Clarified butter, aka Ghee, is pure butterfat, minus the water and milk proteins found in normal butter, which means its much less likely to burn and spoil. But there is a difference between Ghee and clarified bitter, read on.
People today love ‘real butter’, but many stay away from it if they are on strict diets and are eating low carbs. After all, butter is fat, and fat makes fat, right? Today those beliefs are changing fast as people try more and more to find health, trying this fad and that.
Real butter consists of 3 things; around 80% of milk fat, around 17% of water and about 3% of milk proteins.
Clarified butter is not a fad. Ghee originates from India, widely used in Ayurveda medicine for thousands of years, a true ancient health food. People clarify butter because the process produces a pure fat called clarified butter.
How do you clarify butter?
With clarified butter, you melt unsalted butter in a pot and then boil it. This process evaporates the water. The milk solids get separated from the fats and float up to the top which is then scooped away. What you have left over in your pan is 100% pure fat. By removing the milk solids from the butter, you are actually making your butter cleaner and purer, hence its name – clarified butter.
It is also important to realize that all fats have their own smoke points. Smoke points are the temperatures at which fat will stop being nice and velvety smooth and start to burn and make everything around smell plain nasty! Real butter has a low smoke point – clarified butter has a higher smoke point.
Once you have clarified butter, it will be able to be heated at the higher temperatures without getting all heated up, burning and smelling awful. Refrigerated, it also lasts longer than real butter.
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How is clarified butter different from other butters?
What does ghee taste like?
Normal butter contains around 80% of fat, whilst clarified butter contains 100% fat. Because there are milk solids in normal butter, which remember are scooped off when making clarified butter, it has a shorter shelf life, lasting only about 2 weeks in your fridge.
Clarified butter, without the milk solids, usually lasts for around 2 months in your fringe. You will notice that once the milk solids have been removed from clarified butter, it also has a different taste and has smooth velvet-like texture.
The difference between ghee and clarified butter, with ghee, the process is almost the same as the clarified butter process as above. Ghee generally is heated for longer than clarified butter, which kind of caramelizes the milk solids, giving the butter a nutty flavor, before the milk solids are scooped away, leaving just the fat behind.
Ghee also has a higher burning point than clarified butter which makes it a good choice for frying or sautéing foods.
When dieting, is extra virgin olive oil not better to use than clarified butter?
Naturally, olive oil is very healthy, but it is made from olives and therefore has a strong flavor. Clarified butter simply is just more versatile making it more of a match with other ingredients. Today people are obsessing about which are good fats and which are bad. There is even confusion about the fact that the once low-fat products were all just a gimmick and that real butter is now proving to be good for your health, even forming part of many diets!
Can I lose weight eating clarified butter?
Yes, it can help you to lose weight because clarified butter, like ghee, contains amino acids and healthy fats. Many health-conscious people believe that if you add clarified butter to their food, it’s positively unhealthy, so they try and avoid it.
But look at these facts to consider when next you are on a diet:
Clarified butter or ghee has conjugated linolenic acid in it. This is similar to omega-6 fatty acids. When you take this on a daily basis, not only are you helping yourself towards weight loss but you are protecting yourself from cancer because the fatty acids improve your lean body mass to reduce body fat.
Celebrity nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar says this about ghee or clarified butter: ‘Ghee allows fat cells to shrink in size.’ If you believe your body is gaining fat too quickly, think about adding clarified butter or ghee into your diet plans. Once again, don’t go overboard – about 2 teaspoons a day is great.
How To Make Your Own Clarified Butter
What do the Paleo diet people have to say about clarified butter?
Anyone who is considering adding clarified butter to their diet will do so according to their own particular needs and their own state of their health. Paleo people won’t give a definite no or yes as to whether clarified butter or ghee is Paleo or not – however, it is agreed that ghee and clarified butter are highly nutritious and tolerated by many.
Nutritionists will add that if ghee and clarified butter are made from pasture-raised cattle that eat only grass, then this kind of butter could be great to add to the Paleo diet if people just aren’t too sensitive to it. However, even with the continual debate going on around whether or not ghee is Paleo or not, you will still find clarified butter listed in some Paleo recipes as an ingredient.
If you don’t want to add ghee to your diet, substitute it with something like coconut oil or lard. Paleo simply places importance on consuming quality fat in the diet, and it’s why they believe clarified butter could be a good choice to your diet.
How is clarified butter used?
The French make use of a lot of clarified butter. It is also good for preserving foods such as pates and potted prawns for instance. It’s actually quite a decadent way of cooking, used for deep-frying as well, let alone pan frying and sautéing. Sauces such as Béarnaise and Hollandaise wouldn’t be what they are without the use of clarified butter!
Today, a lot of the people in France don’t even bother anymore to clarify their butter; it’s really just the chefs and some others who still do it. Butter solids that stay behind when you do make clarified butter are still excellent to use for things like pouring after your freshly prepared veggies to add more zest and flavor.
In some countries like Switzerland, you can actually buy clarified butter at the store – where it is known as “beurre à rôtir.”
Clarified butter sometimes is referred to as “drawn butter” which is really just melted butter. A lot of restaurants in countries like North American serve melted butter to their guests, calling it “drawn butter sauce”, but it is really only known by that name if the melted butter has something extra added to it like lemon juice or something else.
Tips when making clarified butter
- When you make clarified better, remember to always use the unsalted
- Heating temperatures should either be 40-45 C or 105-115 F.
- You can also clarify your butter using a microwave. Melt the butter for about 3 minutes, so that it is all melted.
What are the nutrition stats of clarified butter and the health benefits?
- Cholesterol: 33 mg for every tablespoon.
- Fat: 62% saturated fat, 29% monounsaturated fat and 4% polyunsaturated fat.
- High amounts of vitamins K, D, and A, which are all important for good eye health, development of bones in babies and adults and healthy teeth.
- It has linoleic acid in it, packed with butyrate and assists with weight loss.
- It is noted to be better to use than butter itself, and those that are intolerant to lactose benefit from clarified butter.
- It helps your digestive tract. When your stomach feels upset, clarified butter with rice, khichdi, and lentils is supposed to work wonders, soothing and comforting. Clarified butter helps to repair the mucous layers.
- It gives you beautiful skin, even assisting with natural healing. Indian mothers use clarified butter to soothe their children’s lips when they are chapped – try it on your own skin to bring about flawless results.
- It is both antiviral and an antioxidant.
Don’t buy fake products
Any clarified butter that comes from cows that are naturally and rightly grass fed will have wonderful benefits of CLA in it (conjugated linoleic acid). It’s an antioxidant with antiviral properties for when you are feeling low with flu for example.
Traditional yellow butter might have the same amount of calories in it as clarified butter does, but the clarified butter has higher amounts of important vitamins which go towards balancing the hormones, regulating the metabolism, improvising vision, and repairing damaged skin.
Scientific studies also show that those who consume clarified butter or regular butter have lower occurrences of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, even improvements in their skin such as psoriasis, improved memory, and faster wound healing.
Clarified butter might be high in saturated fats but further recent studies now show that saturated fats are actually important for the health of people. Just don’t go overboard – any diet that bursts over in even the good things, and that includes healthy fats, can be detrimental to your health. Even foods marketed as “health foods”, if over-eaten and abused, can affect your health negatively.
There is one thing you must realize though – clarified butter or real butter must comply with being authentic, genuine full fat butter, butter that comes from happy and healthy grass-fed cows. Remember too, that not all butter is made this way.
Butter that comes from a cow that has a completely normal life like all animals should – and for a cow that would mean eating grass and not grains and being able to roam around a grassy pasture – that’s what produces REAL butter.
A healthy happy cow produces healthy butter and an unhealthy unhappy cow won’t. You need to support those farmers who look after their cows humanely, feeding them grass. Then you can benefit from the wonderful health benefits real grass-fed butter offers.
Different types of clarified butter
Ghee is one type, smen is another and niter kibbeh is the other primary type of clarified butter – all are used throughout the world.
GHEE, most likely to be found at most stores and not cheap, makes it worth the while to make your own. Remember that clarified butter preparation and ghee preparation use slightly different methods. Traditional ghee will necessitate your butter coming from either buffalo or cow, and the butter is heated for longer, allowing the milk solids to caramelize before being whisked off. The final look of ghee will be more golden in color than the clarified butter look.
NITER KIBBEH is clarified butter made in Ethiopia. It is spiced with spices such as turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek, producing serious flavors when using it to cook with or when you spread it on your flatbread.
SMEN comes from the Middle East and common in North Africa as well. It is made from clarified butter and still has to make its own global appeal as ghee has done. It is used widely in Morocco.
You don’t want to use clarified butter when you bake though, because as mentioned above, 20% of water and the milk solids are missing out of clarified butter. Using it to bake with will give you inconsistent results – and remember too, that most recipes call for normal butter with the milk solids and water still in.
A study was completed of the rural population of India and the effects of ghee. These studies revealed that men who ate more ghee or clarified butter over those who didn’t show lower coronary heart disease. According to Ayurveda, milk is nectar for the human body. Ghee or clarified butter is considered a super form of milk in concentrated form.
The Aryan people would keep herds of grass-fed cows and ghee for the diets, believing it to give them long, healthy lives. The ancients believe these two combinations were the elixir of foods. Clarified butter is also supposed to remove impurities from the body.
The ancient Indians believe too that in the yagna religious ceremony that ghee even had powers of removing atomic radiation from the atmosphere.
If you suffer from a skin disorder such as psoriasis, you don’t need to rub in expensive ointments; all you have to do is to rub ghee over as it has the ability to detoxify the system.
That was ancient times – but what of modern times? Let’s look at what Dr. Oz and Dr. Axe say about clarified butter, with the myth being that all butter products are bad for your health:
Dr. Oz reported that the modern day neurologist and Ayurveda expert, Kulreet Chaudhary, says the fact that ghee is used for cooking oil, for the diet, the skin, and anti-aging programs proves it’s worth still today. It is suggested that by just switching over from your block of butter to a jar of clarified butter still, you still have the power to be healthy and to enjoy the wonderful flavors offered by clarified butter.
Dr. Axe reported that finding butter, let along clarified butter that has been grass-fed, that is organic as well as butter that is made from raw milk can be pretty tricky to find, but if you can, that it would be very worthwhile to your health, as proved by the ancients above. What you will probably find in stores is cultured butter that has been made from fermented milk.
When it comes to those that question butter and clarified butter on the Paleo or low carb diet, then grass fed butter or clarified butter is truly a wonderful health food offering you heaps of benefits that you would not have thought existed.
Just like grass-fed beef eaten on the paleo diet, grass-fed butter offers you delicious ways of improving your health.
The smooth worker – that’s clarified butter – so healthful it will make anyone feel better soon!