Ghee is becoming a popular cooking ingredient and has been a staple in Indian cooking for a long time. Is ghee vegan and dairy-free? Read on to find out.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter. To make ghee, butter is melted down and the liquid fats are separated from the milk solids. Once the milk solids are removed, ghee is what remains. It is used in many different types of recipes, especially in Indian recipes, as a replacement for butter in dishes such as bulletproof coffee, mac and cheese, chocolate chip cookies, pot roast, corn kachori, rice, and many more. Ghee can also be used if you are planning to cook with high heat such as stir frying, frying, or sautéing vegetables or roasting in the oven or in baked goods.
Ghee is sometimes touted as a vegan, paleo and dairy-free alternative to butter. Below, we’ll discuss if these claims are true.
Is Ghee Vegan?
Ghee comes from dairy and is considered an animal byproduct even if it has been altered or contains less dairy product than other options. Therefore, it is not vegan.
Because the milk solids are removed, ghee has less lactose than butter and can be a good choice for people looking to reduce dairy for diet or allergy reasons. However, it still contains some dairy and can’t be considered entirely lactose- or dairy-free. Traces of lactose (and casein) remain in the clarified butter, so be wary if you are allergic or intolerant.
Is Ghee Paleo-friendly?
Dairy resides firmly in the grey zone for many paleo dieters, and ghee can be just as ambiguous. Many paleo diet recommendations say that there should be no dairy whatsoever in your diet, but eating ghee is debatable. The lack of milk solids makes it great for high-heat cooking and easier on those who suffer from lactose intolerance. It also retains more vitamins and nutrients than clarified butter, so some may prefer it for those reasons. The bottom line for paleo: it’s up to you.
- The Best Vegan Substitutes for Butter
- Vegan Paleo? Find Out More About the Pegan Diet
- Can Butter Go Bad? Not as Quickly as You Think
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