Organ meats have been traditionally consumed and revered for their healing properties by our ancestors. We can learn a lot from the way our forepeople valued organ meats. The added benefit of looking into the science behind what our ancestors did can help us wrap our heads around incorporating organ meats into our diets. (Though make sure that you differentiate between studies done on grass-fed organ meats and feedlot organ meats, since the nutritional difference is vast.)
Liver contains all kinds of nutrients, most strikingly a very high amount of vitamin A. Even the difference between grass-fed red meat and grass-fed liver is striking. Liver contains over three time more iron, 27 times more vitamin C, over 100 times more vitamin B-12 and folic acid, and that's not even mentioning the vitamin A. Grass-fed red meat contains 40 IU and grass-fed liver has 53,400 IU! Liver is also a source for vitamin K2, sometimes called "Activator X" by real foodies and Weston Price foundation folks. However, chicken liver is much higher in vitamin K2 than beef liver. Still, liver is good for you.
Vitamin K2 does many things, like promote bone growth and make your teeth grow in straight and strong. Here is a list of vitamin K2-rich foods, which include chicken liver, pate, grass-fed butter, grass-fed hard and soft cheese, and natto. I eat all these items except for natto. But I am determined to try it on a day when I feel especially brave. My boys love natto, which is very fortunate. You can buy natto at Asian markets, and they are cheap. Make sure you buy organic natto, so that you know the soybeans they fermented are non-GMO.
I have been easing into the idea of sauteing liver. I started by purchasing braunschweiger from U.S. Wellness Meats, which is 60% beef and 40% liver. Braunschweiger is a nutrient-dense, satisfying organ meat sausage that is wonderful on sprouted crackers and cheese. Now that I know I have the tastebuds to handle liver, I think I will try some more unusual organ sausages. Their liverwurst contains grass-fed liver, heart and kidney and looks like a good segue way into even more adventurous organ meat sausages. Maybe I will even try ordering some head cheese, which contains grass-fed tongue and heart. Baby steps, my friends. This is where they can get you to. This coming from me, the gal who thinks the texture of yogurt is gross. If I can eat liver, anyone can.
Oh, and my boys loved it. They happily chewed it, no problem. Liver is very velvety if you cook it right. They even asked for more until they were both stuffed. I know they got their nutrients, and I know that I got mine.
Coconut Oil: two tablespoons taken 20 minutes before dinner in raspberry leaf tea
- Liver Stir-fry with Onions and Bacon (I cut the recipe in half)
- Steamed Broccoli with Butter (I was too full to eat this)
- Sauerkraut (homemade jar was finally done!)
- Fresh fruit with Coconut Sprinkles (I had half a grapefruit)
- one cup of raw milk
1 pound beef or calf's liver, cut into strips
juice of 2 lemons
1/2 cup sprouted flour, or unbleached white flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sliced bacon, cut into pieces (I did a small dice)
2 large onions, chopped
1. Place liver in a large bowl with lemon juice and marinate for several hours in the refrigerator.
2. Pat piece dry and dredge in a mixture of flour, salt and pepper.
3. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a heated platter (I used a glass pie plate set on a burner that was warm but turned off).
4. Cook chopped onion in bacon fat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on warmed platter/pie plate.
5. Stir-fry liver in remaining fat until browned on each side, only about 1-2 minutes per side, until medium-rare. If you overcook, it gets that "liver" taste. Serve immediately with bacon and onions.