WHAT IS GHEE?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that originates in India. Ghee has been used for thousands of years as a cooking oil and in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Ghee is a staple food in South Asian households all across the world.
HOW DO YOU CONTRIBUTE TO SOUTH ASIAN CULTURE?
We’re a very small company, run by myself (Lee). I personally support small South Asian businesses whenever possible, and love to learn new Indian recipes at home. I fell in love with ghee while studying nutrition and wanted to share the health benefits with people from all backgrounds, but especially in my own community where not a lot of people knew about ghee at the time. While I would have loved to work with ghee manufacturers from India, it’s not possible to import dairy into Canada due to the supply management system. So the next best thing was to support Canadian organic dairy farmers here at home, while contracting people of South Asian descent to make ghee for us. At the time, there was no other company making organic ghee in glass jars in Canada, now there are 3 of us (none of whom are owned by Indian people, unfortunately). While I realize there are several Indian brands who make ghee, I strongly believe in the importance of organic ghee in glass jars, and our customers (a lot of whom are South Asian) agree.
We don’t have any full-time staff but we do have contractors we work with from a variety of different backgrounds, including, but not limited to, those of Indian descent. We also work with social media influencers from the South Asian community who we collaborate with to share our products with their followers. I am currently exploring a partnership with a female nutritionist of Indian background who will own shares in the business. When looking for new suppliers, I make a point of working with companies owned by South Asian people whenever possible. To give you a few examples, our label supplier is owned by an Indian family, most of our tea ingredients come from organic farmers and exporters in India, and our iced tea manufacturer is Indian and family run. When we make ghee, we work with South Asian contractors who we pay almost three times the minimum wage.
Lastly, we donate 10% of our profits to saving endangered Asian elephants. This effort is to help restore the environment, biodiversity, air quality and wildlife habitat in India. I have visited some of the projects that we donate to, and have stayed with the NGO A Rocha India in Bannerghatta National Park. I have a lot of respect for Indian people, culture and food so I do my best to educate our customers on the origins of the products that we make and sell.
HOW IS GHEE MADE?
Ghee is made by simmering butter on a low temperature until the milk solids separate from the butter oil. While the butter is simmering, the moisture present in the butter evaporates. When the ghee is finished, it is strained through cheesecloth, leaving behind the pure butter oil, also called "liquid gold".
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GHEE?
Ghee is great for cooking because it has a high smoke point, which means it doesn't burn like other cooking oils, such as olive oil and butter. Ghee is safe to cook with at high temperatures without the risk of creating damaging free radicals. Ghee is naturally lactose-free and has numerous been health benefits which you can read about here
WHAT IS GHEE USED FOR?
Traditionally, ghee is used as a cooking oil. However, since ghee is essentially concentrated butter so it can be used as a butter upgrade for just about anything! Try it on popcorn, corn on the cob, or toast, if you so desire.
WHAT IS THE TEXTURE OF GHEE?
Ghee contains many fatty acids with different melting points. For this reason, you may find that ghee is grainy, crystallized, smooth, waxy, liquid, or a combination of various textures. This is caused by the melting and crystallization of the fats depending on the temperature and conditions during production, storage and/or transit. This does impact the texture, but there is no other effect on the taste, quality and shelf-life of the ghee. Furthermore, when you melt the ghee, any graininess will disappear and it will return to a smooth liquid state.
WHAT MAKES YOUR GHEE DIFFERENT FROM OTHER GHEE?
We start off with certified organic Canadian butter. The organic standards are very high in Canada which guarantees there are no
pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics present in the butter and that the cows have not been fed genetically-modified feed. From an environmental perspective, we prefer to source our butter locally than to import butter from other countries like Ireland, India and New Zealand. We then clarify the butter using a low-heat, 12 hour cooking process, which preserves the nutritional integrity of the ghee and gives it a grainy texture, which is the traditional consistency and a signifier of high quality ghee. We double-strain our ghee to ensure there are no milk solid residues present in the ghee before infusing it with premium, non-irradiated, non-GMO organic spices. We then hand pour the ghee into glass jars, because plastic reacts with fat and leaches chemicals into the ghee. Finally, we lab test each and every batch of ghee to ensure it meets our rigorous quality standards. All of these decisions are made based on concern for your health and the environment. Our customers often tell us they can taste the difference in the quality of our ghee compared with other brands.
CAN I BAKE WITH GHEE?
Yes, ghee can be used in place of butter for baking. When substituting ghee for butter in baking, you can use about half the amount that the recipe calls for as the proportions are different.
WHAT IS IT CALLED 'GHEE'?
Ghee is the name for the Indian style of clarified butter. It is slightly different than typical clarified butter because it is cooked until the milk solids caramelize, resulting in a rich, nutty flavour.
WHAT IS THE SMOKE POINT OF GHEE?
The smoke point of ghee is 250°C. It would be very difficult to burn ghee, even if you wanted to.
IS YOUR GHEE GRASS-FED?
Short answer is no. Our ghee is not 100% grass fed as we source our butter locally and the weather in Canada doesn't permit that year round. According to organic standards, organic dairy cows must be on pasture whenever possible, so this is mainly during the summer and fall but their feed can be supplemented with organic hay and grains as well. For this reason we do not claim to be grass fed.
Other companies may claim to be grass fed but there is no certification process for such and therefore it is difficult to know how accurate those claims are. Although we understand the health benefits of 100% grass fed butter, we prefer to support local Canadian farmers who farm sustainably according to strict organic standards rather than import grass fed butter from other countries.
WHY IS YOUR GHEE SO PRICEY?
We believe in providing you with the highest quality products available, which means using a traditional slow cooking process and organic ingredients. We source organic butter from local Canadian farmers who are paid a premium for their dairy. When we clarify the butter, the process removes 25-30% of the butter in the form of moisture and milk solids. We use pricey glass jars to preserve the quality of our ghee, as plastic leaches chemicals. We lab test each and every batch of ghee before selling it to ensure it meets our rigorous quality standards. We only use certified organic spices and herbs in our ghee.
IS GHEE DAIRY?
Ghee is an easier-to-digest form of dairy. Although it has the milk solids removed, it is still technically considered dairy as it comes from butter. If you are lactose-intolerant, ghee is a safe bet. However, if you have a dairy allergy, you should always consult your healthcare practitioner before consuming ghee as there can be traces of milk protein.
HOW DO YOU STORE GHEE?
Although we recommend you refrigerate your ghee after opening, it is fine to keep it out of the fridge as long as you go through it quickly. Just be sure to always use a clean utensil to dip into the jar and close the lid tightly after use. You will know if ghee has gone bad, because it will have visible signs of mould. If it simply smells or tastes rancid, it is still fine to use. If you don't want to risk anything happening to your precious ghee, simply refrigerate it.
WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF GHEE?
The shelf life of our ghee is 2 years, unopened. Once opened, it will last up to a year, refrigerated.
WHY IS SOME GHEE SOLID AND SOME GHEE LIQUID?
Ghee liquifies above 20°C. This is totally normal and does not compromise the ghee in any way. Ghee will return to a semi-solid consistency when it returns to below 20°C.