Have you heard of ghee? It’s a product that’s taking the health — and foodie — industry by storm. But up until recently, we weren’t entirely sure what exactly it was or how to use it. Fortunately, we connected with Raquel Tavares, founder and CEO of LA-based ghee company Fourth & Heart. Under Raquel’s leadership, Fourth & Heart was the very first company to launch flavored ghee products on retail shelves and they are now the second largest ghee company in the nation. But we have to go back to the beginning — what is ghee? Raquel tells us below, along with a few ideas on how to use it! Then, try her recipe for Kale Pesto — it will totally change the way you think about health food!

What exactly is ghee? What are some of the health benefits?
Ghee is a lactose free, shelf stable butter alternative made by filtering out slow cooked butter through a sieve after the milk solids have crystalized. Some benefits are it’s lactose free, is a natural source of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), vitamin A, and a range of healthy fatty acids also including Butyric Acid, which is an acid in the lining of your gut, often stripped out by our diets and helps the body digest and assimilate nutrients. 
For those who have never cooked with it, what are some “beginner” friendly tips? 
1. Try California Garlic Ghee Butter in place of olive oil with pasta. 
2. Melt a drizzle on veggies to roast in the oven!
3. Use Vanilla Bean Ghee to fry your pancakes in.
You used to work in tech, but what shifted to wellness with Fourth & Heart. What prompted the change?
I moved careers because I wanted to follow my bliss which was to start my own company and try and contribute to the world. After a series of serendipitous events I ended up choosing ghee since I had always made it in the home. Seeing as I was raised by a nutritionist and ayurvedic practitioner, it was a native choice and something I loved. 

Kale Pesto with Pumpkin

Pesto is thought to have it’s origins in the Roman age from something referred to as moretum which was made from crushed garlic, salt, cheese and herbs. This paste is mentioned in the Appendix Vergiliana,a collection of poems written in the middle ages. Although we later trace origins to Italy, basil (the typical main ingredient) originated in India then took residence in the soils of Liguari, Italy and Provence, France.

Health Uses:
Anything green is abundant with healthy vitamins A, C, and K. Additionally kale has folate, alpha-linolenic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Basil, is surprisingly rich in calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and some basil nuts indicate it has chemicals that fight off free-radicals in the system.

1 stalk of kale
½ cup basil
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup grated parmesan (optional)
½ cup avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
2-4 cloves of garlic (depends on how much you like garlic)
½ teaspoon garlic ghee or Himalayan salted ghee 


  • Place all in a blender.
  • Pulse on slow until blended.
  • May need to shift ingredients down.
  • Then turn on medium until completely smooth (and not choppy texture).