Bev and Nancy are so established in their town of Lancaster, PA that people simply know them as the Ghee Gals. Which makes sense, given they're the talent behind Simply Ghee, a food business that sells beautifully flavored, small-batch ghee.
Bev chatted with us and answered every last question we had about ghee, and more. Read on and get to know the Ghee Gals!
Where did you each grow up?
Nancy grew up in Rockaway, NJ and I grew up in Red Lion, PA.
What did you want to be when you were kids?
Nancy wanted to own a store and I wanted to be a professional of sorts where I could wear dresses and shoes that matched!
Who taught you to cook? And, if the answer is different: how did your interest in food and cooking ignite?
Bev (me): an old boyfriend got me into cooking, and from there I became a natural. As I grew confident in my cooking abilities, I really enjoyed looking at a recipe and making it my own.
How did you two originally meet?
Nancy and I worked together at the local PBS station. We were in sales and marketing.
What’s it like to go into business with your friend? Have there been any challenges or surprises? What are the best parts?
It’s really cool to work with your best friend. Lots of business advice out there totally defies it, but I can’t think of a better way to be in business. We have different approaches and ideas to get to our end goal and that can create small bumps in the road, but being friends allows us to be brutally honest with one another as well as patient.
Nancy is the calm, reserved one while I am not that way at all! We each bring a skill set that totally complements the business and have often joked that putting our two heads togethers makes for one good one. And over the years, we’ve learned to not take anything personally and that only can make our partnership stronger. At the end of the day, we are very good friends, and would not do Simply Ghee any other way.
How did you get into ghee?
We are often asked this question, and the honest answer includes two parts: 1) personal health reasons, and 2) we were looking to add a food product to our marketing business which would involve selling various ghee and healthy fats online. Unfortunately, the proprietors we contacted were not interested, and in one big case so very rude, it propelled us to try to make our own. And five years later, here we are!
In terms of substituting ghee for butter in a diet, what benefits can people expect? Have you two noticed a difference in the way you feel since you’ve started using ghee in place of butter?
Ghee is one of the healthiest fats on the planet and has been around for thousands of years. One big reason it’s so good for you is that the caseins and lactose found in butter are removed. Those two things cause digestive issues in many folks. Ghee is rich in short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids and butyrate, which can improve a variety of our body functions such as digestion. This means they’re more readily available to use for energy than be stored as fat in our bodies.
Our products are made from organic butter from 100% grass-fed cows, and that alone adds a ton of other health benefits such as CLA [conjugated linoleic acid, which some studies have shown have anti-cancer properties]. Ghee that is grass-fed is also chock-full of essential fatty acids and vitamins A, D, E, and K2. K2 is a hard one to get in a diet.
Since ghee is a good saturated fat, it's highly advised to consume it, in moderation. For melting ghee versus butter, you’ll use about 1 teaspoon of ghee to 1 tablespoon of butter, resulting in ⅓ the calories of butter.
Both Nancy and I consume ghee on a daily basis, and we feel that it has definitely improved our digestion. Its good fat also gives a feeling of satiation, which is healthy. We both LOVE the nutty, caramelized taste of ghee and find it to be as delicious as it is nutritious.
What’s your all-time favorite way to use ghee? What’s the weirdest or most unconventional way you like to use ghee?
The main way we both use the Original Ghee is simply as a cooking oil. Sautéing veggies, frying eggs, or adding to hot cereal are all such easy ways to get good fat into your diet. And, of course, you can melt it or spread it where you would use butter.
Our flavored ghee has a multitude of uses. Our Black Garlic Ghee is awesome to finish a grilled steak or tuna, or to toss on pasta. The Sriracha Ghee is so yummy on grilled salmon or corn bread, as is our Maple Cinnamon Ghee. It is also fantastic on roasted squash, baked yams, pork tenderloins—you name it. Our Honey Ghee is best for breakfast foods, muffins, pancakes, bagels, and hot cereal, but it also works on baked fish or chicken. The Turmeric + Black Pepper flavor makes rice and eggs like none other!
I’ve used ghee as a burn cream, and I’ve also been known to use it along with some saffron as an under-eye butter at nighttime. Lots of people will drop a teaspoon of it in their coffee or hot tea, but that’s already becoming more and more popular.
One of Bev and Nancy's more inventive flavors: Black Garlic Ghee
What other products are you dreaming about developing down the line?
A full line of flavored ghees that cover zesty, savory, spicy, sweet, earthy, and decadent. We love working with food producers like us who we meet at festivals and shows. Not only are their ingredients cleanly sourced, fresh, and local, we really thrive on helping one another grow. You can’t beat that!
What’s your favorite local restaurant, café, or market?
Cafe Di Vitro, located here in Lancaster. Central Market (longest continuously operating market in the country) - it’s a delight and we all go to both of these places on Saturday morning. What a way to start the day!!!
What are your favorite cookbooks?
Nancy: I love looking at recipes online.
Bev: I’ve had so many cookbooks in my lifetime and rarely follow a recipe as is.
What’s your favorite comfort meal to make?
Nancy: A big plate of sloppy nachos.
What’s your favorite drink of the moment?
Nancy: Coffee (the GOOD kind).
Bev: I love Immune Schein Elixirs in seltzer.
We're going to ask you some quick-fire questions: answer without thinking too long about it. Dog or cat?
Tomato sauce or pesto?
Both: Pesto (Bev makes her own).
Regular fries or waffle fries?
Both : Regular (we rarely eat them, but when we do, we ooh and ahh over them!).
Chocolate or caramel?
Bev: Love both—preferably together.
Pizza or pasta?
Bev: I can’t eat either one :(
Wine, beer, or cocktail?
Bev: Red wine.