Paleo Oils: Why Ghee Should be in Your Diet + How to Make it
Whether or not you are on the paleo diet you could reap some serious dietary benefits by swapping out vegetable oil with this nutritional powerhouse. Ghee is my favorite cooking oil and, in my opinion, one of the most versatile paleo oils out there.
The Benefits of Ghee
Ghee is clarified butter. It is made by simmering butter until the milk solids drop out of solution and you are left with pure butter fat.
This process confers numerous benefits onto the final product:
- The removal of the milk solids means that ghee is a suitable cooking oil for those who are lactose intolerant
- Ghee has a much higher smoke point than butter, 480 vs 350 degrees, which makes it ideal for high heat cooking such as frying
- The higher smoke point means that the fat is not oxidizing as it cooks which lowers the free radical (particles that cause damage to your DNA) count of the final product
- Ghee is shelf stable. It does not need to be refrigerated and can last for months
The benefits listed above are simply those related with the process of cooking with ghee. However, there are just as many nutritional benefits to adding ghee to your diet. The key here is to find ghee that is made from grass-fed cows to make sure you are getting the highest concentration of the nutrients listed below:
- If derived from grass-fed cows, ghee is high in fat soluble vitamins. These includes vitamins A, D, E and K. All of these vitamins are key to promoting general physical wellbeing
- Ghee is rich in butyric acid. Butyric acid is a short chain fatty acid produced by gut bacteria via a process of fiber fermentation
- Ghee is rich in medium chain triglycerides which the liver can easily convert into an energy source for the body
- Ghee contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This is probably the only beneficial trans-fat out there. It can assist in weight loss and heart health
Hopefully, I have convinced you that ghee is something that you should add into your diet. But, if you’re like me, you’re turned off by the high price of ghee. I run through about 32 oz of it a month and I wasn’t a fan of paying $35 each month for it (if you are you can find ghee here on Amazon).
Living in New Zealand, tracking down grass-fed butter is rather simple. It’s just about the only type of butter you can buy. If you live in the US, however, it can be a little trickier. You can go to specialty stores like Whole Foods and they’ll definitely have a wide variety. Or you can go to the Kerrygold website and use their location tracker to find grass-fed butter nearby.
You will need about 32oz of butter for this. I can get my hands on that much butter for $10 but it may be a different story for you.
Now that you have your butter, let’s make some ghee.
- Place your butter into a deep pot and place the pot over low heat
- Gently heat the butter until it has fully melted
- Keep the heat low and wait. Eventually, the butter will begin to simmer and milk solids will rise to the top
- Keep the ghee simmering as more milk solids rise to the top. Eventually, the whole top will be covered with foam
- Eventually, the milk solids that have risen to the top will condense and fall back to the bottom of the pot
- Once all of the solids have fallen back to the bottom you can take the ghee off of the heat
- Now you need to filter the ghee. I use a coffee filter but you can use a fine mesh strainer with a couple of layers of cheesecloth
- Once your ghee has been filtered, put it in the refrigerator to cool. Once it is solid, transfer it to your pantry. Or keep it in the fridge. It’s up to you
The whole process should take about 20 minutes so it’s a good thing to do while preparing other food for the week. Or just grab a book and check on it every couple of minutes.
That’s how easy it is to make your own ghee. Let me know how it turns out for you.