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Ghee


NancyH
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So, I'm visiting my parents. My sister, who is an Ayuervedic therapist, has counseled mom to eat lots of Ghee. There is a container on the table: Purity Farms Ghee Clarified Butter, which is USDA Organic. The only ingredient is Organic Sweet Cream Butter (Milk).

There is no "refrigerate after opening" legend anywhere on the package, and it's been sitting at room tempurature for months. I tried it with breakfast today, and I gotta admit - it's got Sam Breakstone beat for flavor! But is it really safe to leave it out like this?

"Life is Too Short to Not Play With Your Food" 

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Yes, ghee's shelf stable if properly made, although you should probably keep it firmly covered to prevent it picking up off flavors from the air.

I make my own every few months and just keep it on the kitchen counter in a little jar with a spoon in it. It does just fine out there.

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If the ghee has been properly made, it's expelled all the water and milk solids, which, I believe, leaves only the fats. The only time my ghee has gone bad has been when I didn't cook it long enough and mold formed next to some moisture beads on the surface.

Chris Amirault

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I know it is pure fat and all the solids and water are out of it ..but I keep ghee and my clarified Ethiopian spiced butter in the fridg

it just tastes better and stays fresher in my opinion

you can keep it out I dont think you will get sick or anything .. but I don't not for more than a day

I make my own as well maybe the ghee you buy in jars is more stablized?

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Mine has been unrefrigerated ever since I got it...just like my butter.

Was that yesterday or 5 years ago?

I too have had the flavor deteroriate after a year or so, even in the fridge. Never suffered ill effects but it certainly got to tasting vile.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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The ghee I purchase (100% butter ghee) states "keep cool" on the label but does not suggest refrigeration. I do keep it in the 'fridge because I know I don't use it often and feel better knowing it has been kept really cool. Any clarified butter that I make myself I always refrigerate.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

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  • 1 month later...

According to Ayurvedic practice (and my mom!) ghee gets better as it ages (the medicinal properties are said to increase.) Just make sure that you don't let any water or moisture come in contact with the ghee once it's made. Growing up in India, the ghee was always stored on the shelf rather than in the fridge. But when I make it here, I refrigerate it (just in case I haven't eliminated all the milk solids).

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I generally keep mine out, and I buy it, rather than make it. I tried keeping it in the fridge and it was too hard to scoop out properly for use.

Marlene

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Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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I generally keep mine out, and I buy it, rather than make it.  I tried keeping it in the fridge and it was too hard to scoop out properly for use.

I have had the same situation and as I don't use it often I have to remember to take it out of the fridge well ahead of time, or warm it on the microwave defrost.

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As mentioned above, as long as you do not contaminate it, you can keep it at room temp (I suggest ambient temps lower than 85 F) for years if you keep it tightly closed.

I scald a spoon, dry it with a paper towel and make sure I don't touch it to anything else while extracting the amount of ghee I need.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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As mentioned above, properly made ghee has almost all of the moisture cooked out of it, and the milk solids are evaporated; it is basically pure butter fat, and the conditions are too inhospitable for microbes to grow. That said, it is a fat, and as such is susceptible to picking up off flavors and rancidity. It will keep best stored in an opaque airtight container in a cool dark place. It is a bit hard to work with directly from the refrigerator or cooler temperatures, so I keep a small amount at room temperature, and my main supply in the pantry or fridge.

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  • 4 months later...

Assuming you have bought 100% butter ghee then use it in applications that call for clarified butter. I always have a jar on hand and though I make a few Indian dishes, I mostly use it in place of butter when I am sauteeing something where I want the butter flavour but need a higher smoke point.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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How long should I expect it to "keep"?  Fridge or cupboard (I'm assuming fridge).

I knew I could count on eGulleters!  :wub:

It should keep for many, many months in the 'fridge and even at room temp it has a long shelf life.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I have some Indian friends who are strict vegetarians, but they use ghee in their cooking. I never quite understood that, since ghee is a milk-based product. Is it considered "vegetarian" because all the milk solids have been removed?

Anna thanks for the tip about the "higher smoke point" than butter. It seems obvious now, but I never thought of that before. I can think of quite a few new ways to try it now, instead of letting it sit for weeks between making Indian dishes.

"There's nothing like a pork belly to steady the nerves."

Fergus Henderson

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^^^^

Strict or pure vegetarian for an Indian means no meat, fish or eggs and possible no garlic or onions. There aren't a whole lot of vegan Indians.

When most people in the West talk about vegetarians, they are referring to ovo-lacto-vegetarians who eat eggs and dairy. In both the Western and Indian view, milk products are vegetarian, they just aren't vegan.

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^^^^

Strict or pure vegetarian for an Indian means no meat, fish or eggs and possible no garlic or onions. There aren't a whole lot of vegan Indians.

Whoa. Why would garlic & onions be ruled out?

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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^^^^

Strict or pure vegetarian for an Indian means no meat, fish or eggs and possible no garlic or onions. There aren't a whole lot of vegan Indians.

Whoa. Why would garlic & onions be ruled out?

They believe it excites the passions. It's not really a vegetarian thing. But I think it's a Hindu/Jain thing. I think it was originally widows who were not allowed to eat garlic and onions (because spicy food excites the passions) but since they were often confined to the kitchen this gave rise to a tradition of preparing food without garlic and onions.

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^^^^

Strict or pure vegetarian for an Indian means no meat, fish or eggs and possible no garlic or onions. There aren't a whole lot of vegan Indians.

Whoa. Why would garlic & onions be ruled out?

They believe it excites the passions. It's not really a vegetarian thing. But I think it's a Hindu/Jain thing. I think it was originally widows who were not allowed to eat garlic and onions (because spicy food excites the passions) but since they were often confined to the kitchen this gave rise to a tradition of preparing food without garlic and onions.

Yes, that is one reason for not using them. Another view is that these are seasonings often used to flavour meats, and therefore should be avoided in a vegetarian diet. As for Jain vegetarianism...well, that can get a lot more complicated! I'll leave you to google that if you're interested...

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