Ok so we have touted on about the health benefits of organ meat and why we should include them in our diet, but how do we actually do this? Because, let’s face it, stewed brains doesn’t really sound that appealing.
Liver is the most nutrient dense organ meat, containing more nutrients gram for gram, than any other food. In fact, in some African tribes, liver is held sacred.
Health benefits of liver:
- The most concentrated source of Vitamin A,
- One of the best sources of folic acid, cholesterol and copper,
- Contains considerable amounts of Vitamin B12,
- A significant source of Choline (almost 3 times the amount as one egg), and
- An abundant source of absorbable iron.
Many athletes have also said that liver has an ‘anti-fatigue’ factor.
The primary difference in the types of liver is the copper content. Beef liver contains 14.3mg of copper per 100g compared to <1mg for chicken and pork livers.
Our favourite ways to eat liver include:
- Ground up in mince. This can then be added to sauces, stir-fries or even beef meatballs.
- Liver pate. Serve up some liver pate with veggie crudities as an alternative to a dip, or just eat as a snack.
- Bacon and liver. Fry in coconut oil some bacon, onion, garlic, herbs (we like thyme) and liver in a fry pan then add salt and pepper to taste.
- Beef Tongue
Technically tongue is muscle meat, but it is a great offal-eating starting point, as when cooked, tongue tastes a lot like other beef cuts.
Health benefits of beef tongue:
- Good source of zinc,
- Provides significant amounts of saturated fat,
- Is an excellent source of iron,
- Contains considerable amounts of B vitamins, and
- Supplies significant levels of Choline.
Surprisingly, tongue is one of the easiest organs to cook (although it might take a few attempts to get over the “ick” factor), and the high fat content makes it super tender. We suggest trying:
- Slow cooked tongue. Chuck the tongue, spices and whatever veg you want in a slow cooker. Perfect for an after work winter meal.
- Beef tongue ‘tacos’. After slow cooking the tongue, mince with mexican spices and coriander and then serve in lettuce leaf ‘tacos’.
- Slow cooked and shredded – like you would with brisket or pulled pork.
Like tongue, the idea of eating heart might take a little getting used to. But actually, when cooked, heart has a similar texture to steak or brisket.
Health benefits of heart:
- A good source of bioavailable iron,
- Provides significant amounts of zinc,
- Excellent source of selenium,
- Strong source of B vitamins, and
- Provides ample amounts of CoQ10.
Heart, unlike tongue, is an extremely lean organ so it is important to cook it properly. Again, one of the easiest ways to eat heart is to add it to ground meat, but you may also want to try:
- Heart kebabs. A great recipe for a bbq lunch.
- Roasted. Switch up the usual Sunday lunch roast.
- Stuffed with bacon, garlic, baby spinach and anything else that tickles your fancy.
Once you feel more comfortable with these organs, why not try some more interesting organ meats? Who knows, soon we may be eating tripe!