Ghee, a type of clarified butter most popular in South Asian cooking, retains more nutrients than regular clarified butter as it is cooked at a low temperature, typically below 100 degrees. It has also become more popular in Western cultures due to its nutrient profile, along with grass-fed butter.
The body can readily utilize the medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) present in ghee as an energy source. It is a good source of fat-soluble vitamin A and is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that play a crucial role in cardiovascular system function.
So, how do you store this butter derivative? The same way as butter? Let’s take a look.
How To Store Ghee
For optimal ghee storage, a glass jar is recommended. If you happen to purchase ghee in large quantities in a plastic jar, ensure that the lid is securely fastened. As an alternative, a high-quality, airtight plastic jar can be used. Always confirm that the lid of the jar is tightly sealed, as air and ghee do not mix well.
You can store ghee in a cool, dark cabinet, but if your home is warm, it is better to refrigerate it. This may make it more difficult to scoop from the jar, so remove it 15 minutes before you want to use it to allow it to soften a bit.
You might be wondering why it’s okay to keep ghee in the pantry but not okay to keep butter in there. Ghee is made by heating butter until the milk solids separate and can be removed. This makes ghee more shelf-stable than butter, which has milk solids.
Can You Freeze Ghee?
If you have bought ghee in large quantities and are worried about it spoiling, you can freeze it for long-term storage. Simply transfer the ghee to a freezer-safe container. By freezing it, you can preserve the ghee for over a year.
If your ghee becomes too solid to scoop, allow it to thaw at room temperature in a cool, dark place. While freezing ghee can effectively extend its shelf life, the quality may gradually decline over time.
How To Defrost Ghee?
To defrost your frozen ghee, simply transfer the container to the refrigerator and let it defrost overnight. This is usually the best way to defrost any kind of fat or oil to ensure it does not go rancid during the process.
How Long Does Ghee Last?
– Pantry: It is recommended to consume ghee within 3 months of opening. Unopened ghee can last up to 12 months in the pantry, away from heat sources like stovetops or ovens.
– Fridge: Many brands suggest refrigerating ghee, especially after opening, to maintain quality for about a year.
– Freezer: Ghee can be frozen, sustaining its quality for over a year.
How To Know When Ghee Is Rancid?
It is important to discard ghee under certain circumstances. Firstly, the visual inspection. If it has turned white, it indicates that the ghee has become rancid and should be disposed of. If you observe any mold or undesirable substances on the surface, it is recommended to remove the spoiled portion if it is small, but it is safer to discard the entire batch.
When it comes to your nose, a peculiar odor, such as one resembling old paint, is another sign of rancidity. Any other unusual aroma should also be considered as an indication of spoiled ghee.
If you are unsure, the last option is to taste a bit of it. If you detect a harsh or bitter taste, it is a clear signal that the ghee has gone bad. If you notice anything else unusual about the ghee, it is advisable to exercise caution and opt for disposal. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Ghee is an ancient Indian cooking oil that has been used for centuries. The name ‘ghee’ comes from the Sanskrit word “ghrita,” which means clarified butter.
Originating in India, ghee emerged as a solution to the challenge of storing butter in a hot climate. This is because of the clarification process, whereby butter is heated to evaporate the water content and separate the milk solids. This product gains an extended shelf life due to its lack of milk solids.
Ghee is not vegan as it comes from animal butter. However, it may be suitable for those who are mildly lactose intolerant, as most of the milk proteins are removed during the clarification process.
Ghee is safer than butter for lactose-intolerant individuals. Both products are high in fat and calories and should be consumed in moderation.
Pure desi ghee has a distinct yellowish or golden hue. The granular sediment at the bottom appears whiter than the liquid golden layer that floats on top.