, it’s useful in supporting those with allergies, arthritis, painful joints, eczema etc.
- Nourishes the brain and nervous system – ghee is used in Indian medicine to help strengthen the brain and nervous system. It’s thought to help increase memory and intellect.
How to Make Ghee
There are many many ways to make Ghee, but here’s a recipe that I use religiously after studying with Pukka Herbs.
- Heat 500g-1kg of unsalted organic butter in a heavy pan
- Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. It may take up to 30 minutes. You’ll notice foam will rise to the top. Just scoop this off and throw away.
- Stir the butter occasionally to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.
- After 15 minutes or so, the fat solids will have settled to the bottom of the pan and have turned a light brown. Above is a clearer golden liquid, and that’s our ghee! Once it’s ready you may also hear a slight crackling sound.
- Let it cool a little and then line your squeaky clean jar/jars of choice with cheesecloth or muslin.
- Pour in your ghee and allow it to strain through. This will help catch the milk solids and avoid them plopping into your ghee.
- Ghee is room stable so feel free to leave it out (for up to 12 weeks) or let it cool completely and pop in the fridge. In the fridge, it will last roughly a year.
How to Use Ghee
Ghee has a plethora of uses.
Use it in place of butter in your cooking, baking, roasting and spreading.
I like it smothered over homemade pancakes, popcorn, sourdough, roasted veggies. Fry your onions, garlic and ginger in it when making curries or soup. Even replace butter in your baking with it to get a different flavour.
You can even try it in coffee!
Since ghee has a high smoke point of 220 degrees, it’s a very stable fat to use. When a fat reaches its smoke point, this is when it starts to make free radicals, and we don’t’ want them! They’re linked to all kinds of nasties like cancer and the likes, and we don’t need any of that, thank you!
Ghee is suitable for both external and internal use. Since it is incredibly hydrating to the skin when applied topically, try layering a bit of ghee to your face as a moisturiser. It’s is an excellent way to cool down any redness or burning sensations.
Next up on the blog, we’ll be covering some more uses for ghee that may surprise you.
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.