Have you ever wanted to make ghee at home but thought it was too complicated or time-consuming?
My easy slow cooker ghee takes the work out of making ghee.
What Is Ghee?
Ghee is a form of clarified butter that is part of the culinary traditions of the Middle East and India. Ghee has been part of the tradition of Ayurvedic medicine since ancient times. Typically unsalted cow’s milk butter is the butter of choice for making ghee. Grass-fed butter is even better. The butter is clarified by slowly melting it, allowing the water to evaporate, and then removing all the milk solids. This turns it into pure fat.
Ghee is slightly different from clarified butter, though. It is cooked longer, browning the milk solids, which imparts a slightly nutty flavor.
In Ayurvedic traditions, ghee offers benefits such as clarity of mind and sound digestion. Those with pitta (air and space) and vata (fire and water) constitution benefit most from ghee as it balances the hot and sharp, or light and dry qualities. In Ayurveda, burns and swelling are sometimes treated with ghee, probably thanks to the anti-inflammatory fatty acid called butyrate.
Why Use Ghee?
Recently, Ghee has gained a lot of attention from home cooks, particularly thanks to the popularity of Keto and Paleo diets. Because no there are virtually no milk proteins or lactose remaining, it is no longer a “dairy” product; however, it is not a vegan food. As a bonus, the lack of milk proteins also raises the smoke point to about 400 degrees, rather than 250, making it much better for frying and other high-heat cooking techniques. In baking, use ghee the same as butter. It is also tasty when added to vegetables, rice, etc. Refrigerated ghee is great in pastry applications where butter is cut in. I use ghee any time I would have used butter.
Ghee is Dairy Allergy Friendly
The lack of milk proteins (casein) and lactose means that some people with dairy sensitivities can consume ghee. For example, my husband is allergic to cow’s milk and it causes him to have an asthma attack. However, he can eat ghee with no reaction (we think it is the casein). If you have a dairy allergy, it is important to understand what part of the milk you are allergic to before consuming ghee. Being a little wheezy is a bit uncomfortable for my husband but, we were together almost 10 years before he even told me he was allergic to dairy… Please, don’t take the risk if your reaction to dairy is life-threatening.
Taking out the milk solids also makes the ghee shelf-stable. Ghee will last for months on the counter or in the refrigerator as long as it doesn’t get contaminated.
Ghee is a Healthy Fat
According to WebMD, ghee is a healthy fat and an excellent source of vitamin E as well as a good source of vitamins A, C, D, and K. Because it is high in Omega-3’s, ghee supports a healthy heart and cardiovascular system. Remember in the ’80s when we were told that margarine was better than butter? Once again, “they” were proven wrong in favor of traditional, whole foods.
Why Make Easy Slow Cooker Ghee at Home?
I know, that’s all well and good but by now you’re probably asking, “Why should I make it instead of buying it?” Well, being able to make it yourself is the heart of the homesteading spirit! Really, though… a good quality grass-fed store-bought butter is about $6-$8 a pound; not exactly pocket change, but when you compare that to $12-$20 a pound for grass-fed ghee, it is a no-brainer!
My mindset is to make it myself if I can. At the same time, you have to balance the cost versus the time investment. Sometimes finding the time and energy to make the tortillas plus the bread, the salad dressing, the peanut butter, the jerky… it’s just too much! Not with ghee though! Easy crockpot ghee is so simple and requires only a couple of minutes of work and, to me, that it is totally worth making at home.
How To Make Easy Slow Cooker Ghee
For DIY ghee, all you need is a slow cooker and a couple of pounds of butter.
First, turn the slow cooker on low and add your butter. It doesn’t matter if it is straight from the refrigerator or room temp. In fact, I use mine straight from the freezer. Leave the lid off because the water in the butter needs to evaporate.
Allow the butter to melt completely.
Turn the slow cooker to keep warm. Yes, this slows down the process but, many slow cookers run hotter than you think and I’ve had my butter come to a boil while on the low setting. Boiling hot fat? Not good!
Allow the butter to cook until it has formed a film on top and the film has darkened a little. I usually leave it for 3-4 hours.
Carefully skim off the film with a spoon.
Ladle the ghee into glass jars, avoiding the milky solids in the bottom, and cover with a lid. I like to use pint-sized canning jars, but you can reuse other jars… just don’t use plastic because the ghee is hot when you’re ladling it out.
When you get to the bottom, you’ll have just a tiny bit of ghee left with the milk solids. You’ll end up wasting a little because it is just too much work to skim off every last bit. That little bit on the bottom of the slow cooker goes to our chickens and they LOVE it.
That’s it! Easy Slow Cooker Ghee really is easy. Now you can save a bunch of money and never buy ghee again!
Want More Recipes from The Swallow’s Nest?
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