Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Making Ghee

Giving up dairy has been a tough one for me.  At the beginning of 2011, I successfully eliminated dairy for 6 months and felt great.  My skin glowed, digestion felt better, minor instances of sinus congestion disappeared and I had an extra punch of energy.  How and why I got back on the dairy train I'm not sure.  I've been adding cream back into my coffee instead of my usual coconut milk and I had a not so pleasant ice cream experience on the weekend (moment of weakness, resulted in intestinal cramping and a migraine).  I think it's time to try again.

In my dairy free days I used a lot of coconut oil, homemade rendered animal fats, olive oil and ghee.  Using the ghee gave me the richness of butter that I love with zero dairy effects.  Ghee is great for cooking at higher temperatures, has an amazing shelf life, can be stored at room temperature and tastes great!

prepare strainer with cheese cloth

1 lb organic butter, unsalted


Double boiler or 1 pot and 1 stainless steel bowl (to fit over pot)
wire mesh strainer
cheese cloth
extra bowl
glass jar for storage

Using a double boiler or stainless steel bowl over a sauce pan, bring water to a boil.  Place butter in bowl and reduce heat to a medium simmer.  Butter will melt.

skim your milk proteins
While butter melts, prepare your wire mesh strainer by wrapping it in cheese cloth (two layers on top and two layers on the bottom).  This will provide sufficient layers to catch any stray milk proteins from getting in your ghee.  You will know after a few weeks if any have made it in as your ghee will turn to funky cheese.  Take my word on that.  As my husband said, "not cool".  He was the one that discovered it and cleaned it out.

slowly pour through strainer
As the butter melts, you will notice a white film form on the surface.  This film is made up of the milk proteins/solids.  When butter is completely melted, use a spoon to skim this film and discard.  Try to get as much as you can from the surface and make sure you do not stir the mixture at any point as milk solids will settle on the bottom too.

ghee collected
You may want to grab some oven mitts to grab the bowl from the heat.  Slowly pour the ghee through the strainer.  Any remaining film on the surface will be caught by the cheese cloth.  It may seem tedious, but do not dump the entire contents through.  We want to avoid the milk solids at the bottom as they are in a liquid form and will not be properly strained.  Remember: funky cheese! 

Stop pouring when you see a white cloudy film at the bottom.  You'll lose some precious ghee at this point, but it's better out than in.

Pour strained ghee into a glass jar for storage and allow to cool for a bit before screwing the lid on.

Ghee is best stored at room temperature.

Enjoy!  I especially love it for making eggs and sauteing veggies!

1 comment:

  1. I've never tried ghee, but then, I wasn't entirely sure what it was. Thanks for explaining it and showing how to make it. I will definitely try this sometime!