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I’ve raved on Instagram about ghee (I use it all. the. time.) and you’ve probably heard by now – especially if you’ve read my book, Eat the Yolks – that it’s a perfectly healthful fat.
But just in case you weren’t in the general vicinity when I pulled out my bullhorn and shouted my ghee-love from the rooftops, here’s what you need to know:
Ghee is a type of clarified butter, or butter without its milk solids. It’s basically all the goodness of butter, concentrated. What could be better?
No, seriously. I challenge anyone to find something better than concentrated butter. I’ll wait
Ghee has gained popularity in the real food and paleospheres in recent years as a lactose-free cooking fat that’s also stable at high temperatures, but there’s something even cooler about it: its origins are in Indian cuisine, where it has a long history of traditional use.
I love this because one of my favorite things to do is explore traditional foods from cultures around the world. I’ve even eaten Haggis (bleh) and I can tell you – ghee is a far more pleasurable experience.
Now, the elephant in the room: for any new readers or real food skeptics who are used to the Diet Industry and Big Food telling us to avoid saturated animal fat like the plague: I tackle that big fat lie (ha!) at length in my book Eat the Yolks. Here’s an excerpt:
“Saturated fat was demonized in the first place because we thought it raised cholesterol, which freaked us out because we’ve been told that higher cholesterol led to heart disease. At some point, we stopped caring about the whole proposed chain of events – false as it is – and decided that saturated fat “clogged arteries” too, as if the human body were a big jumble of copper plumbing and any type of fat or cholesterol would plug us up…”
The fact is, the (failed) (miserable failure) low-fat movement distracted us from the fact that real, natural, traditional fats like ghee (vs. factory-made, highly processed junk vegetable oils and “vegetable ghee,” a trans-fat-filled ghee replacement) are the way to go, and have always been the way to go.
Natural fats like ghee from real, responsibly raised animals are awesome and healthful. Here are a few of my favorite reasons to choose ghee:
- It’s stable. (That’s what saturated really means!) This means that it is super safe to cook with compared to less saturated oils like “vegetable oil” (which is usually composed of canola, cottonseed, soybean or corn oils…none of which are actually vegetables).
- It’s got more nutrition. Ghee contains vitamins A, K, E, and conjugated linoleic acid, as well as butyric acid – all nutrients with a super healthy track record.
- It benefits your skin, inside and out. Not only do the nutrients in ghee promote overall health, but they can also help skin glow! Ghee can be applied topically to your face, lips, or dry hands for extra TLC. (Seriously! I cover this in The Purely Primal Skincare Guide).
- It’s really, really tasty. Healthy fats make food taste better – and don’t we all want delicious food?
You can absolutely make your own ghee at home (check out this recipe from my friend Diane), but if you don’t have time for that….
My Favorite Ghee: Pure Indian Foods
Pure Indian Foods is my go-to for premade ghee made from organic, grassfed butter, and their products, from Garlic Ghee to Italian Ghee to Indian Dessert Ghee, have been a staple in my kitchen for years. In fact, owner Sandeep and the gang were local to me when I lived in New Jersey – their HQ in Princeton was just a short drive away.
(That’s part of why I was so thrilled when Pure Indian Foods came on-board as an official sponsor of my work, including this post! Thanks to their financial support, I am able to continue writing, podcasting, and providing information to you for free. Show them some love! And remember, I only work with companies that I love, whose products I use.)
Absolutely nothing tastes as good as this ghee – likely because making ghee has been in their family since 1889. They know their ghee – and they know what goes with it. They’ve got a selection of herb-infused ghee that’s absolutely drool-inducing.
You can use ghee just like you use butter in stovetop cooking (or coffee…wink). Check out the long list of ways to use ghee on their product pages!
Here are some favorites I know you’ll love:
Ghee, Grassfed & Certified Organic: This is the O.G. high-quality ghee! Not only is it made using butter from grassfed pastured cows, the milk used to make that butter was produced ONLY from the spring through fall. That’s when cows are allowed to eat actively growing pasture, so their milk yields more fat soluble vitamins.
Garlic Ghee: I could give you a million excuses about mom life and busy busy business-ing, but the truth is, I just don’t like cleaning out the garlic mincer. This flavor has been a longtime favorite, and it tastes just as good as fresh garlic sauteed in ghee. And it gives homemade hash browns LIFE. (See my recent Instagram post for an easy recipe!)
Digestive Ghee: This flavor packs organic spices like cardamom, cinnamon, and ginger for a flavor that’s reminiscent of a Chai Tea. The taste is subtle, but it definitely amps up any dish. It’s great stirred into coffee (think “Dirty Chai”), on a roasted sweet potato, or used in place of butter atop gluten free pancakes.
They’ve got so much more in their online store (and in so many sizes – hello, adorable teeny tiny jars!) – you’ve just got to check it out!
Leave me a comment below with your favorite way to use ghee in your kitchen! I’m always looking for something new to try.
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