A few years ago, I came to learn about ghee through an Indian friend. He shared how he used it often for cooking and how much more flavorful his dishes tasted. Curious, I went to a nearby Indian grocery mart and bought my first ghee. I was excited to taste what all the hype was about, only to find that my friend was right. Shortly after that first amazing experience of sautéing my vegetables with ghee, I practically became in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my butter on my toast. However, ghee has been my top-go-to fat, along with coconut oil, for cooking.
So how is ghee better than butter? Ghee has a unique nutrition profile without any lactose or casein, but rich in short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids and butyrate. For people who are lactose or casein-sensitive, they can use ghee because the process has removed these allergens. If you’ve been told to stay away from dairy and butter, experiment with ghee made from grass-fed beef.
Although similar, ghee has more nutrients and thus more benefits than butter. Here are all the amazing differences between ghee and butter, two of my most favorite things to eat in the world. Per tablespoon comparison between the two, Ghee has more: calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, vitamins A, D, E, K, choline, omega 3 and 6. Ghee also has less sodium than butter. I say, get more for your buck.
Another great thing about ghee is its flavor. Compared to butter, ghee has more of a clean, nutty, rich, deeper flavor. Butter has more of the milky, warm, creamy, sweet flavor. I have to add, when cooking with ghee, my dishes become even more delicious. With a spoon full into my mouth, I can definitely taste the difference between cooking with one or the other.
The last important takeaway on ghee is that it also has a higher smoke point than butter. This is important to know because oils and fats need to be cooked at the right temperatures. Often, we forget that cooking the wrong oils and especially at higher temperature than nature intended will produce rancid effects to the oil. Consuming rancid anything is hazardous to our health. The only two fats that I recommend cooking with at high temperatures are ghee and coconut oil. In compassion to butter, ghee has a smoke point of 450 degrees F while butter has a smoke point of 350 degrees F.