Makes about 2 Cups.
Ghee is very similar to clarified butter except that the milk solids are allowed to brown more. It is super low in lactose and casein and is considered to be lactose-free and casein-free because the milk solids are removed. If you are eating a dairy free diet, you should be able to tolerate ghee just fine.
Ghee is almost entirely fat – mostly saturated. I know we have been told not to eat saturated fats for years. However, newer research has shown that, unlike polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates like glucose and fructose, natural saturated fats have no harmful effects. (I’m not talking about hydrogenated seed oil here – those are different.)
Long-chain saturated fats like those from butter and animal fats are more easily burned as energy than polyunsaturated fats to nourish our body’s cells. The process of naturally converting saturated fat into energy the body can use, leaves no toxic by-products. This means that, assuming you are metabolically healthy, you can eat as much saturated fat as you’d like without adverse consequences because they are burned as energy. (Please understand that I’m not saying that cookies made with wheat flour, sugar and saturated fats are OK to eat unlimited – you have to consider all the ingredients.) Ghee won’t burn as quickly as regular butter when cooking and is great for sautéing and high heat cooking up to 485 degrees without concern of oxidation, which can form harmful free radicals.
1 pound butter preferably unsalted, organic, and grass-fed (Kerry-gold is a good brand. It is not organic but is grass-fed and has a great taste.)
Cut the butter into cubes, place in a medium-size saucepan and melt over medium heat until completely melted.
Reduce to a low simmer and maintain that low simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
During this time, the butter will go through several stages. It will foam, then bubble, then seem to almost stop bubbling and then form small bubbled foam again.
When the second foam occurs and the milk solids fall to the bottom of the pan, the ghee is almost done. Watch it carefully now so that the milk solids don’t burn. The melted butter should be bright gold in color and there should be light reddish-brown pieces of milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Stop there and remove from heat.
Let the ghee cool slightly and then slowly pour through a very fine wire mesh strainer or one lined with several layers of cheesecloth to strain out the browned milk solids. These are the milk proteins that contain the lactose and casein. Without those, you have a healthy fat that most can tolerate with no problems even if other dairy products are an issue.
Make ahead: Ghee will last up to a month at room temperature or even longer in the fridge. I keep a jar of ghee on my counter beside the stove at all times and use it generously. It is so yummy to cook and bake with, absolutely guilt-free because it is a healthy fat!
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