Friday, July 19, 2013

Slow Cooker Ghee from Grass Fed Girl

Right around the time I received my blogger samples of Pure Indian Foods Ghee, I started to see pins on Pinterest for homemade ghee made in the slow cooker.  I had to try this!  While I love Pure Indian Foods Ghee and certainly appreciate their expertise and quality, it often doesn't fit in my budget.  Could I get that butter flavor grass-fed ghee adds to my dishes but more affordably?  Let's see!  There are many recipes out there, but I decided to try this one from Grass Fed Girl.  

I gathered my ingredients.

Isn't that simple, just grass-fed butter.  The rest of the recipe or process so to speak is equally easy.

You basically  put the butter in the slow cooker and set it for 2.5 hours on low.

At 2.5 hours, there was separation, but no real browning.  I looked at other recipes on the internet and the cooking time ranged anywhere from 2 hours to 8 hours, so I decided to let mine go another 30 minutes.  I was going to comment on the original recipe, but there is no comment section on Grass Fed Girl.

The straining was the most tedious part of this project.  I ended up straining mine 3 times through clean handkerchiefs each time before I felt like I had gotten the proteins out even after leaving as much of the settled proteins in the crock pot as I could.

Proteins left behind.  
My large mesh strainer basket is underneath my extra large straining cloth.  I love using this combination of tools when straining broth or now ghee.  The strainer stands on its own and the cloth is large enough, its not going to slip - one less thing to worry about when you are pouring hot liquids from a large container.  

I think I got all the proteins out, it looks pretty clear.  

Here is my final product.  While ghee doesn't typically have to be refrigerated, I decided to refrigerate mine after reading NomNom Paleo's recommendations.  I ended up with just over 2 cups of ghee.  

Accessibility & Cost of Ingredients: I purchased my Kerrygold Grassfed Butter at Costco.  They have a 3 - 8 ounce bar package for about 6 dollars.  At the grocery store, Kerrygold Grassfed butter costs about $3.00, so essentially, at Costco, its like getting a brick for free!  

Preparation & Cooking Time:  It took me 1-2 minutes to unwrap the butter and put it in the slow cooker.  I cooked the ghee for 3 hours.  It took me about 15 minutes to strain the ghee. 

Clean Up:  My slow cooker crock went into the dishwasher after a little pre-washing.  Everything else, except for my straining cloths went into the dishwasher.  The straining cloths went into the clothes washer with a batch of kitchen towels.  

The Paleo Review:  Thumbs up!   I've cooked with it and while it doesn't  have the benefit of generations of ghee making, it certainly does the job.  I need to refine my straining process to see if I can get better results with less straining, but for a healthy flavorful cooking fat that will last a while, three strainings isn't such a hardship.  I figure it will be something like my Kombucha making which after making new batches over and over again, has become much easier and quicker.  The next time I make this, I'll probably let it cook for at least 3 hours and likely longer just to see the browning and how it effects the taste of the ghee.  

I wish there was a comment section on the Grass Fed Girl website.  I like to be able to ask questions.  

A Tale of Two Healthy Fats:  Homemade Coconut  Oil -Ghee Blend

I was really excited to try Pure Indian Foods Coconut Ghee as I'm always torn between getting the healthy MCTs from my coconut oil and the butter flavor of ghee.  While I know the cold pressed virgin coconut oil is healthier, I simply do not like all of my food to have coconut flavor.  I discovered this while reviewing tropical tradition's virgin coconut oil.  I reserve that oil for things I don't mind having coconut flavor in, but not much else.  My jar of Pure Indian Foods Coconut Ghee will now be used in a similar fashion.  I thought in my mind that I could likely take some of my homemade grass-fed ghee and blend it with expeller pressed coconut oil and be in healthy fat heaven.  The Healthy Home Economist has made some coconut ghee herself.  I'll be giving it a try and of course, I'll report back.