What is ghee and what you should know about it


Butter can add to the flavor in a recipe, but it’s definitely a “used in moderation” food.

But ghee, a type of clarified butter, is appearing more and more in healthy recipes and on health food store shelves.

long time ghee An essential ingredient in Indian cookingBut is it healthier than butter? Here’s what you need to know.

What is ghee?

Glass jar of homemade ghee

“Ghee is a type of refined butter that has its origins in India,” he explains Lindsey Janeiro, RDN, From Nutrition to Fit.

Ghee is made by heating and filtering butter to remove milk solids.

An extra step may seem tedious, but clarifying the butter may work for some people.

“The filtration process separates the milk from the fat, while removing the milk solids,” he explains. Kara LydonRD, LDN, owner of Kara Lydon Nutrition and Foodie Dietitian’s Blog.

Because of this process, Lydon adds, the margarine is usually lactose-free.

This means that you may be able to handle the ghee even if you are lactose intolerant or allergic.

But although “some individuals with mild dairy allergies find that they can tolerate ghee better than butter, it’s important to note that ghee is still a dairy product and not suitable for dairy allergy sufferers,” she warns. Janeiro.

Ghee is also usually free of casein, which is a milk protein May cause gastrointestinal symptoms In people with allergy or intolerance to dairy products.

However, not all brands of ghee are casein free, so it is best to avoid ghee if you are allergic to casein.

How ghee works

Melt the butter in a frying pan on the stove

It is easy to make ghee yourself at home. Lydon offers these easy steps:

  1. Cut two pieces of butter into cubes and add to a saucepan over low to medium heat.
  2. Allow the butter to completely melt and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. When the milk solids collect at the bottom of the saucepan and turn golden, remove from heat.
  4. Filter the solid milk using a mesh strainer lined with a cotton cloth. (If you don’t have a cheesecloth at home, you can use a single sheet of tissue paper instead.)

The ghee will become a golden liquid when you’re done making it, but it will eventually cool to a solid.

Although it does not need to be refrigerated, it will last longer if stored this way.

Tips for making ghee

  • Use a pan with a silver bottom, if possible – it will be easier to see when the solids change color and hit that golden color.
  • It’s normal for butter to build up as it boils. This will eventually calm down.
  • After the foam has subsided, you may see solids floating on top. You can peel them during the cooking process with a slotted spoon, or just drain the entire pan of butter at the end – of your choice.

How to use ghee

Closely clarified ghee or butter in a wooden bowl

So what is ghee? “Margarine has a much higher smoke point than butter,” Lydon says, making it a great choice when frying or frying foods.

Ghee can withstand cooking temperatures Up to about 485 degrees Fahrenheit.

A higher smoke point may provide benefits beyond flavour. Cooking fats can decompose when heated to certain temperatures, producing harmful compounds.

But “One study showed “Cooking with a higher smoking point fat like ghee produced fewer harmful compounds,” Lydon says.

And ghee is not just for cooking.

Use it on toast, baked potatoes, or rice, and you may notice that “ghee generally has a richer, richer flavor than butter,” Lydon adds.

ghee nutrition

Although filtering and clarification of butter removes milk solids, Janeiro notes that “the nutritional differences between margarine and butter are very small.”

tablespoon ghee it contains:

  • 123 calories
  • 13.9 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

in comparison, tablespoon unsalted butter it contains:

  • 102 calories
  • 11.5 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

Ghee also contains butyrate, which is a short-chain fatty acid May play a role in supporting digestive healthLydon explains.

However, it’s not something you should sprinkle on everything.

Janeiro says ghee is “still a saturated fat and should be eaten in moderation in the context of an overall balanced diet.”

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