It may appear that ghee is currently having a moment in food bloggers’ newsfeeds and Brooklyn eateries alike, but the truth is that ghee has been around for thousands of years and is not just another foodie trend.
Ghee, the Hindi word for “fat,” has been a staple of Indian cuisine for centuries. It is a type of clarified butter made by heating butter, skimming off the milk solids, and leaving the water to evaporate. What remains is a rich, golden butter fat that is nutritious, easily digestible, and flavorsome. The taste of ghee is richer and nuttier than butter, and it has a deep yellow color.
It makes sense that ghee is making a name for itself in modern cuisine. Over the past several years, Americans have become enamored with healthy fats like avocados and coconut oil. Ghee is lactose-free and, compared to butter, much lower in cholesterol. It is also jam-packed with fat-soluble vitamins A,D, E, and K. These have wonderful antioxidant properties, and play a critical role in strengthening our immune systems. Ghee also contains a unique form of vitamin D that helps with the proper functioning of the synapses in the brain, which are beneficial for mental alertness and memory.
Finally, ghee is a great practical addition to any pantry. It is non-perishable, has a shelf life of up to 100 years, and unlike butter it does not need to be refrigerated. Ghee also has a relatively high smoke point when compared to other fats. This means it does not burn easily, and can tolerate much higher cooking temperatures.
Our takeaway? Ghee is one powerful superfood and is definitely here to stay. Pick up a jar at your local health food store, Trader Joe’s, or grab a 9-ounce jar for around $10.99 on Amazon. Look out for other ways to improve your diet with these other healthy fats.
Natalie Lobel is a Recipe Editor at The Daily Meal who enjoys navigating the food space with a compass and a wooden spoon. You can follow her food adventures and diet experiments on her Instagram @natlobel.