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The Allergy-Friendly Alternative to Butter

grass-fed butter

In my recent article – The Superfood in Your Fridge Door – I told you about the many health benefits of grass-fed butter. It’s packed with beneficial fatty acids and lipid-soluble vitamins.

But for many people, butter just isn’t on the menu. For those who have an intolerance or allergy to dairy, the milk solids in butter – including casein (a protein) and lactose (a sugar) – can cause a wide range of issues, including:

  • Gastrointestinal discomfort & bloating
  • Leaky gut
  • Systemic inflammation
  • Behavioral issues
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Many more.

The good news is there is an easy way to get all of butter’s golden goodness – without the potentially offending milk solids…

Eat Ghee: The Clear Choice

Ghee is a form of clarified butter that has been enjoyed in India and South Asia for millennia. And just like butter, it is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K as well as cancer-fighting CLA.

The difference? In ghee, the milk solids have been removed and the water evaporated. This creates a clarified product that is virtually free from the allergenic components. And not only is this a boon for those avoiding casein and lactose, it’s beneficial for your cooking too.

You see, milk solids and water make butter more sensitive to heat. They lower the point at which it “flashes” or smokes. But ghee has a higher flash point (ranging from 375 to 485 F). This makes it the clear choice for sautéing, pan-frying, roasting and other higher-heat cooking methods.

Not only will using ghee for higher-heat cooking reduce the risk of the unpleasant “burnt butter” flavor in your cuisine – it will also reduce the formation of cancer-promoting lipid oxidation products (LOPs) that are formed when you heat a fat above its smoke point.

The nutty, rich flavor of ghee will enhance everything from juicy, pan-seared grass-fed steaks… to oven-roasted vegetables… and even Paleo brownies.

But buyer beware: Not all ghee is created equal. Some brands cut their ghee with vegetable oil. Other brands are made from conventional butter. These products are high in inflammatory fats and agricultural adulterants.

How to Buy Ghee (or Save a Bundle and Make Your Own!)

When buying ghee, look for grass-fed ghee with nothing added.

Better yet, you can make your own and save money to boot! You can make your own ghee for about half the price of what it costs already prepared and packaged. And it’s easy to do and only takes a few minutes!

To get started, purchase several pounds of Anchor Unsalted Butter. In general, half a pound of butter will yield roughly one cup of ghee. You’ll also need a fine mesh strainer, lined with cheesecloth (preferred) or a paper towel and a wide-mouthed glass jar with an airtight lid.

You can make ghee on the stovetop or in your crockpot. Here’s how:

Stovetop Method

  1. Add Anchor Unsalted Butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat.
  2. When the butter has melted and begins to bubble, reduce heat to medium-low and skim the foam with a spoon. Continue skimming to remove all foam (10-15 minutes).
  3. As the butter continues to cook, it will become darker as it condenses and the water is driven off. The milk protein will form dark clumps and sink to the bottom.
  4. Place the strainer lined with cheesecloth over a wide-mouth jar.
  5. Carefully pour the liquid through the strainer.

Slow Cooker Method

  1. Add Anchor Unsalted Butter to a slow cooker. Turn the heat to the “low” setting.
  2. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (longer cooking time produces a darker ghee)
  3. You may skim the foam if you wish or simply allow it to sink to the bottom.
  4. Place the strainer lined with cheesecloth over a wide-mouth jar.
  5. Carefully pour the liquid through the strainer.

You can add a sprinkle of high quality salt (like Celtic Sea Salt) to mimic the flavor of butter. And for a more mellow flavor, consider mixing ghee with an equal amount of organic, virgin coconut oil to make “coconut ghee”. Store in an airtight container. Ghee is completely stable at room temperature and will keep for several months or more.

Ghee provides all the flavor and health benefits of butter, but without the potential problems associated with dairy. It’s easy and inexpensive to make. And it’s one of the healthiest and most heat-stable fats you can use for cooking. While most people – including those with allergies and intolerances – tolerate ghee well, if you suffer from a severe dairy allergy, it should be avoided along with other dairy products.

By: Kelley Herring, Healing Gourmet

Do you love rich, buttery desserts… but not the grain or sugar? Then check out Kelley’s one-of-a-kind program called Guilt-Free Desserts. You won’t believe just how easy it can be to make extraordinary dessert creations that are as healthy as they are delicious!

1.    Sharma H, Zhang X, Dwivedi C. The effect of ghee (clarified butter) on serum lipid levels and microsomal lipid peroxidation. Ayu. 2010 Apr;31(2):134-40. doi: 10.4103/0974-8520.72361
2.    Addis PB. Occurrence of lipid oxidation products in foods. Food Chem Toxicol. 1986 Oct-Nov;24(10-11):1021-30.