WTF: Ghee

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You guys may have noticed this ingredient called ghee (pronounced “gi”) in a few of the recipes we’ve posted—like our Chocolate Spice Macro Bites (yum), and as part of the hollandaise sauce in our Sweet Potato + Avocado Eggs Benedict. Maybe you saw ghee listed in the ingredients sections of those recipes and thought, WTF is ghee? Allow us to explain.

Ever since doing Whole30, ghee has been a staple in my pantry. I’m not lactose intolerant, but since completing Whole30 (and feeling amazing as a result), I try to limit my lactose intake and make substitutions whenever possible. Whether you avoid lactose or not, ghee is just freakin’ delicious. K, so…

WTF is ghee?

In short, ghee is a type of clarified butter. It’s made from grass-fed butter that has been simmered and strained to remove all water and milk solids. That said, ghee is more concentrated in fat (and flavor) than butter, and 100% lactose free. Because of this, ghee can be stored at room temperature for several weeks.

Is ghee better than butter?

Yes and no. From a nutritional composition standpoint, ghee and butter are very similar. Ghee is slightly higher in calories and fats than butter—it still contains nearly 100% of calories from fat. But, it is also free of lactose and casein, from which many of us are sensitive or intolerant. So if you struggle with either of these, ghee is the way to go.

What are the potential health benefits?

Ghee is high in Omega-3s and butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that can reduce inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract (shoutout to all my fellow IBS-ers!). Ghee is also rich in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is a fatty acid known to protect against carcinogens, artery plaque and diabetes. Because of this, it’s believed that ghee can potentially reduce your risk of heart disease. CLA has also been shown to prevent weight gain and even increase weight loss. Lastly, ghee is a good source of vitamins A, D, E and K2, which have benefits ranging from increasing metabolism, balancing hormones and building strong bones. Not bad. For the record, butter has many of these potential health benefits as well—but still, no lactose.

How do I use ghee?

Ghee has a really high smoke point, making it ideal for high-heat cooking. Use it in place of whatever cooking oil you’d typically use for an added buttery, nutty flavor. Another popular use for ghee is in Bulletproof coffee or “butter coffee”. For those of you still wondering what Bulletproof coffee is, we’ll do another post on that soon! (Gotta keep you wanting more, ya know?)

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This post is part of our WTF series—where we’ll break down some of the latest food, fitness, and health + wellness trends blowing up your Instagram feed.

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