When it comes to spreadable, cookable fats, it’d be safe to assume that ghee and butter are equals. Ghee is a product of butter after all. However, in the process of turning butter into ghee, when the butter is heated and the milk solids are removed, the end result is a superior oil that has a host of benefits. According to Ayurveda, India’s 5,000-year-old medicinal science, ghee has an abundance of far-reaching healing properties. But why? What is the difference between ghee and butter and why is ghee better?
What is the difference between ghee and butter?
We all know what butter is: the solid fat you get from churning the cream of cows’ milk. Typically we use it as a spread or for cooking. In the past decade, people have even been adding it to their coffee for added creaminess.
At the end of the last century, butter got a bit of a bad rap because it has quite a hefty fat content and people were concerned that the fat was bad for you. Now, science tells us that a moderate amount of healthy fats is good for us, and butter has regained some favor.
Ghee is clarified butter. To make ghee, butter is slowly simmered and the milk solids and impurities are removed. What remains is a pure premium cooking oil: the clarified essence of butter. It can essentially be used anywhere you’d use butter — as a shmear or cooking oil — but can also be a beauty product that’s applied directly to the skin and hair.
Why is ghee better than butter?
Ghee also has a long history in Ayurveda as a sacred food and healing salve, and as I just mentioned, ghee has a few more uses than butter. Ghee isn’t just a food but can be used on your skin, hair, lips, and eyes. In addition to its versatility of use, ghee has a few more characteristics that might encourage you to choose ghee over butter.
Smoke point. Butter can smoke and burn at 350°F, while ghee has a smoke point of 482°F, which is higher than any other cooking oil except safflower and rice bran. However, these oils have been heated, bleached, and/or filtered to extract the compounds that break down at high heats leaving them dangerously high in Omega-6 fatty acids, and have been linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer.
Shelf-stable. Ghee is shelf-stable, meaning that it will remain solid and not spoil if left in your kitchen cabinet for up to six months after opening the jar. You can extend its life to up to a year by keeping it in the fridge.
Lactose/casein-free. While ghee is in fact a dairy product, it is actually mostly free of lactose and casein. During the ghee-making process, when the milk solids are removed, so too are the lactose and casein (the main carbohydrate and protein found in milk products) making ghee mostly lactose and casein-free and pretty safe for those with dairy sensitivities to consume.
Tastier. Butter is delicious, we won’t deny that, but with ghee’s rich, sweet, slightly nutty flavor, it has a way of taking recipes to a new level.
Of course, you just came to a ghee company’s website to learn about the difference between ghee and butter, so you know we’re going to be biased. But for good reason! Try a jar of Full Moon Ghee and see for yourself.