It looks like butter, it's made with butter, it kind of smells like butter, so how healthy can ghee really be?
Ghee, or commonly referred to as clarified butter, is a dietary source of fat traditionally used in Indian cooking. And while you won't see jars of it at most grocery stores, ghee can easily be made at home. By making your own butter (or using a slab of unsalted butter), ghee is made by melting the butter at medium heat until it boils.
"While most clarified butters are prepared by removing milk solids in early steps, ghee differentiates itself by continuing to simmer with the milk solids to give a final product with a distinguished taste," says registered dietitian Raman Khatar of Food For Thought in Vancouver.
During this melting process, milk solids found in the butter start to separate, resulting in a pot of a translucent golden liquid which is cooled to become ghee. Khatar adds you can strain the solids and store your ghee in a tightly sealed glass jar.
But is it actually good for you? "This goes back to a bit of the margarine vs. butter argument," Khatar says. "Ghee is made from a natural source (butter) and because of way it’s prepared, the lactose and milk protein content is nil to minimal, making it better tolerated by those with dairy sensitivities."
However, readers should keep in mind that ghee still has a high saturated fat content, even though some studies have linked ghee to lowering cholesterol levels. Traditionally, Khatar says ghee was also used for natural home remedies to treat burns, swelling and pain along with being a cooking ingredient.
Khatar adds you may also see articles praising ghee as a miracle weight loss butter, but anyone who is trying to lose weight should be cautious with their overall calories from any fatty source.
But for the most part, replacing your fatty butters and oil with ghee may be a good idea. Here are 11 reasons to consider this butter.