Ghee /ɡē/ (noun): clarified butter

Today’s featured image is of sweet Reese “helping” me write this blog.  Our dogs have zero sense of personal space and it can drive me crazy at times. But some days those cuddles are exactly what you need.

The preparation for Whole30 continues.  I’ve been glancing over the recipes and the amount of cooking needed may be my greatest challenge.  I’m not a huge meal prepper.  I prefer to see what craving is striking that day and make meal plans on the fly.  There is ZERO way that will work while on Whole30.  And given my general displeasure at most activities that take place in the kitchen (new to my blog?  Just Ctrl+F and search “kitchen” or “cooking” to get an idea of how much I prefer to be anywhere else), I know that I need some Whole30 foods that can be purchased at the store.  This is where the ghee comes in.

I had to Google ghee because I have never heard of it.  To be fair, I have also never heard of clarified butter.  I grew up in the South – we only have butter and margarine.  Nothing “clarified” about it.  Turns out, ghee is basically butter without the majority of the lactose and casein (a protein found in milk…I had to Google that, too).  This leaves some to argue that it is slightly easier to digest.  Users of ghee say that it has a slightly nuttier taste and also has a higher smoking point (takes more heat to burn it so you ideally end up with fewer charred foods). For Whole30 purposes, it fulfills the “no dairy” rule.  Whole30 provides the recipe for making your own ghee (I’ve included it at the end of this entry for those that are bored/interested or for those that simply enjoy making something harder than it probably needs to be), but I was fairly certain I wouldn’t be interested in that.  I immediately sought out the goodness that is Amazon Prime and quickly ordered two jars of ghee made by 4th and Heart.  I purchased one jar of original ghee and one jar of salted-white truffle ghee (because I’m fancy).  Each bottle was roughly $12.  While that is a little steep, I’m okay with spending more money on groceries as I will be going to very few restaurants during the month of August.  And I’m trying to be realistic – am I going to make my own?  Probably not.  Is it better to just embrace reality, buy a darn jar, and not have to rely on olive oil and coconut oil for every stinking meal?  Yep.

My purchased ghee arrived at the house before the week was over.  I was pretty excited to try it out.  Hey, maybe I’ll love it and never look back.  Maybe it will suck and then I’ll have $24 worth of ghee that I’m trying to give away.  Neither result is going to alter my life that much so what is there to lose.  I haven’t had a chance to use it yet but I’m hoping to incorporate it into some of my meals this week.

Some other things that I have discovered in the effort to make the Whole30 transition a little easier:

  1. I can have prosciutto!  This is wonderful!  It is basically thin bacon (or at least that is what I am telling myself) and it should be a good way to dress up some breakfast dishes and salads.
  2. Whole30 provides a list of companies that provide compliant foods.  One of the companies, Primal Kitchen, produces a Whole30 starter kit (yeah, I know.  It’s a way to make money off of those that want to do Whole30 but are lazy.) that includes regular mayo, chipotle lime mayo, extra virgin avocado oil, greek vinaigrette and marinade, and ranch salad dressing.  Now I have a few condiments that are Whole30 friendly that doesn’t requires me to slave away in the kitchen.


Week One of Preparation

I gave up soda.  (Since the move, I have used Cheerwine as a crutch when I am feeling particularly homesick.)  I would also say that 50% of my meals were Whole30 compliant.  Being compliant while at a restaurant is very difficult, but I wasn’t really trying that hard to be honest.  I’ll save that challenge for another day.  The meals that were compliant were the ones that I prepared for myself.  I seemed to do better during the workweek because it is impossible to survive it without thorough planning.  The weekend, however, presents as more flexible and gives the impression of limitless time.  The need to plan ahead is less motivating.  As a result, I had very little food in the house by the time Saturday rolled around.  We also enjoyed a country concert with friends on Saturday and that was anything but compliant.  I need to develop the same mentality toward preparing for the weekend as I do the rest of the week.  

The mini-goal for next week is two-fold:  cut out added sugars in food drink (bye-bye honey in my tea) and to cut the noncompliant additives in prepared foods.  Out of 18 meals, I will aim to be compliant with 13 meals (roughly 70%).  That gives me a five meal buffer as I continue to figure things out.  I’ve also started reading “It Starts with Food” to better understand why Whole30 makes the recommendations it does.  They also delve into the how and why of cravings.  I’m interested to read more about that, especially the psychological reasonings behind our cravings.  As I continue to cope with living outside of North Carolina, I think that part will be very helpful.  

And now I am off to Food Lion to see how creative I can get with the offerings of a small town grocery store.  We are grilling chicken, corn on the cob, and squash and zucchini for dinner tonight – I love a grilled dinner on a hot summer’s day.

Alyssa, writer of Everyday Maven, includes a recipe with step-by-step pictures on how to make your own ghee!  Click here to go to her site!


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