Why we cook with Ghee (clarified butter)

Have you heard of ghee yet? It’s been around for some time, but has been gaining popularity lately since it can be a good replacement for refined cooking oils. So today we’ve partnered with Organic Valley to take a look at what ghee is, what its benefits are, and how to find a good-quality source.

Jar of ghee and coffee mug

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What is ghee?

Ghee is clarified butter – butter that has been cooked so the milk solids can be scraped off the top (giving it a higher smoke point). In simpler terms, it’s butter that has been heated and clarified and is essentially the butter oil from butter, sans milk or water solids. You can actually make your own ghee, but it can be a tedious process, so that’s why Lisa and I both regularly buy the Organic Valley jar to save time. Hard to beat how it’s both organic and made from pasture-raised cows! (PS – read on for a $2 off coupon so you can try it, too!)

Though ghee has been popping up more and more these days, it’s actually been around a long time in Asian cultures. Personally speaking, growing up in an Indian household, ghee was a common ingredient that we used in cooking. There are a lot of benefits, including the following…

Benefits of ghee

  • Lactose and casein-free
    For those of us (hello!!) who can’t tolerate dairy, this is an option that works for most.
  • High smoke point
    With a smoke point of 485° F, ghee can be ideal for roasting or even frying at high temps without burning (like regular butter or olive oil).
  • Butter alternative
    Ghee is wonderful to use for sautéing vegetables, adding to roasted vegetables, and also to top toast.
  • Shelf-stable
    Unlike butter, ghee needn’t be refrigerated, which means it won’t take up precious room in your fridge.
  • Chock-full of vitamins
    Ghee is rich in healthy fat-soluble vitamins. Good dietary fat is an essential part of our diets, and is necessary for our bodies to absorb certain vitamins and nutrients.
  • Rich, nutty taste
    While the taste of ghee greatly differs from butter, it’s a distinct, nutty taste that many thoroughly enjoy.

How to use ghee

Ghee can be used for cooking in many different ways. Truth be told, it’s a simple swap for any oil or butter. Ghee can be an oil replacer in baking, but note that it has a lower moisture content, so quantities might need to be adjusted.

Many people start their day with a “bulletproof” coffee. This is a mixture of MCT oil + ghee and, of course, coffee. The healthy fats + the caffeine in the coffee are said to kick-start your day and fuel your brain. I’m personally a fan!

You can also use ghee as a spread for toast, or drizzle it on roasted vegetables or squash, too. If you’re an Instagram fan like I am, you may see that some people build their breakfast around ghee by first frying their eggs in it, sautéing some potatoes and other veggies on the side with it, and blending up a frothy cup of coffee with the tasty fats mixed in. It’s a great way to start your day!

Lisa regularly uses it to pan fry homemade corn tortillas since it won’t burn at the higher temperatures.

About Organic Valley

We’re longtime fans of Organic Valley, and I recently had a chance to visit their headquarters in Wisconsin where I got a really in-depth understanding of not only who the people are behind the brand, but also the reasons why organic is important.

Organic Valley was started in 1988 by a group of farmers who didn’t want to succumb to being industrial conventional farmers dealing with unwanted chemicals. So they started a Co-Op – a cooperative of organic farmers whose goal was to preserve this natural way of farming, therefore protecting the land, animals, and people who used their products.

Word got out on the group, and the success was twofold. The public was loving the taste of the organic dairy, and other farmers with similar practices were flocking to join up. It was at this point the name Organic Valley was derived. And the mission of the Co-Op, which now includes a group of 2,000 farms, hasn’t changed to this day. They continue to produce some of the highest quality organic dairy, vegetables and eggs. They strive to help others to join the organic movement, and they help each other’s farms thrive by sharing tips, experiences and more to keep pushing each-other ahead.

Organic Valley’s Ghee is just another one of their quality organic products that you’ll find online and at many stores near you. Have you tried ghee yet? And if so, how do you like to use it?

———> Click here to save $2 on Organic Valley Ghee <————

Recipe Inspiration

Here are some of Lisa’s recipes that use ghee:

Crab and Corn Cakes

Spinach Chana Dal

Shortcut Fried Green Tomatoes

Tex Mex Corn Fritters

collage of uses for ghee

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13 thoughts on “Why we cook with Ghee (clarified butter)”

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  1. I bought some Ghee but I cannot stand the smell of it when cooking or the taste, so that was a waste of quite a few dollars.

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      I am so sorry to hear that. I agree that the the smell is different, but when I add it to coffee, I cannot taste it. I also use spices in cooking which completely cover the taste, too. Have you tried that?

      1. Add to coffee ? Oh wow, sounds awful lol, maybe it’s just a US thing :/ Not sure I can add spices when frying eggs but I’ll try using it for something else

      2. Kiran Dodeja Smith

        It is really good when blended into coffee with cinnamon. I know it sounds bizarre – did to me, too, before I tried it. But it’s super creamy and satisfying!

  2. Hi Kiran. Thank you for sharing a great article. Ghee has a lot of benefits and be rich in healthy fat-soluble vitamins. I want to loss weight but I also love butter. It’s a good idea for me to get Ghee during weight loss. I do more exercise, have a good food with nutrients which Ghee can help absorbing nutrients, and also take some Thermogenic supplements for boosting metabolism for fast result in weigh loss. Here is some supplements that I found a positive result http://www.womensedge.org/best-thermogenic-supplements-for-women/.

    Chock-full of vitamins
    Ghee is rich in healthy fat-soluble vitamins. Good dietary fat is an essential part of our diets, and is necessary for our bodies to absorb certain vitamins and nutrients.Why we cook with Ghee (clarified butter)

  3. I just finished the Whole30 program, where ghee is permitted, but butter is not. I learned to make my own ghee, which was considerably less expensive than store bought.

  4. Ghee is very easy to digest. Because ghee is free of casein and other milk solids, it is a great option for people with sensitivities to dairy. It is widely used in Ayurvedic medicine because of it’s digestibilty. Ayurveda teaches that ghee increase digestive fire, leading to better digestion and faster metabolism.

  5. Lindsay Untherbergus

    I’ve used ghee ever since I had to go dairy free :) I love using it to make popcorn on the stove! Also, I love bulletproof coffee! I haven’t tried it with ghee yet. I usually mix coffee with MCT oil and a tablespoon of almond butter. Love how it keeps me full and energized!

    1. Kiran Dodeja Smith

      Yay! Glad you are also a fan. I make my bulletproof with ghee + coconut oil and cinnamon. I love it! Your recipe sounds good, too. Haven’t tried it with nut butter, but will give it a shot.