skimming the ghee

We have been enjoying an abundance of milk with the cows out on Kate’s pasture. I have been making butter and freezing skim milk; but now the freezer is bursting so I thought I would try making ghee.

Ghee, or clarified butter as we always called it;  just means all the lactose and proteins have been removed from the butter so only the clear butterfat remains and this makes it better tolerated by those who are lactose intolerant or suffer from allergies.  Ghee costs around $12 for 9 ounces, so making it myself makes it affordable for us.

Many benefits are associated with ghee.

  •  Ghee doesn’t need to be refrigerated. In fact, if stored in an air tight container, ghee can last up to three months. .
  • Ghee has a higher smoke point than normal butter, olive oil and coconut oil, making it a great choice for sautéing or frying foods
  • ghee is also rich in butyrate, a short chain fatty acid linked to an immune response that can decrease inflammation and help improve the digestive system.
  • ghee can also decrease inflammation when rubbed externally onto the skin. In the natural medicine realm, ghee was used to treat burns and swelling on the skin.
  • Ghee is very low in casein — the main protein found in milk — and has nil to minimal amounts of lactose, making it better tolerated by those with dairy intolerances.
  • Ghee is rich in fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. One tablespoon of ghee can provide approximately 15 per cent of your daily requirements of vitamin A.
  • Ghee has one of the highest natural contents of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) if prepared from grass-fed cows. CLA has been linked to animal studies to improving insulin resistance and potentially fighting cancer. However,  further research has to be done to understand CLA’s interaction with humans.
  • Women in India have also traditionally used ghee as a facial moisturizer for dry skin. It is also used on their scalp to fight dry skin and enhance the growth of strong, thick hair.

I use the cream off of about 2 gallons of milk when I am making my butter, but you can use any amount of cream skimmed off your milk.  Check our How to make butter page for instructions on making your grass fed butter.  I am now using a very fine mesh colander Susan gave me for washing my butter. this makes it very easy to get the buttermilk out.

Once your butter is rinsed, put it in a flat bottom pan and heat on low heat. You will see the proteins and lactose begin to rise to the top. Stir and scrap the skim down from the sides. When the butter is clear and the skim is sticky; it is time to skim off the “skim” with a spoon. Keep this as it is still good to eat.

Not quite ready to skim

I pour the ghee through a coffee filter, but you can use a cheesecloth, just do NOT use plastic as this is very hot and will melt it. Pour slowly and let it all drain into your clean jar.

Place a clean canning lid on your ghee, and let it sit until it turns solid. Best to store in the cooler but many people can it.

I hope you have enjoyed our kitchen today. Come back anytime!

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