Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goat Ghee

No, it is not a miss spelling. I know I can't spell but seriously it is suppose to be G- H- E- E. Not gee as in gee and haw when you are commanding an oxen team to turn. And I'm assuming someone with phonetics spelled it ghee, using the h to keep the e from telling the g to say J like it is in gee. Then again my assumptions are usually wrong so who knows why the spelling. I must have guessed the pronunciation correctly though because my doctor didn't laugh at me when I said ghee as in McGee and he would have.
Goat Butter

Some of you are wondering what the heck I'm talking about and what's a picture of goat butter doing in this post. Ghee starts with butter and of course since this is a home-made blog, it's goat butter. Ghee is not clarified butter as many of the articles on the Internet would lead you to think. Though it is made in the same way, except you go beyond clarified butter and remove the moisture and butter solids. Oil is what's left.

Why I made ghee in the first place would be akin to - because I could or the mountain was there so I climbed it. No, the brain was not thoroughly engaged in this project until after ghee was created. I'd like to think my instincts were telling me I should do it but that would be a lie. The truth is, I just wanted to try it because it was one more thing you can do with goat milk. Someday, I want to write a book on the many wonderful and simple things a milk goat owner can do with their goat milk.

Then when I looked at the directions to making ghee and saw it smells like buttered popcorn when your done. I had to make it. Have I told you of my addiction to popcorn? Well, if there was a P.A. A. (popcorn addiction association meeting) I'd have to be there 7 times a week in hopes of working on a cure. But then with my luck they'd serve caramel popcorn, chocolate covered popcorn, cinnamon popcorn, buttered popcorn ... at the meetings. LOL
Where I come from, all meetings have refreshments.She's now writing all over herself. So far not the furniture or walls. What has this to do with ghee. Absolutely nothing, but my daughter said text needs broken up with pictures and I have to save my ghee ones for the next segment on the subject.

It wasn't until I hit the Internet and went beyond how to make it, to health benefits and uses that I realized I'd discovered a gold mine.

The first thing I found out was that ghee is a common oil used in Indian cooking and I'm not referring to the Sioux Indians just north of us or the Shoshone and Arapaho Indians west of us. Remember, I'm in Wyoming. You know the least populated state. The one in the boondocks where the Indians are still on the war path. Okay, maybe they aren't but I've have been questioned when visiting other states by their residents and foreigners. I'll admit, I would spin a outlandish tale of the things we had to do to stay safe when a marauding ban left one of the reservation but then when I'd scared them silly, I had to tell them the truth. No, the Indians are not on the warpath YET. LOL

What the articles were referring to was Indians from India. That food I've never tasted since Wyoming as far as I know does not have an Indian restaurant. No, here we serve Rocky Mountain Oysters and say Cowboy Up a great deal. Don't tell me you don't know what Rocky Mountain Oysters are? Well, look it up. I know you have the Internet. I'm not going to tell you or I might loose my G rating even though this is an agricultural based blog.

I had not heard of ghee but I have heard of clarified butter. Anyone that watches cooking shows has come acrossed it. My favorite past-time in motels since we don't have cable or satellite television. Clarified butter has a much higher smoke point than butter, making it popular with chefs. As you know after the smoke point is reached the oil becomes a carcinogen. Ghee has a higher smoke point than clarified butter.
  • Butter 350F

  • Clarified Butter 400F

  • Ghee 485 F
The process of creating goat ghee started with goat cream. Oh, you can use cow butter if you want but what would the point of that be when I have dairy goats?

Yes, they are still eating Christmas candy canes. Sugar does wild things to these children so I dole it out with care.

When you are doing ghee from scratch and I mean completely from scratch, it lends you to wonder if the result is worth the work. I mean, I had to milk the goat - do the dishes, separate the milk to get cream - do the dishes, chill the cream and make butter - do the dishes, melt the cream and make ghee - do the dishes. Doing it once wasn't a big deal but whether or not to continue sent me off to the Internet once more.

  • What I found on the Internet was that there are unsaturated fats and saturated fats.

  • The saturated fats can further be divided in to long- chain and short-chain fatty acids.

  • Long chain fatty acids [animal fats] can not be completely metabolised by the body leading to cancer and blood clots.

  • Short-chain fatty acids are assimilated and metabolised so that they release energy. Ghee is a short-chain fatty acid and its rate of absorption is 96 percent, the highest of all oils and fats.

  • Unsaturated fats are further broke down into two kinds: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Monounsaturated fats, such as olive oil, are healthy. Polyunsaturated fats are not healthy. The latter becomes oxidized and creates free radicals, which damage the cells of the body.

Ghee is a short-chain saturated fat, (check the points above) and further more mostly a monounsaturated fat - 27 percent with 4 to 5 percent polyunsaturated fat.

Ghee is one of the good guys. This does not mean you can eat all you want. As with all good things, a little is good but a lot isn't.

When I saw some reports saying ghee causes heart problems, I questioned my naturopath on the subject. I'm always leery at who is paying for these studies and how conclusive are they? Naturopaths like ghee very much. it has Vitamin E and lots of other nutrients and beats is far less processed than canola oil and the like. When I said I was making my own from goat butter, not cow. That got an even greater hoorah! Goat's milk is alkaline, not acidic like cows and the digestibility is greater than cow's milk.

But wait!!! I haven't told you how to make ghee yet. Too bad. You'll have to wait. My daughter has told me not to make my post too long and this one already is, so stay tuned.

Oh, and by the way. I lied. The crop notes aren't 3/4 done. I found a whole lot more I wanted to add. The bean page is done though. So next I'll share that bit of information and the I'll tell you how to make Ghee. Oh did I say you can do pie crusts with it too and it doesn't splatter when you cook with it or that it ..... The ghee posts might just take a while to complete. Stay tuned.

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