My New Roots is a popular plant-based food blog by Sarah Britton. It is a food blog I’ve been following for years and have made many of Sarah’s recipes. They are heavy on plants, wholefoods, colour and taste. When I received her new cookbook, “My New Roots: Plant-Based and Vegetarian Recipes for Every Season”, I literally yelped for joy. Going through the pages, felt like scrolling through her blog. She uses the same tone of voice for describing each recipe. The ingredients and recipes are an extension of her blog and her pictures echo that simple ingredient focused food style. The book is a tangible, delicious piece of her blog filled with an abundance of must make dishes.
She splits the book, not into meal categories, but rather into seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Each season has recipes utilizing the produce of that season and are prepared and cooked in line with the season – raw and cold in summer, roasted and hot in winter. Eating seasonally, Sarah explains not only helps her body acclimatize to the external environment; but also contributes to the health of the environment in choosing foods that travel shorter distances.
My favorite section of the book, is the first one. It’s titled “essential techniques” and Sarah teaches you how to cook grains (and why you should be soaking them), the basics for making your own nut milks and butters, how to sprout your own food and using flavors to enhance your cooking. She also explains how to make Ghee. It’s something I never really thought of making myself, until I saw it in her cookbook; and it’s the “recipe” from her cookbook I’d like to share.
As Sarah explains, Ghee is one of the best oils for sautéing, roasting and deep-frying due to its high smoke point (up to 480°F / 250°C). As soon as fat reaches its smoke point, it begins to break down, burn, and create free radicals. Free radicals are carcinogenic molecules that damage cells and cell membranes and are associated with diseases like cancer. Butter burns at a lower temperature because of the casein and lactose. Ghee, made from butter, removes the casein and lactose, increasing its smoke point. Ghee is also tolerated better by people who have a lactose intolerance as it removes the casein and lactose. Depending on the butter used, Ghee can also be high in antioxidants and help the body absorb Vitamins A, D, E and K from other foods.
Making your own Ghee is simple but requires time and patience. You make it by heating unsalted butter for a long period of time until all the water has boiled off, and the milk proteins have sunk to the bottom, leaving you with a layer of pure butter fat.
It can be used for roasting, frying or simply spreading over a piece of toast. It also keeps for months and requires just one ingredient – butter. As the quality of the butter you’re using will determine the quality of the ghee produced, use the best butter you can get.
Originally, I halved her recipe, as I wanted to try it out first. It only requires butter so you can double and halve it easily. However, when I made it second time I used her original quantities and it came out so much better. In fact, I think the first time didn’t come out right, as the second batch had a caramel colour and smell – much like Sarah describes in the book. I have thus updated the recipe to include her original amount. The Pictures have also been changed to show you the colour you want – caramel. I ended up with about two cups of Ghee, as she explains the amount you get depends on the water content of the butter used.
How to Make Ghee ala My New Roots Cookbook
- 500 grams unsalted butter
You will also need
- heat proof, sterilized glass jar
- muslin, gauze or cheesecloth
- Set a few layers of muslin, gauze or cheese cloth over a sterilised heat proof glass jar and secure with a rubber band.
- Heat your butter in a heavy duty sauce pan over a low-medium heat until it’s melted. Let it simmer gently, uncovered until the foam rises to the top of the melted butter. The butter will make splattering sounds and may splatter, so be careful.
- Watch the butter carefully over the next 20-30 minutes (depending on the water content – mine took closer to 40 minutes). The butter will develop three layers, a foamy top layer, a liquid butterfat layer, and a milk solids bottom layer. If you want you can remove the top foamy layer to help you see the bottom, but it will be strained away.
- Once the butter stops spluttering and no more foam seems to be rising to the surface, check to see if the bottom layer has turned a golden-brown colour. You’ll notice little bits that have floated to the bottom and have turned golden brown – this is the milk solids. Once the milk solids are golden brown, the butter isn’t spluttering and no foam is rising, your Ghee is ready. Remove from the heat immediately, or it will burn.
- Carefully pour the warm liquid butter through the cloth into the jar, leaving behind any solids and foam. It will be a clear golden colour. Let sit at room temperature to solidify, turning it opaque, before placing an airtight lid on it. Store the Ghee in the fridge for 1 year or in your pantry for 2-3 months.
My New Roots was given to us by Pan Macmillan and is available here. Pan Macmillan nor the author approved or reviewed this piece prior to publication. Opinions are our own. The recipe is reprinted with permission, images are our own.