Ghee is a common component in many Asian dishes, but have you ever wondered if it’s suitable for vegans to consume or is there a vegan ghee option for those conscious about their food choices and their impact? To find an answer to this, firstly, we need to understand what exactly is ghee (commonly known as desi ghee).
Well, ghee is generally a dairy product with a clarified dairy foundation prepared from buffalo milk. Although it originated in ancient India, it is a popular addition to Indian, Middle Eastern, and South-East Asian cooking. Ghee is nothing but butter that has been clarified and indicates that the milk solids have been removed, allowing the remaining fat to be heated at higher temperatures without burning.
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Where Does Ghee Come From?
India and the United States are where the majority of ghee is produced. Farmers tether calves using short, tight ropes on the majority of India’s “tabela” factory farms. It has been observed that calves who are attempting to reach their moms can choke to death. Mother cows are frequently exposed to illnesses like mastitis as a result of farmers attaching them to unsterilized electronic milking equipment.
Is Ghee Vegan?
Technically speaking, milk solids are not present in ghee because they are eliminated during processing. Because of this, a lot of customers believe that ghee is “lactose-free” and “paleo-friendly.” Ghee, on the other hand, is not regarded as vegan because it still contains butterfat and is made from animal sources (milk).
What Is Vegan Ghee?
A plant-based substitute for conventional ghee is vegan ghee. Where traditional ghee is created by boiling butter to remove the milk solids and water content, leaving behind a rich, golden, and fragrant fat that may be used for frying, sautéing, and cooking, vegan ghee, on the other side, mimics the taste and texture of regular ghee without utilizing any ingredients that are produced from animals.
Vegan ghee is often created using a blend of plant-based fats, such as coconut oil, vegetable oils, and occasionally butter made from nuts or seeds, in place of butter. These plant-based fats are refined and clarified during the process to give them a consistency and look that resemble traditional ghee. For those who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or have a dairy allergy, vegan ghee may be an option. Similar to how regular ghee is utilized, it can be used to give food a rich, buttery flavour.
Types of Vegan Ghee
There are many different kinds of vegan ghee, and more are being developed and sold every other day as a result of the present upsurge in vegan entrepreneurship and innovation.
Vegan by default: Hydrogenated vegetable oil
This kind of ghee is neither a conventional ghee recipe nor the product of vegan ingenuity and business. It is an undesirable product that emerged from the desperate need for restaurants and cafes all throughout the country to cut expenses (and corners). Since genuine, traditional ghee is more expensive, hoteliers attempt to substitute cheap hydrogenated vegetable oil for ghee. It is nearly impossible to tell it apart from ghee because of how similar it feels and behaves. The trade name “Vanaspati” is most frequently used for it. Consciously or unintentionally, consistently ingesting this cheap mixture has the negative side effect of causing more disease and ill health.
Despite the fact that cuisine produced from Vanaspati is entirely vegan by default, we advise against eating it unless there are no other vegan options accessible to you at the moment. Because it contains a lot of saturated fats and cholesterol, which can have a long-term negative impact on heart and circulatory health, you should do your best to avoid using this kind of ghee. Adding fuel to the fire, food that is fried in Vanaspati has a propensity to generate more free radicals, which damage cells and increase oxidative stress levels.
Ghee made by interesterified vegetable fat
Vegetable oils with a very low trans-fat content are combined to create this form of ghee. Additionally, it is highly adaptable and may be used to cook, top off soups and rice, make Indian bread like rotis and parathas, and make desserts.
Due to its low level of saturated fat and absence of cholesterol, this ghee is highly healthful. If the reviews on our website are any indication, it is prepared by blending sunflower oil, sesame oil, and vegetable fat. It is the ideal ingredient for preparing Khichdi, Rotis, deep-fried foods, and Indian desserts. Additionally, it is abundant in essential fatty acids, vitamin D, and A.
This ghee is produced through an operation known as interesterification, unlike Dalda or Vanaspati. It is a method in which the fats in vegetable oils are altered to produce an oil that is more suited for deep frying and cooking while producing the least amount of saturated fats possible. As a result, it does not raise the same issues that vegetable oil that has been hydrogenated does.
However, it must be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced, healthy, and active lifestyle, just like any other processed food item.
Another ghee prepared from interesterified vegetable fat is this one. This ghee also includes Coconut oil in addition to Sunflower and Sesame seed oil. Its flavour is quite similar to that of conventional ghee, with just a trace of coconut, giving you a thick, rich cooking medium. It contains a lot of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. It is high in vitamin A and vitamin D and has no cholesterol or Trans fats. While being low in saturated fat, it still has essential fatty acids like Omega 6 and Omega 9.
It is excellent for adding to rotis and parathas, preparing curries and gravies, rice, and vegan biryani, among other dishes.
Why should one Switch to Vegan Ghee?
Consumers of Vegan Ghee enjoy several benefits over regular ghee, some of which are enlisted here
- Unlike bovine ghee, which is heavy in saturated fat, it has a low content of both saturated and Trans fatty acids.
- Zero cholesterol is present in interesterified vegetable fat.
- The texture, melting point, and shelf life of interesterified vegetable fat are comparable to those of hydrogenated oil without the cardiovascular risk issues.
- Omega 6 and Omega 9 are found in it, which are crucial for a healthy immune system as well as the body’s growth and development.
- Antibiotics and steroid hormones, which are present in ghee prepared from conventionally produced milk, are not present in it.
- While ghee may have a low lactose concentration, interesterified vegetable fat has no lactose at all, making it an excellent alternative for individuals who cannot tolerate it.
- Since it lacks “casomorphins,” the main component of dairy products known to induce opiate-like addictions, it is not psychologically addictive
Nutritional Value of Vegan Ghee
Vegan ghee has a total calorie count of 898, 0.3% carbs, 99.7% fats, and 0 added sugars per 100g serving.
In comparison to a serving size of traditional ghee, vegan ghee is higher in Omega 6 and Omega 9 and lower in saturated and Trans fats.
Harms of Regular Ghee
In excess, harm may result. High desi ghee consumption may cause a number of health issues. Prior to incorporating ghee into your diet, it is usually advisable to speak with your doctor and learn about your current health.
Ghee is a calorie-dense, high-fat meal. Despite the fact that ghee has health benefits, ingesting too much of it can lead to weight gain and an increased chance of being obese.
Ghee can reduce the risk of heart disease when used in moderation. However, consuming a lot of saturated fat can make you more susceptible to heart disease. Before incorporating ghee into their diets, people with other heart disease risk factors should consult with professionals.
Ghee is a potent laxative that opens up the intestines and promotes easy bowel motions. But other people find it tough to digest. Consuming it with caution is advised for those who commonly have digestive problems including gastric bloating and indigestion. Some persons may experience loose motions and vomiting as a result of excessive ingestion.
Top 10 Vegan Ghee Brands
Indian vegans are always hesitant to give up ghee because it is a dairy product. But with their plant-based ghee substitutes, these local companies are the vegan community of India’s saviours.
- ROOT AND SOIL
This vegan ghee substitute is made with coconut milk and is all-natural with a desi flair. It is prepared by skilled local women from the Pollachi taluk and is spiced with Indian herbs and turmeric. Preservative-free and suitable for dressing, this vegan ghee can be used in Indian dishes.
The price range starts from Rs.275 available in 110ml and 270ml packs.
- LIVE YUM
Ghee made from plant-based (vegetable fat) by Live Yum behaves exactly like ghee made from animal fat and may be used in both savoury and sweet dishes. The product is packaged in recyclable materials and is devoid of artificial additives and allergies. Their natural materials were acquired using fair trade methods to safeguard nearby workers.
- EMAKY FOODS
Emkay Lite Vegan Ghee is a plant-based, cholesterol-free substitute for ghee made of sunflower oil, sesame oil, and interesterified vegetable fat. It can be used to flavour curries or rotis, as well as to produce sweets. Emkay vegan ghee has a low saturated fat content, making it heart-healthy. Additionally, it has a lot of poly unsaturated fats, which enhance brain function.
- NUTIVA ORGANIC PLANT BASED GHEE
One of the most popular vegan ghee brands is Nutiva, which is USDA-certified organic, certified vegan, non-GMO, and Whole 30 and Keto-friendly. Avocado and coconut oils are combined to make it.
To discover this plant-based ghee in a store near you, use Nutiva’s product locator, or order it from one of the aforementioned online merchants to be delivered right to your door.
- TRADER JOE’S VEGAN GHEE ALTERNATIVE
You can get a bottle of TJ’s Organic Coconut & Avocado Oil Blend (A Vegan Ghee Alternative) if you shop at Trader Joe’s. Only Trader Joe’s carries this item, which is USDA-certified organic.
- LIVLO FOODS
A new line of nut butters and spreads, including an organic vegan ghee, was just produced by Livlo Foods, a manufacturer of low-carb, clean-label foods. It is gluten-free, keto-friendly, and USDA organic. It is not yet available in many stores because it is new.
- URBAN PLATTER GOOD SPOON VEGAN GHEE
This vegan ghee from Urban Platter is totally free of dairy, palm oil, and Trans fats. It is created with a unique blend of sesame and canola oils, curcumin, and is loaded with vitamins A and D.
Decent spoon Vegan ghee is versatile in the kitchen, easy to make, and delicious to eat. It works well for frying, spreading, and baking. Additionally, you can make delicious jalebi and halwa with it, spread it over chapatis, use it in tadka, and more.
- GOODMYLK PLANT BASED GHEE
It’s made with just four ingredients (minus the dairy) so you can cook the way you love without getting rid of taste. Best of all, it’s made without interesterification, or the modification of fats.
- MILKIO GRASS FED GHEE PRODUCTS
Lactose intolerant and casein sensitive people can safely use Milkio Ghee because it is free of gluten, lactose, casein, carbs, sugar, and chemicals. It supports the ketogenic and paleo diets. Products made with Milkio ghee are free of artificial colouring, flavouring, or preservatives.
Ghee made from milk has a high smoke point. Dairy oil that is shelf-stable can be kept in the kitchen at room temperature for up to 18 months after the date of manufacture. You can place an order on the Milkio website to purchase Milkio ghee.
- FUSHI VEGAN GHEE
A pure plant butter and oil blend that is smooth, vegan, and dairy-free that may be used in place of regular butter ghee as a healthier option.
It is made up of a combination of extra virgin olive oil and extra virgin coconut oil, both of which are incredibly nourishing and perfect for enhancing bakes and curries. Paired with a pure, nutty, rich Ghee flavour.
In conclusion, the rise of vegan ghee represents a positive and ethical shift in our culinary choices. It not only accommodates the values and dietary preferences of vegans but also offers a range of health benefits and environmental advantages. With an improved fat profile, enriched nutrients, higher CLA content, and antioxidants, vegan ghee provides a compelling alternative to traditional ghee. Moreover, by opting for vegan ghee, we take a step towards reducing our environmental impact and promoting animal welfare.
As this trend continues to gain momentum, an increasing number of companies are entering the market, making vegan ghee more accessible than ever through convenient delivery services. Embracing this plant-based option not only supports a sustainable and compassionate approach to food but also enriches our culinary experiences with a delightful and conscientious twist.
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