Written by Amanda Gilles, RD
Ghee looks like butter, kind of smells like butter and almost tastes like our beloved butter. This might leave you wondering, what exactly is ghee? Think of ghee as superman and butter as Clark Kent. Ghee is an improved and enhanced version of butter! They are very similar in taste, texture, smell, and even appearance, but ghee is the ‘new’ hip kid on the block. Ghee, essentially is the improved version of butter; bringing a surplus of health benefits. A few of these potential benefits include: improving cardiovascular health, reducing your risk of heart disease, improving metabolism, and even promoting weight loss.
Ghee is also known as clarified butter. It’s believed to have originated in ancient India, and has been used for hundreds of years. In fact, it is still a common ingredient amongst Indian cuisine today. Ghee is created by boiling butter and then pouring off the butter fat. This removes the milk proteins (casein and whey) and milk solids (lactose). The remaining substance is known ghee!
Glorious Ghee Benefits:
Lactose Intolerant Friendly
- The way ghee is prepared causes the lactose and milk protein content to be almost nil. Making it better tolerated by those with dairy sensitivities.
Rich in Vitamins and Nutrients
- Ghee created from dairy, from grass-fed cows, is packed with the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, & K, which are necessary to maintain good health. The fat soluble vitamins provide many different benefits to keep us feeling healthy! They play a role in everything from improved metabolism, gut health, clotting of blood, removing free radicals, and improving vision, immune health, to promoting healthy skin and hair. In addition to the fat soluble vitamins, ghee is also an excellent source of the gut supporting butyric acid, and heart healthy conjugated linoleic acid.
Higher Smoke Point
- Ghee should be a staple in your kitchen due to its ability to withstand high cooking temperatures, 480˚ F to be exact. Oils with low smoke points can break down when used in high heat cooking, which results in the formation of free radicals and trans fats. Trans fats can increase our risk of disease, and should be avoided in our diet.
Where to find it:
- Ghee is your gut’s best friend when it comes to improved digestion. If you struggle with digestive issues, healing your gut is essential! Ghee is rich in butyric acid, a short chain fatty acid that nourishes the cells of the gastrointestinal tract. Butyric acid can reduce inflammation and aid in the repair of the GI lining. Studies also show butyric acid can support the production of Killer T cells in the gut, which will promote a strong immune system.
You can find ghee in most grocery stores, typically next to the butter, in the dairy section. However, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could always try and create it at home! Ghee does not spoil easily, and doesn’t even need to be refrigerated. In a tightly sealed jar it can last up to 3 months.