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Clarified Butter

In the milk allergy and lactose intolerant circles we often hear about Clarified butter or Ghee.  Many individuals have found that clarified butter/ghee is well tolerated even though they are extremely reactive to milk or one of the components of milk. Thankfully, by separating the milk solids, water, and butter fat we can essentially be left with a nutritious fat that has the wonderful flavor of butter that we have grown to love.  It can be used anywhere you would typically use butter such as baking, frying, seasoning vegetables, or on your favorite gluten free muffins.    


8 oz package organic grass fed butter


Large skillet

Spoon for skimming milk solids

Ladle for spooning into the sieve

Fine mesh sieve, cheesecloth, or coffee filter for straining

Small glass jar for storage of clarified butter/ghee


Place brick of organic grass fed butter in a large skillet over low heat.  

Let it slowly melt to a liquid state and continue to cook.  


As it cooks you will notice a white curd looking formation beginning to

float on top of the liquid. This is the whey protein that is separating from the fat.  Run a large spoon over the top to remove this whey from your butter fat.  


There will be a mucus like white formation sinking to the bottom of the skillet.  This is the casein protein.  Ladle as much of the casein out of the skillet as you can and pour through the fine mesh sieve allowing the fat collected with the casein to flow back into the skillet.  See photos below.  


Now, wash your sieve in hot soapy water so it is clean to be used for the final filtering. After most of the milk solids have been removed from your butter, pour the remaining butter fat through your fine mesh sieve, cheese cloth, or coffee filter into your clean jar. (Coffee filters slow down the process a great deal but will work if that is your only form of straining available) This step can be done multiple times if you feel that the butter fat is not clear enough.  I usually find that once is enough when using a fine mesh sieve.  Once the clarified butter is in the jar let it cool before sealing with a lid. Since the milk solids have been removed, this fat is safe to remain at room temperature but I prefer to be cautious and refrigerate mine.  You now have clarified butter to use as you would use butter in all your cooking.  

Those that are wanting to make Ghee will continue the cooking process until the casein at the bottom of the skillet turns darker in color, towards a brown, before they move on to the straining process.  This gives the fat a deeper nuttier flavor.

A dairy free life does not mean a life without butter.  Try this process to see if you can incorporate butter fat back into your diet. I think you'll be glad you did.  Enjoy!! 

Ghee/Clarified Butter
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