Why Organ Meats Are The Best Superfood + A Beginner Keto-Friendly Recipe
Organ meats have more nutrient density than virtually any other food on the planet, rich in B vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, selenium, hard-to-obtain choline, and fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K). They're one of the longevity superfoods listed in my book, Keto for Life, and for good reason: Evolutionary biologists assert that it was the ability to cook and consume the concentrated nutrition found in organ meats and nose-to-tail animal foods in general that helped the human brain grow much larger and more complex in only a few thousand generations. This was the key factor–the key to branching up and away from our mostly vegetarian ape cousins.
Organ meats are a centerpiece of world cuisine, particularly the French cuisine that is lauded by foodies as both nutritionally superior and more gourmet than a certain sovereignty known for burgers, fries, and apple pie. It's time to branch out into the wonderful world of offal that's anything but awful.
How can you add more organ meats to your diet?
Liver is the most popular organ meat, and the concentration of nutrients earns it the nickname "nature's multivitamin." Other popular consumable organs are heart, kidney, brain (rich in omega-3s, just like our brains!), sweetbread (from the thymus or pancreas), and tripe (stomach lining).
If you're a kitchen novice unsure of how to cook organs, or don't immediately swoon over the taste of liver, you can start by pureeing some liver and/or kidney into your hamburger patties and frying up the infused burgers as usual. Try frying up some tongue or heart if you want a milder flavor. The popular Mexican soup, menudo, uses the very chewy tripe, along with beef feet and tendons, to obtain its distinctive flavor.
Or you can create this simple keto-friendly chicken liver recipe to get your organ meat quota. This Filipino adobo-style (marinated in soy sauce) dish also works with beef liver. Even kids love this recipe!
Chicken Liver Miracle Recipe
Makes 4 servings
- ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive or peanut oil
- 2 green bell peppers, cut into 1-inch (2½-cm) chunks
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound (453.59 g) chicken livers, rinsed and cut into individual lobes
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (naturally brewed, not hydrolyzed)
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Pour in the oil, allowing it to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the bell peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and heat it until it begins to sizzle. Stir the mixture for a few more seconds.
- Add the livers and brown them for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn the livers over to brown the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Working quickly, sprinkle the black pepper over the ingredients in the pan. Pour the soy sauce into the pan, being careful not to pour it over the livers (to avoid washing the pepper off). Cover the pan, turn the heat off, and leave the pan on the hot stovetop until the blood from the livers turns pale brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve with the juices from the pan.
Excerpted from Keto for Life, copyright © 2019 by Mark Sisson. Used by permission of Harmony Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Mark Sisson is a bestselling author, food blogger, and a former distance runner, triathlete and Ironman competitor. He is also the co-founder of Primal Kitchen, a brand that offers health-conscious consumers the best possible choices in condiments, sauces, dressings and healthy snacks. Mark is the author of numerous books, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. In 2017, he officially became a New York Times bestselling author with The Keto Reset Diet, which reached the #1 overall bestseller among all books on amazon.com for two days. Mark has written several other books, including popular Primal-themed cookbooks and lifestyle books. He is the publisher of MarksDailyApple.com, the #1-ranked blog for over a decade in its health and fitness category.