Wellness Wednesday #9: Eat Liver! (Without the Offal-ly Yucky Taste)
We should all be eating organ meats. They are some of the most nutrient dense foods you can eat. Our ancestors knew this, and they valued the organs of animals they killed. Organs were eaten first, and in times of plenty, it was the lean muscle meat that was discarded. These organs were so valuable and nutritious that they were sometimes saved for pregnant women who needed extra nutrition to nourish their babies.
Today, most of us eat only the lean muscle, and often the organ meats are thrown out. We are wasting the most valuable parts of our animals! If you are an animal lover like me, eating the organs can make you feel good about not letting any of the animal go to waste.
Organ meat is high in healthy fats, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is loaded with nutrients! LOADED. It’s a good idea to eat it at least twice a week. Those of us with autoimmune disease or other health problems should be eating it even more often.
Another name for organ meat (and the other unusual parts) is offal. Here is a list of some of the parts of the animal that is included as offal:
I have to be honest… I have been afraid to try most of these. I do use bones to make bone broth, and I sometimes use tail in my bone broth for more gelatinous goodness. I’ve eaten chicken skin and pork rinds. Other than that, I’ve only eaten liver.
If this list of offal sounds awful to you, don’t worry! I have a great suggestion for you!
There are lots of recipes out there for liver pâté, but I’ve been scared to try them. I want to, but I expect it to taste horrible. Maybe if I keep telling myself how gross it will be, I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I finally do take the plunge. I was a vegetarian two years ago, and I’ve come a LONG way since then, but this organ stuff is still a little outside of my comfort zone. I have heard that heart is a good organ to start with. Since it is a muscle, it’s very similar to the typical cuts of meat that we eat. I tried to buy some a few times, but the ranchers I buy from are always out of it when I’m courageous enough to ask. I think they save a lot of the good stuff for themselves.
Okay, I said I had a great suggestion for you. If you hate the taste of liver, you can avoid the taste altogether by making frozen liver pills! I started doing this over a year ago, and it’s really easy. The worst part is that you have to wait two weeks before your liver pills are ready to take. The best part is that you’re getting tons of nutrients! Plus, this is raw liver, so it still has all of its enzymes that help in digestion! (When you cook meat, many of the enzymes are destroyed.) I got this idea for frozen liver pills from The Paleo Mom, Sarah Ballantyne. She is the creator of the Autoimmune Protocol, which is the diet I have been using to reverse my autoimmune disease. She’s amazing.
Here’s what you do to make frozen liver pills:
- Find a liver. You want the healthiest liver you can find, so go shopping for a grass-fed liver at the farmer’s market. If you don’t have a farmer’s market in your area, you can order online from US Wellness Meats. There are other places, too, but this one is very well known for quality meats. If you can’t find a good source, eating conventional organ meat is still better than eating none.
- If you liver is frozen, you need to thaw it, but just a little. You need to be able to cut through it, but you don’t want it to be all slippery and slimy while you’re trying to cut it.
- Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Cut the liver into little pill-sized pieces. Place your pieces on the parchment paper.
- Put the cookie sheet and the liver into the freezer. Flash freeze it for 15 minutes. (I have to be honest again – I find that the pills still want to stick together after fifteen minutes. I left mine in the freezer for an hour. Just leave them there until you feel like they will stay separate pills rather than a stuck-together blob.)
- Slide your frozen liver pills into a plastic zipper baggie.
- Put the baggie of pills in the freezer. Keep them there for two weeks. This kills pathogens.
- Take several liver pills every day with water. If you do this right, you won’t taste anything!
- Keep the baggie of liver pills in the freezer. Don’t forget to make more! I always run low and then I’m frustrated when I run out while I’m waiting for two weeks.
To me, besides waiting for two weeks, the worst part of this process is the time it takes to chop tiny bits of liver and lay them out on the parchment paper. I probably spent 20-30 minutes on mine tonight. I don’t have the patience to cut up an entire liver at once. I did a little less than half of mine.
When I run out of liver pills for a while, my skin doesn’t look as good. That’s the main difference I notice, but I really like having good skin. Plus, I know that the skin can be a reflection of your overall health, so I know it’s doing a lot more for me than making my skin look younger and healthier. I feel like they give me more energy, too.
Try this over the weekend. Your body will thank you. If you give a bite of liver to your dog, he will thank you, too. He might not say it, but you’ll know. The “I can’t contain my excitement!” behavior will give it away.