Butter is something I missed a lot after my doctor suggested I stop eating dairy products. I never liked all the fake butter alternatives, but I found that when I ate real butter I didn’t feel well afterwards. I was so happy to discover ghee, which is basically butter fat (or oil) separated from the milk solids and water that make up a stick of butter. The milk solids are where the casein resides, and butter without casein doesn’t cause digestive issues for people with casein sensitivity. Ghee has a very high burning point, unlike regular butter, so it’s ideal for cooking or frying at high temperatures. It has a wonderful buttery flavor and it’s a perfect substitute for other oils in many recipes. I bought a small jar of ghee from Whole Foods for $5.99 so I could give it a try. When I realized what a great product it is, I decided to make it myself. I was happy to discover that the homemade version costs a quarter of what the store-bought version costs, and it’s simple to make.
I looked at several recipes for making ghee before I made my first batch, including this one by the Nourishing Gourmet and this one by Deliciously Organic. My experience was a little different from theirs, but their pictures and suggestions were very valuable as I fully expected to burn the first batch. Somehow, I didn’t burn it! All I had to do was keep an eye on the melted butter simmering on the stove for about 30 minutes. I got a big stack of dishes done and I cleaned the counters while the ghee was cooking. Here is the process I used with a few photos along the way.
2-4 sticks of butter
1. In a pot with a heavy bottom, melt the butter on medium-low heat.
2. Let the butter simmer over low or medium-low heat until it starts to foam.
3. After 20 to 30 minutes, the foam will turn golden and there will be little brown bits of the milk solids at the bottom of the pan. This is when the ghee is done.
4. Strain the ghee over a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheese cloth. (Note: My cheese cloth had holes that were too big and the milk solids were going right through. I had to strain it about 10 times to get all the milk solids out. I will be looking for a finer cheese cloth for the future.)
I poured the ghee into the very same 7.5 ounce jar that I had bought full of ghee at Whole Foods for $5.99. Three sticks of butter, which cost $1.50, will generate the same amount of ghee that costs $5.99 at Whole Foods. For that kind of savings, I will be making my own ghee all the time now!