Okay, be honest. How many of you just thought “eeewwwwww” or “oh, HELL no”? Its okay to feel that way – I did, too!! Growing up, the only organ meats to ever cross my lips were in the gravy my mother made at Thanksgiving from the giblets from the turkey. And I didn't know there were organs in the gravy! It was probably best that way. Kinda like how my kids didn't know there was liver in the chili I made the other night. Sometimes we keep those little gems to ourselves. AmIright?
Anyway, back to organ meats.
Yeah, the idea of consuming organ meats may seem kinda gross. Probably because it isn't too common in modern America. I am willing to bet that if you ask your neighbor when the last time they had beef heart was, they will probably look at you funny. That is okay though, everyone needs a weird neighbor.
Organ meats weren't always unpopular.
In fact, traditional cultures consumed the organs first, before muscle tissue, because they knew the organs had all of the goodies. Wild animals, when they make a kill often eat the liver first because it gives them the most bang for their buck nutritionally speaking. And, well, since there is only one liver, the predator better eat it first before other animals come join the dinner party. One of my dear friends is very fond of hunting and when they are successful, that evening they enjoy the heart and liver for dinner.
So, why are organ meats so amazing?
Organ meats are nutritional powerhouses – loaded with vitamins (B vitamins (folate), D, E, A, and K2), minerals (iron, copper, zinc, chromium), amino acids and quality protein. Those are just the big guns. Just take liver for example. It contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. It is so nutrient dense that you do not need to eat it every day. Maybe once or twice a month. Of course, if you LOVE liver, go ahead and eat your heart out.
Understand where your food comes from!
I often hear, “I don't want to eat liver! It is a storage facility for TOXINS!!” Actually, it is not. Liver IS a storage facility for the vital nutrients that are needed to neutralize toxins and escort them out of your body. Toxins are more likely to be found in fatty tissues and the nervous system.
When organ meats come from a healthy pastured grass-fed animal, they are incredibly nutritious. Organ meats from conventionally raised animals don't offer the same benefit. Frankly, their diets, drugs, and where they are living (CAFOs) most likely create unhealthy organs. Don't eat those. If you are going out of your way to incorporate vibrant organ meats into your diet, please understand where your meat is coming from. Do your homework!!
Organ meats for dinner!
Okay, you're sold. You want organ meats in your diet like yesterday. But you are nervous. You don't know where to start. You are afraid your family will flush it down the toilet. I hear you. And trust me, it is easier than you think.
My favorite way to get organ meats into our bodies is to hide it. Yup. I hide it in meat dishes. My hubs knows it is there, but my kids don't. All you have to do is take those livers (I like chicken livers), throw them into your food processor and blend away. Once you have liquified livers, place them into ice cube trays and freeze them. Later this week when you are making a meat sauce for your spaghetti or taco meat for Taco Tuesday, or chili – whatever! – throw one of those liver cubes in with the meat while you are browning it. The liver will blend right in. Typically dishes with lots of seasonings like chili, or taco meat, or meat sauces, hide the flavor of the liver well. It is a great place to start if you are unsure about whether or not you will like the flavor of organ meats.
Want an even EASIER method? Why not just take a desiccated liver supplement from grass fed cows!?
I would love to find a chicken liver pate recipe that I love. That is my next liver adventure. To start, I think I will try this recipe from Nourished Kitchen. It sounds amazing.
Once you have liver under your belt are you interested in find out what other organ meats can do for you? Personally, I would love to try beef heart – or elk heart if my hubby is ever able to get a tag for one! From what I hear, beef heart tastes just like a steak. I can't wait to try that!
So, who's excited about organ meats?? If you already enjoy them, what are some of your favorite recipes? If this is the first time you have ever considered consuming organ meats, where are you going to start?? Please share with us!