Grass-fed ghee is my favourite fat. It provides a multitude of health benefits and its slightly caramelised flavour complements recipes very well.
Until about a year ago, I had only heard of using ghee in indian dishes; I had no idea about its health benefits and versatility. Ghee is clarified butter, meaning that it has been very gently simmered over a low heat until the milk proteins, water and lactose separate from the fat and are strained away. A lot of people who cannot tolerate dairy are able to eat ghee without any gastrointestinal complaints; ghee can actually help to heal the gut1. Ghee also has a high-smoke point so can be used when cooking at higher temperatures without the fat becoming damaged.
- Micronutrients and antioxidants
Ghee provides the all the nutrients found in butter but is better tolerated as the water, casein, and the vast majority of lactose have been removed2.
- Aids digestion
Butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid found in ghee, helps to support the digestive system by aiding the conversion of fibre into butyric acid, vital for detoxification3.
Also due to the butyrate, ghee helps to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and overall inflammation in the body4.
- Anti-microbial and anti-fungal
Ghee contains medium-chain fatty acids, including lauric acid, which provides potent anti-microbial and anti-fungal effects7.
- Direct energy
Medium-chain fatty acids present in ghee are instantly used by the body as energy, rather than being stored as fat8.
- Vitamins A, D and E
These fat-soluble vitamins are found in ghee and as ghee is mostly saturated fat, you can be sure that you will be absorbing them when eating it! I noticed a difference in my skin when I started including ghee in my diet, likely due to the vitamin E which helps to heal damaged skin as well as balance hormones and cholesterol9.
- Tastes incredible!
If all these health benefits haven’t convinced you that you need ghee in your life, then the taste alone should. It’s slightly sweet, nutty flavour is so delicious I can quite easily eat it by the spoonful; I will choose ghee over a particular chocolate hazelnut spread any day!
- Bulletproof Coffee
I much prefer using ghee in my Bulletproof Coffee simply because I prefer the flavour; vanilla ghee (find the recipe on the blog on Saturday) tastes incredible in coffee. The additional benefit of using ghee in Bulletproof Coffee is that the fat doesn’t separate, leaving a smooth, creamy consistency.
- When cooking
The high smoke point means ghee is great for cooking at higher temperatures.
- As a condiment
I always add ghee on top of steamed vegetables, for flavour and optimal absorption of nutrients. I will be posting the recipes for flavoured ghees on Saturday – these work well with meat, fish and vegetables.
Top tip: Always choose unsalted grass-fed butter when making ghee for a more nutrient-dense fat. Kerrygold is the most readily available in the UK.