You may not have heard of ghee (pronounced with a hard "g" and silent "h") before, but when it comes to Paleo/Primal cooking, you'll find it's a staple in many kitchens. Let's take a closer look at what it is, why it's good for you, and how you might use it.
WHAT IS GHEE?
Take grass-fed butter, heat it up to evaporate the water and let the milk solids settle to the bottom. Remove said milk solids and voila, you've got ghee. It was traditionally used for cooking in many south Asian countries such as India, Nepal, and Pakistan, but now has moved into Paleo kitchens around the world. You can actually make your own ghee like Nom Nom Paleo does, but I prefer to save time by buying it from Amazon. Typically ghee is a solid at room temperature, looking just like butter. These pictures are right after I got it shipped to me in some hot weather, so it's a liquid here. Since the water and milk solids are not present, ghee can be stored at room temperature for months! For more on the amazing history of ghee, head over to Whole30. Did you know traces of ghee have been on pottery from 6,500 B.C.?!
WHY SHOULD I USE GHEE?
Ghee is primarily saturated fat, and by now we should all love and cherish saturated fat from grass-fed animal sources. Also, since 99.9% of the milk solids have been removed, many people allergic to casein and lactose do perfectly fine with ghee. I'm not sure if I believe in a perfect food, but this is darn close!
WHAT WOULD I USE GHEE FOR?
I use ghee most of the time for cooking, especially sautéing, frying, etc. Basically if a recipe calls for vegetable oil to coat a pan, I use ghee. You really haven't lived if you haven't coated a pan with ghee and then fried your eggs in it. (Ok, well, maybe if you've fried them in bacon grease) I also use olive oil and coconut oil on occasion, but ghee just tastes so darn good (like buttah!) plus it has a higher smoke point due to the lack of milk solids and water. You can also use ghee in any application you would use butter. Sometimes if we have run out of Kerry Gold butter, I'll put ghee on my baked sweet potato. Or I'll even put it in my coffee with coconut oil! And I'm not gonna lie, I've been known to just drink ghee straight out of the container. The possibilities are endless!