What Is Ghee and Why Is It Good For You?
What is ghee?
Ghee is best understood as simply the fat or oil that comes out of butter, but without the milk or the water. Thinking of ghee as a form of clarified butter will help put your mind in the right place for the rest of the story.
What is clarified butter?
Clarified butter is butter that has undergone a process to remove the impurities. In the case of ghee those impurities are water and milk. When making clarified butter there are a number of ways that you can remove those impurities- skimming, centrifuging, or the simplest, most time consuming, but efficient is by cooking.
What is the difference between clarified butter and ghee?
The most common misconception about ghee is about how it is made. When making a clarified butter, it is normal to skim off the layers of foam that rise to the top of the pot. However, this process does not remove all of the impurities and you are left with a product that still has traces of milk and water. This product must be refrigerated since it still has residual moisture and traces of milk.
When making ghee, the cooking process is longer and involves constantly stirring the molten butter ensuring that there are no impurities left. To make a truly flavorful, delicious, and shelf-stable ghee, keep cooking, agitating and do not skim!
Why does the cooking process really matter?
A correctly made ghee will last for years unrefrigerated and will have the most sensational flavor. When butter is cooked down correctly, you actually eliminate ALL of the impurities by breaking down the proteins and sugars to a point where they can be filtered out. This leaves you with a ghee that is safe for everyone, especially those people with dairy/milk sensitivities or allergies. In addition to eliminating the milk, the cooking process also contributes to the high smoking point of ghee as well as the shelf-stability. Full Circle Ghee is made in the traditional manner, making sure you are left with a product that will be safe for everyone and can be stored for a long time.
Why is ghee better for my health?
There are a number of reasons that ghee is considered superior to other commonly used oils/fats. The number one reason that ghee is touted as better is a phrase you might have heard already: healthy fats.
What is ‘healthy fat’?
A ‘healthy fat’ is a term used to describe oils with more of a nutrient dense makeup. In the case of ghee it means that there are larger quantities of fat-soluble nutrients. These are nutrients that are predominantly found in animal food sources, although there are also minimal amounts found in certain plant sources. The main thing is that animal based fat soluble nutrients exist in higher quantities than their plant based counterparts. Some of these nutrients might be familiar to you: Vitamins A, D, E, K, and Omega-3’s; while some might be more obscure like Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) and Butryric Acid.
So, if ghee is a ‘healthy fat’ why is it considered better than butter?
A lot of branding by other ghee companies are taking a stance that ghee is better than butter. I have to disagree with this because it’s kind of like saying chickens suck, and eggs are way better. You can’t really have one without the other. I love butter, and I love ghee, they are both amazing! BUT, and this is a big but, some people are lactose intolerant, dairy sensitive, and have allergic reactions to milk found in butter. With ghee, the milk has been removed so it is completely safe for anyone that can’t digest milk. Butter also has the unfortunate qualities of burning easily and going rancid quickly. When you choose ghee over butter you are choosing a high quality healthy fat with a higher cooking temperature, a shelf stable oil that can be stored for years and will not go rancid if left out unrefrigerated.
Where does ghee get its nutrients from?
The nutrients found in ghee come from the diet of the cows. Grass-fed and pasture-raised cows provide the highest nutrient density in their milk. The nutrient profile of milk is directly correlated to how much grass and pasture the cows have in their diet. The ghee from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows will have a deep yellow color, a sign that there is a high amount of Vitamin A present. Ghee from cows fed diets of corn, grain, and soy have a pale and pallid color, resulting in a whiter color. Full Circle Ghee only uses butter from grass-fed and pasture-raised cows, ensuring that we get the highest nutrient density in our products!
With all these amazing benefits from ghee, it’s no wonder it is rapidly becoming one the most talked about fats by chefs, nutritionists, and the health conscious! Now that people are becoming more focused on adding high quality fats in their diet, and sobering up from the anti-fat crusade of the past few decades, we can replenish those pantries with something good for us- glorious ghee!