Ghee is a type of clarified butter, made by simmering butter over low heat to remove the milk solids and water. This process results in a pure, golden-colored oil with a rich, nutty flavor suitable for people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. It can be used as a substitute for cooking oil or butter in various recipes.
Ghee is shelf-stable and can be stored at room temperature for months. It should be kept in an airtight glass or stainless steel container but not in plastic since it can absorb chemicals from plastic. When storing ghee in a container, choose one that can fill most of the ghee to try and minimize the headspace to avoid too much air exposure.
If stored at room temperature, ghee can last up to 6 months, while refrigerated up to 1 year.
Ghee has a high smoke point and is a good substitute for butter when frying so if you’re having lots of ghee, no worries, you can use it instead of butter in pretty much anything. You can use it as a spread, on popcorn, in baked goods and even as a flavoring in soups and stews.
Dried ghee-soaked rags can be used as natural fire starters for campfires or fireplaces. They light easily and burn with minimal smoke.
Ghee's history dates back over 3000 years and its uses extend beyond the kitchen. In traditional Indian medicine, it's considered a natural remedy for various ailments like burns, skin problems, and even digestive issues.
Ghee is widely used in India for all kinds of purposes but perhaps the most interesting one is the use of ghee in lamps. Its long burning time and clean flame make ghee ideal for lamps that are used in many religious ceremonies and rituals in the country.
Beyond sauteing, you can use ghee as a flavoring oil by infusing it with herbs and spices or even citrus. Infused ghee can be a great topping for salads and a wonderful addition of flavor to soups and stews.
Ghee is a good option for individuals with lactose intolerance or dairy sensitivities, as the lactose and casein are removed during the clarification process. Ghee contains fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K, important for various bodily functions. It also offers a good source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid with potential health benefits like immune system support and fat burning.
Ghee is still high in saturated fat, with about 50% of its fat content coming from this type. It is calorie-dense, with about 110 calories per tablespoon. While ghee offers some vitamins and CLA, it lacks fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients that are present in whole foods like vegetables and fruits.
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