What is Ghee?

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Health Benefits of Ghee

Ghee, also referred to as clarified butter, is a good alternative to cooking oil and is often used in Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. It is very fragrant and has a rich nutty taste. Ghee is solid at room temperature but can easily be melted if necessary. Many people prefer cooking with ghee over butter because it does not burn as easily as butter. Ghee can be made at home or purchased online. The following will provide you with a little more information about ghee nutrition and the uses and benefits of ghee.

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What is Ghee?

To define ghee in a few words, it is basically the butterfat that is left over after the water and milk solids are taken out of butter. The only difference between ghee and clarified butter is that ghee is cooked until the milk solids are slightly browned which adds a nutty flavor to the finished product. The word ghee is the Hindi word for fat. In India, ghee is referred to as desi ghee which means real ghee. The word desi refers to a person who was born in India and is of Indian origin. Ghee is basically the same as clarified butter, but with an Indian name.

What is clarified butter?

Ghee is the same as clarified butter. Clarified butter is also known as drawn butter and resembles oil more than butter. Clarified butter starts with unsalted butter that has been slowly melted into three layers. The top layer is the water that evaporates as the butter slowly cooks. The milk solids form the bottom layer which is removed, and the middle layer is pure butterfat which is the clarified butter.

Is ghee healthy?

Consuming fats in moderation is considered very healthy and even important for weight loss. Twenty to thirty-five percent of our daily calories should come from fat. Healthy fats help our body to preserve cell membrane structure, absorb important nutrients and aid in proper immune system function. It is important to remember that most of the fat calories in ghee comes from saturated fat. Eating high amounts of saturated fat is not healthy and we should limit our daily intake of fat from saturated fat to only ten percent. If you are reasonably healthy, ghee is considered a smart and healthy addition to your diet.

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Here are a few ghee nutrition facts to remember if you are considering adding ghee to your diet. One tablespoon of ghee contains the following:

  • 135 calories
  • 15 grams of total fat
  • 9 grams of saturated fat
  • 45 percent of recommended daily amount of fat
  • 45 milligrams of cholesterol

There are several ghee health benefits. In fact, ghee has been used in Indian culture for many years in meal preparation as well as in holistic remedies. The following are some of the many ghee benefits.

Aids in reducing inflammation. Ghee reduces leukotriene secretion as well as prostaglandin levels which are both linked to inflammation.

Provides antioxidants. Ghee contains vitamins A and E as well as carotenoids. These are all antioxidants that are great for boosting your immune system as well as promoting skin cell growth and better vision.

Good for those who are lactose intolerant. When clarifying butter most of the lactose and casein contained in the butter is removed. Therefore, ghee is a good alternative to butter for those who may be lactose intolerant.

Increases effectiveness of herbal remedies. Ghee also helps in transporting some herb mixtures that are used in Hindu holistic medicine to cells and organs.

Aids in digestion. Ghee helps to minimize stomach acid while also repairing the stomach's lining. Ghee also produces digestive enzymes which help food digest properly and reduces episodes of indigestion.

Adds flavor in cooking. Since the water has been evaporated from the butter, ghee can be added to popcorn without causing it to be soggy. Also, ghee rice is a popular Indian dish that includes ghee, onion and several exotic spices.

Helps heal skin. Ghee has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a cure for blisters and burns. It helps to heal and soften irritated skin when applied topically.

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How to Make Ghee

If you would like to make ghee at home, you may find the following ghee recipe helpful. The recipe for ghee and the clarified butter recipe requires only one ingredient: unsalted butter. Since clarified butter is essentially the same as ghee, the directions would basically be the same for both. Making ghee is very easy and starts with melting one pound of unsalted butter in a medium saucepan on medium heat. Let the butter melt and bring it to a boil stirring constantly. The oil will begin to separate and the top will start to froth. Remove the froth, and when the oil becomes clear remove the saucepan from the heat. Let this cool for about fifteen minutes. After it has cooled strain it through about three layers of cheesecloth. Your final product is now ready to use or store for later use. If ghee is wrapped tightly it can be refrigerated for up to six months. It can also be frozen for up to one year.

Ghee is common in Holland, Australia, Scandinavia and India and can be purchased in many "international" supermarkets, or online. If you would like to know where to buy clarified butter and ghee, there are several good reputable companies that produce and sell clarified butter. Purity Farms is a great place to purchase clarified butter. Purity Farms ghee is organic and made with organic sweet cream butter from cows that are allowed to graze in green pastures on small family farms. Ghee is also available at most supermarkets and health food stores.

Ghee has been around for many years and has been used in the Indian culture for everything from cooking to healing burns. Ghee is healthy and also adds a unique flavor to many dishes. Since it has such a high smoke point (485 degrees), it is considered one of the best oil choices for high temperature cooking. Ghee is easy to make at home and has a long shelf life. Consider adding this healthy alternative to butter to your diet and take advantage of ghee's many benefits.

DISCLAIMER: The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis, or recommended treatments. None of the statements made on this website have been reviewed by the FDA. Any product mentioned is not meant to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or taking any medication, ask your doctor first before taking these or any other herbal remedies.

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