Foods or drinks are considered dairy if they are made from milk. Dairy products are not only made from cow’s milk but can also be made from other animals like goats, sheep, buffaloes, and more. In order to determine if ghee is dairy-free, we have to determine whether it contains milk.
Ghee is not very popular in the United States but it is common in India and other Southern Asian countries. It is used for cooking but has also been known to be used as a remedy for medical purposes. The starting product is butter when making ghee. The butter is melted down to create a liquid. The butter is cooked over medium heat until the milk fat solids separate and water is evaporated. The milk fat solids are drained leaving a golden clarified butter liquid or ghee. When cooled at room temperature the ghee will turn from a liquid into a solid paste like substance.
Is Ghee Dairy-Free?
Butter, the starting ingredient of ghee, is made from milk, therefore, ghee is not dairy-free. You should not consume ghee if you are committed to being dairy-free. However, if lactose intolerance is your concern, ghee may still be suitable for consumption. When ghee is heated to create clarified butter, much of the lactose is removed when the milk fat is skimmed or stained away. Ghee contains a very low concentration of lactose making it suitable to consume for many people with lactose intolerance or sensitivity. You would have to be extremely sensitive to lactose to experience the side effects of lactose intolerance since ghee contains only traces of lactose.