Recipe: Ghee – clarified butter

Iris helping make Ghee.

Why Ghee:  Since our little girl can’t handle most animal protein, we’ve been transforming much of our cooking and baking to vegan. We usually use Olive Oil, or just steam and boil foods.  Baking has proved another area for learning – we use applesauce in place of oil or butter. But, there are certain things that you just can’t make without butter. We also strive to eat as little processed foods as possible, so margarine is out of the question. So, we’ve been making Ghee from butter.  To our delight, our little girl is not bothered by it (the process of separating the oil from the milk removes most of the lactose).  And, it is the closest thing to a butter substitute that honors our food philosophy. It works great with baking!

My mom showed me this process, and I like it a lot since it doesn’t mean that I have to stand at the stove and risk burning or ruining it. You can read more about Ghee on Wikipedia here, or via this site that sells Ghee – (no, I don’t get anything for sharing this link!).


Preheat your oven at 375 degrees

– Place 2 sticks butter (or more if you want) into a baking dish. I like to use a clear glass one so I can see the oil and milk separation.

– Put dish into oven

– Wait 30 minutes, look at the dish, if there is a pool of white a the bottom of the dish, or you can see the yellow oil is clear on the top except for some surface foam, it’s ready. Remove from oven, and let cool enough to handle dish.

– Skim the foam off the surface using a clean spoon.  I usually wipe it off between skimming with a clean napkin or dish cloth.

– Pour into a dish of your choice, something with a lid is preferred if you’ll be storing it.

Take caution toward the bottom of the dish as you might mix in some of the white milk protein. I usually stop pouring when I can see the Ghee is about a quarter inch above the milk protein, and place in the refrigerator. Once it is hardened, you can scoop it out of the bowl and rinse off the milk under cold running water. Then, add to your Ghee dish. Enjoy and use as you would butter!

Cost: A 7.5oz. jar of Ghee at our local Health Food Co-op costs $6.25 – a bit pricey for our budget. For the cost of 2 sticks of butter ($2.85) we get a little over 10 oz. of Ghee. I am certain that if you can find a better deal on butter, or buy non-organic butter, you can make it for even less money.