Seeing as the GAPS diet is a diet relying heavily on meat, I read with interest the article by the SCD Lifestyle folk, on the need to eat offal to keep our meat eating in balance. They say that eating too much muscle meat without a corresponding balance of offal can cause other health problems to occur.
Sarah Ballantyne (in 'The Paleo Approach' ) also says:
" Including organ meat and other offal in your diet a few times a week at the bare minimum is essential for supporting healing and overall health. And while enjoying the foods you eat is great for quality of life and emotional well-being, it is important to include organ meat in your diet whether you like it or not. " (p.196)
What is offal?
'The Paleo Approach' by Sarah Ballantyne (p.194) defines it as:
chitterlings and intestines (used to make natural casings)
fats and other trimmings (tallow and lard)
sweetbreads (thymus and pancreas)
and stomach (tripe)
That's a long list and if you are honest, how many of them do you really enjoy eating?
Ok, maybe you are not like us at all and love a dish of liver. We didn't mind it too much when we could slather it with tomato sauce and have rashers of bacon atop but with no tomato and no bacon the desire has gone!
No, I will be quite honest, our family are not great lovers of offal!
We quite happily swallow copious amount of broth broth/meat stock, though I don't know if that actually contributes to our consumption of offal, but it does according to Sarah Ballantyne, provide glycine , an important amino acid. Adding lard is no problem, I fry quite happily in lard. Liver is the hardest I have to say!
So I have been trying really hard of late to try and sneak it into our meals in a way that it is not overwhelming, but is there in a tolerable amount.
Here are my ideas to date:
Cooking liver/kidneys in the bone broth and blending it in so that it's there, but with no lumps of offal to actually eat, and disguised by the veg when I make it into soup.
Mixing a little liver in with my beefburgers, and making sure there is plenty of onion to disguise them!
Putting a few chicken livers in the chicken stir fry.
Adding lamb kidneys to our lamb casseroles
Adding heart with our beef casserole. Actually, heart is quite nice and they don't notice it at all like this!
I can buy pure unadulterated cold tongue from my butchers which strangely the Sons will happily eat, not so husband and I!
The butcher assures me sweetbreads are delicious .. we have yet to try them!
Skin is easy to take off the chicken carcass after turning the bones into stock. It then smoothly blends into the liquid adding flavour and nutrition and no-one minds it there.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil is also another source of offal.
How do you 'hide' offal? I would love to hear your suggestions.
Bibliography: The Paleo approach, Sarah Ballantyne, Victory Belt Publishing, Las Vegas, 2013