photo by alpha on flickr. license: attribution-sharealike
Once prized as the best parts of the animal, organ meats have more recently fallen out of favour in western society. Organ meats are now seen as waste that don’t need to be eaten; some doctors even advise patients to avoid eating organ meats for certain conditions! However, organ meats were valued (and still are in many cultures) due to their incredible health benefits. Read on to learn more about organ meats and why they are an important to include in your diet.
This is a delicious liver recipe that was created by my friend Carina. I am always looking for new and creative ways to get more organ meat into my diet, and I think this recipe is genius! I would recommend this recipe for a first time experience with cooking and eating liver because it is simple and the liver is balanced with other flavours. This liver bolognese can be eaten alone or on some paleo friendly “noodles” such as zucchini noodles. Tasty and incredibly nutritious!
I have been on a quest for beef hearts for a while now. It’s harder to get organ meat than you would think in the area where I live; the only organ meat that is sold regularly is beef liver. There are a few reasons why I suddenly required all the beef hearts I could get my hands on. First, its one of the least gross organ meats (it basically just tastes like steak). Secondly, its very nutritious; beef heart is high in B vitamins (especially B12), coenzyme Q10, and has more than double the amount of collagen and elastin compared to other muscle meats (source). And the best reason of all for my sudden fascination with beef heart; pemmican! After calling quite a few places and having no luck, I left my name at a health food store to order beef heart in for me. A few weeks ago, they called me; they got 4 in! I bought them all. No regrets.
Pemmican is a traditional food that is mostly concentrated protein and fat. It was invented by the native people of North America; you might vaguely remember learning about it in high school. It is made by dehydrating meat, grinding it into a powder, and then mixing with fat to create basically a primitive version of a protein bar (or ball). It can be incredibly difficult to figure out what to eat on the go when eating paleo, and even more difficult when eating AIP. I took an interest in making pemmican because it is not only grain-free, but doesn’t contain nuts, seeds, or plant protein sources (such as pea, hemp, or soy protein). It is a perfect energy bar for someone who is on an extremely limited diet because it only contains meat, fats, greens, and some dried fruit. I looked to the Paleo Mom’s pemmican recipe for guidance, but ended up changing a fair amount of the recipe, so I have outlined my version below.
How do you make meatloaf into a super food? You bake organ meat into it! In this case: liver. But, if you want to get more creative and try adding some other organ meats, go for it! Ground heart can be used as a direct substitution for some or all of the ground beef, and puréed kidney could be used instead of liver. As the organ meat in this recipe is a ‘hidden’ ingredient, I would recommend this to someone who is interested in incorporating liver into their diet for a first time experience, as well as people who aren’t particularly fond of liver. If you’d like to learn more about the health benefits of including organ meat in your diet, read my article here!