“Eat your liver!” are words that were never muttered by my mother.
Respectfully, “Its time for me to have some liver!” are words that I never thought I would be saying. But here I am, in my 30’s, trying to
choke down ENJOY all of these nutrient-dense organ meats for the sake of reversing my debilitating health issues. Annnnd I haven’t been doing so hotly at it.
Chicken livers – Made into a pate with sherry and shallots and placed into cute little custard cups. My nose said, “YUMYUM!” but my tongue said, “TOO GRITTY!” Ugh, really? The pate smelled soooo good too! The remaining pate went to Hunni’s work where the chefs he works with gobbled it up. Whew.
Beef heart – It wasn’t half-bad ground up and mixed in a meatloaf (which I would eat again!), but when I made a roast and also jerky out of it, it was too strong for my weensie, wimpy taste buds.
Beef tongue – I have found that, when slow-cooked or made in an Instant Pot, this is the easiest to nosh on as it has no gamey flavor, IMO, and its reminiscent of pot roast. BUT its more of a muscle meat than an organ meat in terms of nutrients.
Beef liver – Soaked in lemon juice, rinsed several times, battered in gelatin egg substitute arrowroot starch and coconut flour, then deep-fried, served with a heap of caramelized onions and coconut-milk ranch dressing….and I gagged. Which is a very sad reaction because that was an insanely labor-intensive meal for Yours Truly to make. I’m glad Hunni ate it. And the leftovers too. You’re a rockstar, babe.
Smoked oysters *considered an organ meat because you eat the whole animal* – You see…I WANTED to like these. I even made homemade horseradish and put everything on plantain chips with lots of lemon so it would be like an oyster-bar-ish delicacy. I also gagged. (I know, right!?) I loathe my preposterous palette sometimes.
As you could imagine, I was disappointed in my inability to put mind over matter and just swallow my food! I can be a pretty stubborn person, though…so I continued to search for ways to get down these animal-based superfoods. In the meantime I continued to take a sheep-liver-based vitamin D supplement, along with the whole mess of other supplements, hoping they would be enough to help me heal.
Then I came across an article in my daily stumblings of AIP research and queries. It was by Dr. Terry Wahls, and about how she went from being very ill – to seeing improvements – to being full of vitality. She began to see improvements after changing to a Paleo lifestyle and commenced supplementation. BUT the full spectrum of health became a reality for her when she, get this: switched to getting her nutrients from REAL FOOD SOURCES rather than supplements. Dr. Wahls went from being wheelchair-bound to being able to ride her bicycle over the course A YEAR.
I knew I had to change my supplementation routine. I knew I had to get my nutrients from organ meats. They are some of the most nutrient-dense foods out there.
My healing has been stagnant for a while now. This was the next step for me. BUT HOW was I going to eat organ meats into my unwilling, stubborn belly? I searched for palatable recipes.
(Pssst! Here is an amazing post by Phoenix Helix containing a REAL treasure trove of the best organ meat recipes, like, ever! I plan to continue to try new recipes for organ meats still, and this is an amazing resource…and a great read as well for fellow liver-“haters”.)
I came across a ton of recipes on Pinterest for homemade raw liver pills. They were simple enough: A) Chop raw liver into tiny pieces. B) Clean up huge, bloody horror-movie-type mess off of hands, counter, knife, cutting board…etc… C) Freeze on a sheet. D) Scrape off of sheet and store. E) Swallow a few daily with water.
Well, guess what my fellow-terrified friends: I made those recipes less creepy. Check it out:
A) Rinse liver well in a colander. Mine comes nicely sliced like this from my rancher (happy dance for less kitchen prep!).
B) Shake out excess water and place on lightly greased dehydrator sheets.
C) Dehydrate using a food dehydrator at 160 F for about 5 hours, or until MOSTLY dried. You want it to be a bit pliable still. This food dehydrator is budget-friendly and has done me well, but there are also many newer models and brands to choose from.
D) Allow pieces to cool until you can handle them safely. Tear pieces into smallish chunks and place directly into your food processor.
E) Place semi-moist crumbles onto two “fruit leather” sheets. The best way I found to do this is to lay out a large piece of parchment, dump the whole shebang onto it, and funnel the contents onto the sheets. (*Save that piece of parchment, you’re going to need it again.*)
Dehydrate for 2-3 more hours or until ALL moisture has been dried out of the crumbles. They will look kind of like crumbled charcoal briquets. Pour them onto that reserved parchment again.
E) Funnel crumbles back into your food processor, and turn to on. *Save the parchment for “one mo’ again!”* Blend for 2 minutes or until crumbles have been pulverized as much as possible.
You will probably get a lot of liver-dust (oh, yeah!) coming out of the top of your machine, and that is perfectly normal. Albeit, visually disturbing…
F) Carefully (ahem…ashy dust!!) pour your now-desiccated liver back onto that piece of parchment, then funnel it all into an airtight, freezer-safe container. I like to pop in a re-purposed moisture-absorption packet just in case. Store in the freezer for the safest and longest-term storage. (I keep mine in the cabinet, but that is personal preference! I have yet to see how long this stuff keeps at room temperature.)
G) To fill capsules, wash and dry your hands. Like, really DRY them or they will stick to the gelatin caps. Now, gently twist to open the small end of the capsule. Set small piece aside on a clean space. Scoop into your container of desiccated liver with the large capsule piece. Place the small piece back on, and viola!
You now have yourself a homemade, pastured, real food liver pill with ZERO yucky fillers or unnecessary ingredients.
I take 3 of these every day (Minus my supplement-skip day so that I don’t become allergic/reactive to over-eaten foods). There is almost zero liver taste and they go down MUCH easier for me than any of the above-mentioned organ meats.
Since taking these, I have noticed that I have more energy than usual (even when I don’t get enough sleep) and have a more positive mood. That is saying a LOT because I had been in a schlump lately, and I feel that these are one of the missing keys to helping improve my health and taking my autoimmune healing journey to the next level.
What’s next? Maybe brain pills and pancreas pills and all sorts of organ pills! Maybe I’ll start developing a taste for these treasure troves of nutrition. But for now, I’m definitely going to take my homemade pills on the regular!
- Rinse and drain liver well in colander.
- Place liver on lightly oiled dehydrator trays. Dehydrate for approx 5 hours or until mostly dried but still pliable.
- Cool for handling, and tear into smallish chunks, placing into food processor bowl as you go. Discard any long stringy pieces.
- Process using long pulses for about two minutes or until crumbly.
- Pour crumbles onto large sheet of parchment paper. Reserve parchment to use again later.
- Funnel onto "fruit leather" dehydrator sheets and dehydrate again for 2 to 3 hours, or until completely dried.
- Pour crumbles back onto reserved parchment, and funnel back into food processor.
- Process for about 2 minutes or until finely ground. This step may create some "ash" rising from the machine.
- Pour desiccated liver back onto parchment, and funnel into a 2-cup freezer-safe storage container. A moisture-absorption packet can be placed inside to help keep the supplement dry.
- To fill capsules, wash and thoroughly dry your hands.
- Twist to open the small end of the capsule. Set small piece aside on a clean space.
- Scoop into your container of desiccated liver with the large capsule piece.
- Place the small piece back on.
- Store filled pills in an airtight container.
- Swallow pills with a large glass of water in amounts and frequency recommended by your healthcare advisor.