For my first Self Reliant Skill of the Week, I’ve learned how to make ghee. To be honest, until a couple of years ago, I hadn’t even heard of the stuff. But it seems to be popping up more and more, so it has piqued my interest.
So, instead of leaving you in suspense, let’s get on with today’s Self Reliant Skill of the Week!
What is ghee?
Ghee is clarified butter that has been simmered a little longer, allowing the milk solids to brown and almost caramelize. It has a delicious nutty flavor and it is wonderful for cooking. While butter is primarily butterfat, ghee is 100% butterfat, as it has the milk proteins and water removed.
It is commonly used in Indian cuisine. Ghee is actually the Hindi word for “fat”. And, interestingly enough, ghee is considered a superfood in Ayurveda. In the United States, ghee has gained recent popularity due to the rise of the Keto diet and Bulletproof coffee.
Ghee has a higher smoke point than butter, so it is superior for cooking. While butter will burn at 200-250 degrees, ghee won’t burn until it hits 400-450 degrees.
Because there is no water in it, ghee is shelf stable. If it’s unopened, and kept away from light and heat, it can last over 9 months on the shelf. Once opened, the jar can be kept on the shelf for 3 months, or in the fridge for up to a year.
Health benefits of ghee
Some experts believe that ghee is better for you than butter. While this is somewhat subjective, it does have some amazing attributes. After all, ghee IS butter that’s just been processed a little further.
- Ghee consists of fat-soluble vitamins, like A, D, E, and K, which promote strong bones, good vision, and boost your immune system. They are also said to aid weight loss.
- It is an excellent source of energy, since it contains medium- and short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are absorbed directly through the liver and burned as energy, instead of being stored in the body.
- It also contains lauric acid, which is a potent antimicrobial and antifungal substance. Ayurvedic practitioners use it in conjunction with herbs for many remedies.
- The process of making ghee removes the lactose, making it easier to digest for those who are lactose-intolerant.
- Studies have shown that it can help lower bad cholesterol, and increase good cholesterol.
- It helps contribute to a healthy digestive tract, as it is rich in butyric acid.
- The higher smoke point in ghee prevents it from producing free radicals, which can cause cell damage in the body.
- It may help lubricate connective tissues, which can help keep you nimble and flexible.
- Since it is a saturated fat that is high in vitamin K2, ghee can even help balance hormones and support thyroid function.
Here is a video for my YouTube channel I made on how to make ghee. Be sure to like and subscribe so you can get notified of my newest videos!
Make your own ghee
Buying ghee can get pretty expensive, with prices between $10 and $20 for 12 ounces. But making your own is easy and economical!
- 1 pound unsalted butter. Grass-fed, organic butter is best.
- Heavy-bottomed pan or dutch oven
- Metal spoon
- Cheesecloth or paper towels
- Mason jar with lid and ring
Cut the butter up into slices to allow for more even heat distribution and easier melting.
Put the butter into a pot or dutch oven.
Heat the pan on medium heat to melt the butter. DO NOT STIR.
Once the butter is melted, turn the heat down to medium-low.
Use a spoon continuously to remove the foam that forms at the top.
Allow the butter to simmer on medium-low heat about 10-15 minutes, until it becomes a golden brown color. The milk solids at the bottom will be dark, and your kitchen will smell like a pastry.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Strain through a cheesecloth or paper towels into a glass jar and tighten the lid.
And voila! Homemade ghee!
1 pound of butter yields 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) of ghee.
I hope you’ll join me in learning 52 Self Reliant Skills In One Year. It’s going to be fun! Each week, on Friday, I will post a post here and a video on my YouTube channel of a new self reliant skill that I have learned that week. The link will also be posted on my Facebook page. Enter your info below to get notified of the videos and posts when they come out. Let’s learn together!
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