The final part of the Au Naturale Nutrition Got Milk? Series on Dairy (Part 5) is a very easy RECIPE FOR GHEE!
To read the "GOT MILK? series on Dairy" from the beginning, follow these links:
Part 1: RAW MILK & DAIRY - THE HEALTH BENEFITS
Part 2- THE PROBLEMS WITH MODERN DAIRY
Part 3- DAIRY - DIGESTIVE ISSUES & ALTERNATIVES
Part 4- A HANDY GUIDE TO CHOOSING DAIRY
--In case you were wondering, I do not eat refined dairy myself. I found that once I eliminated it from my diet, in addition to eliminating gluten, my acne improved significantly. (Skin problems can be an external manifestation of what's going on inside.) Dairy definitely causes me inflammation!
What is Ghee?
Ghee is also known as Indian clarified butter. It is pure butterfat and tastes delicious. It's commonly used in Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, Nepali and Sri Lankan cuisine, traditional medicine, and religious rituals. I think it tastes like rich, concentrated butter. It is best when made from good, grass-fed butter.
Why use ghee? Unlike butter, it does not contain the milk proteins (casein and whey) that cause problems in individuals who cannot tolerate dairy well. It generally does not cause problems for people who are lactose intolerant, either. It still contains the lovely vitamins and minerals found in grass-fed dairy.
Ghee is great to cook with at high temperatures. It has a naturally high smoke point of 485 F, (even higher than butter).
Use in place of oil or butter for cooking. It's ideal for sautes, stir-fries and sauces and it's delicious on rice, toast, pancakes, scones or biscuits.
Yes, you can buy ghee if you like, but it is far more economical to make it yourself. Ghee is extremely easy to make at home. Just 1 ingredient and some heat!
Place 8 oz of UN-salted grass-fed butter in a pan on the stove. (I use Kerrygold brand.) You could use salted butter, but it will sputter a lot more.
Melt it over medium heat, then turn the heat to medium-low. You never want the butter to burn.
Be patient and allow the butter to simmer, sputter, and crackle. The water is boiling out of the butter. (If you can't hear it, turn the heat up slightly.)
Gently stir a few times while it simmers.
Eventually the foamy, white whey will form over the top. The milk solids containing the casein protein will accumulate at the bottom. The milk solids look like bread crumbs.
Monitor it closely. After about a 1/2 hour or so (longer if using more butter) the crackling will stop, which is a good indicator it's now ghee! The butterfat liquid will be very translucent and its color will turn a little darker golden (caramelize) as it finishes cooking.
Take a few layers of cheesecloth and put them in a small strainer. (A paper coffee filter works pretty well, too.) Put it over a container in which you'll store your ghee. (Don't use plastic.)
Very carefully pour the ghee through the cheesecloth. IT'S HOT! You may have to do it twice depending on the thickness.
Allow your ghee to come to room temperature. It will solidify after a few hours. If made properly, the jar can be kept in the pantry for a few months, or you can refrigerate it, if you like.
What if your ghee turns out grainy?
Celebrate!!! That's awesome! Most people would believe that it means the ghee wasn't cooked long enough or wasn't strained properly. Well, I cook my ghee for quite a very long time and strain it well, so know that isn't the case; and it turns out grainy after it's completely cooled. (Once it melts on your food, the grainy texture disappears.)
Pure Indian Foods says that the grainy texture is intentional and not at all a defect of the cooking process. And, according to Mama Sattva brand ghee,
Many first timers, new to tasting ghee are surprised at the grainy texture, which is much different from butter. As a ghee maker, the gritty texture is difficult to achieve and is considered an accomplishment. Having the grainy texture gives the ghee a higher medicinal value. It is an indicator that the ghee has been done correctly. The temperature has been kept low, so all of the antioxidants are intact. The grainier the better. Aging the ghee helps enhance the grainy texture as well. – As the ghee becomes richer and more potent, the texture is also enhanced. Love it, eat it, be healed by it. (source)
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