Here's everything you need to know about the delicious fat we use to bake our granola.
What is ghee?
Ghee is a type of clarified butter that has been used in Indian cooking for thousands of years. It is made by simmering butter over low heat until the water content evaporates, and straining out milk solids to leave behind a golden, nutty-flavored fat. In recent years, ghee has gained popularity in the Western world for its purported health benefits.
What are the health benefits of ghee?
- High smoke point: Ghee's high smoke point means it can be heated to high temperatures without burning or producing harmful smoke. This makes it an ideal cooking oil for sautéing, roasting, and baking!
- Lactose-free: Ghee makes a great option for those with lactose intolerance. The milk solids are filtered out in the process, and has a longer shelf life than regular butter, as the removal of the water content prevents spoilage.
- High in Butyric Acid: Ghee is rich in healthy fats, including butyric acid, a short-chain fatty acid that is produced by the beneficial bacteria in our gut. Butyric acid has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help improve gut health by reducing inflammation and promoting the growth of good bacteria.
- High in Omega Fatty Acids: Ghee contains other fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-9, which are essential for maintaining optimal health. These fatty acids play a vital role in brain function, hormone production, and heart health. Omega-3s, in particular, have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, depression, and cognitive decline.
- High in Vitamins: Ghee is also a rich source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. These fat-soluble vitamins play essential roles in our bodies, from supporting immune function and bone health to maintaining healthy skin and vision. Vitamin K2, in particular, is found in high concentrations in ghee and has been shown to have a protective effect against heart disease and osteoporosis.
What type of ghee is best?
When it comes to incorporating ghee into your diet, it is essential to choose a high-quality product. Look for ghee made from grass-fed cows, as this will have a higher nutrient content and be free from harmful additives like hormones and antibiotics. You can use ghee as a substitute for butter or other cooking oils in recipes, or simply enjoy spread on toast or drizzled over vegetables!
Why do you bake with ghee in your granola?
We use ghee because we were frustrated by the majority of granola options on the market that use refined vegetable oils. As mentioned above, ghee is a natural source of healthy fats and nutrients, unlike vegetable oils which are highly processed and contain harmful additives!
Ghee also gives our granola a delicious and unique flavor. The nutty, caramel-like taste of ghee complements the natural sweetness of our ingredients like oats, honey, and dried fruit. This results in a more complex and satisfying flavor profile than granola made with vegetable oils.
Ghee isn't cheap, but we would much rather use a high quality, delicious fat that supports your overall health and well-being!
Why are so many granolas made with vegetable oils?
Many granolas on the market use vegetable oils because they are a cheaper and more readily available option than ghee or other high-quality fats. Vegetable oils like canola, soybean, and palm oil are produced on a large scale and can be sourced from various regions around the world, making them more affordable for manufacturers.
Additionally, vegetable oils have a longer shelf life than natural fats like ghee or butter, which can help prolong the shelf life of granola and other baked goods. This can be especially important for mass-produced products that may be shipped and stored for extended periods.
However, vegetable oils are highly processed and may contain trans fats and preservatives, contributing to inflammation and other health problems.
All that is to say... it's not easy using ghee in granola as a manufacturer. We go through a lengthy, multi-step process where we melt the ghee down from its naturally solid state, incorporating it carefully into our base to make our granola with thoughtful culinary techniques. At Jamie's Farm, we are committed to making the best granola possible, with absolutely no shortcuts.
When you choose a bag of Jamie's Farm granola, you'll only receive the highest quality ingredients with your health and overall well-being in mind.
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Agarwal, Kavita & Sharma, Ashutosh. (2014). "Comparative study of nutritional and antioxidant properties of ghee, butter and canola oil." Journal of food science and technology. 51. 635-641. doi:10.1007/s13197-011-0417-6.
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"Ghee." FoodData Central, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2019. Accessed 14 Mar. 2023, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/172436/nutrients.