What Is Ghee?

by Fahad Ahmad on December 16, 2017

Ghee is clarified butter which has a yellow pigment to it. It has a unique and distinct toasty and caramelized flavor profile to it. Originally from Indian Sub-Continent, the word ghee is Sanskrit for 'Sprinkled' and it is now a global delicacy used in various culinary experimentation due to its extremely high smoke point.  Ghee can be used practically anywhere where butter and we think of it as 'supercharged butter'. You can replace 1oz. of butter with 0.8oz. of ghee in any recipe. You can use it for sauteing, baking, searing and creating shelf stable snacks. At Ketogeek, we make our eggs and sear our steaks in Ghee. We also use our own Ghee, made at Ketogeek kitchen in Napa, California, and use it in all our products too!

HOW IT'S MADE

Ghee is traditionally made by gently heating up butter till all of the moisture has evaporated. After that, the milk solids are strained using cheese cloth or filter which leaves a distinct yellow liquid which eventually solidifies at room temperature. Temperature and prep method creates the unique flavor profile of each ghee. 

NATURAL & HIGH SMOKE POINT

Butter, the ingredient used to make ghee, has a smoke point of 350F which makes it suitable for low heat baking or cooking. However, Ghee has a smoke point of 485F which allows it to be very versatile in the kitchen. A lot of processed and vegetable oils(loaded with inflammatory fats!) have a very high smoke point but ghee is one of the few naturally occurring fats that has such a high smoke point. A teaspoon of it can be used to sear or saute while it can also be used instead of butter in several baking recipes to allow for a slightly more aromatic flavor profile.

Additionally, unlike monounsaturated fats(olive oil, avocado oil) and polyunsaturated fats(flax, walnut) saturated fats such as ghee tend to be more stable for cooking at higher temperatures. 

RICH IN HIGH QUALITY FATS

Ghee is loaded with short and medium chain triglycerides (MCT) and Butyrate which are rapidly converted to energy if your body is burning fat as its primary fuel source. Butter only contains 12-15% short or medium chain fatty acids while ghee has a whopping 25% of its fat composed of short or medium chain triglycerides. 

LACTOSE & CASEIN FREE

Ghee is practically free of the milk sugar lactose and milk protein casein which are both removed during the clarifying process of the ghee. This makes it ideal for most people who may have issues with dairy but would still like to enjoy toasty caramel touch to their foods.

SHELF STABLE

One of the biggest advantage of ghee is that it can last for several months on the counter in a cool and dry place. No refrigeration is required and makes it ideal for long backpacking trips or camping to get that extra fat into the foods. 

SOURCE OF NUTRIENTS

Ghee is rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid and healthy nutrients Vitamin K2, A, D and E. Vitamin D.  

UNIQUE FLAVOR PROFILE

Ghee has a unique flavor profile which adds a very rich and aromatic depth to the dish. It also nullifies spiciness in dishes while extracting their flavor. Ghee can also be used in sweet and savory dishes, especially as a substitute for coconut oil or butter to get a more toasty and caramelized flavor profile. It is definitely a staple in many exotic and high-end cuisines and baking needs.

EMERGENCY CANDLE

Ghee can be used instead of wax to make candles or used in oil lamps as a fuel. This makes it excellent as a healthy source of fats and ideal for camping as a back up source of fuel, especially in emergency situations!

WORD OF CAUTION

Sometimes, ghee is confused with vanaspati ghee which is made from vegetable oils instead of milk which makes them both entirely different. Vanaspati or vegetable ghee contains 14-40% trans fats in it which may be very detrimental to the health of the individual and to be avoided at all cost! Additionally, the prep method of ghee makes 

FINAL NOTES

If you haven't tried out Ghee yet, it's hands down one of the most unique and aromatic thing you can try. The soft, warm and toasty caramel flavor adds to every recipe. It is shelf stable, perfect for travel excursions and packs an energetic punch with lots of saturated fats in it. If you're into the low carb or Keto diet, this is a must-have product in the house and travel. At Ketogeek, we use premium organic butter from pasture-fed cows from a local creamery called Straus Family Creamery in Petaluma to create fresh ghee and it now has a bit of a following in not just the low carb and keto world but also in the culinary world. You can check out our premium hand-crafted Ghee here. Because of its versatility, taste and benefits, we use our own ghee in our own Energy Pods.

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1 comment
by John on December 17, 2017

Interesting stuff! One questions regarding the MCT content of gee (25%) vs.a butter(12-15%). Wouldn’t it be mainly volumetric? i.e. There’s more MCT per unit volume in GEE than butter because the water and solids have been removed. (I don’t see how it could chemically convert components to MCT). What types of MCT’s are in butter? (C8, C10…) What is the volume of water and what is the volume of solids in butter?

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