Monday, August 22, 2016

Liver Jerky - The Mitochondria's Superfood!





Believe it or not, I came upon the idea of liver jerky on accident. It all started when I began dehydrating my own liver in order to grind it up and put it into capsules. I HATE LIVER! But before I had the chance to grind up all the liver, the kids insisted on having some "jerky." So I thought, what the heck, should be interesting!!! And they loved it, no salt or anything, they loved it! My kids are weird like that though, and not really picky eaters because we've been on such a strict diet for so long. As time has gone on, I have actually developed it into a really enjoyable jerky for everyone in our family, EVEN me!


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Why Liver?


While I was pregnant I was suffering from severe Chronic Fatigue. I'm pretty sure I was Narcoleptic, I couldn't stay awake. I was taking as much as 2500mg of Potassium Proteinate every day just to function. My kidney's were dumping potassium just as fast as I could take it in.  I was getting leg cramps but couldn't take Magnesium because it would completely crash my adrenals. I was asked by my midwives to lower my Potassium intake and I ended up in labor and delivery with an increased heart rate, dizzy spells, and aura migraines. I had to figure out what was going on because I was facing a lot of unnecessary and stressful testing just for them to determine what was wrong with me! Me being the obsessive researcher I am, came upon a research article about ATP (energy) effecting Potassium levels. Upon further investigation I realized that the Mitochondria is very important in energy production. Now I have had a hunch for some time that Chronic Fatigue and in some cases Adrenal Fatigue was caused by Mitochondrial Malfunction. (Article HERE) It really addresses all aspects of Chronic Fatigue and if you want to know the difference between Chronic Fatigue and Adrenal Fatigue, I honestly don't believe there is one! In the end, they are both connected by a default in the body's systems. I think the historical concept of Adrenal Fatigue is kinda going on the wayside these days. We know more now, and we know that it's the systems in which control the adrenals that are faltering and causing the Adrenals to falter. The Adrenals just don't get fatigued or burn out, if you know what I mean! It's nutritional related just as all system functions in our body. To understand more of what I'm talking about check out this video.


So then what the heck do I do? I gotta support the Mitochondria. But how? Because at that time, I couldn't even tolerate B-Vitamins. All I could tolerate was some whole food vitamins, and I knew it wasn't enough. As I got further into my investigation I realized that Liver is an incredible food to support the Mitochondria. It "almost" has it all! So that is where liver came into the picture. And it worked, I was feeling soooo much better and was able to tolerate more Magnesium and get my leg cramps under control. I was also able to stay awake through the day. I was just overall feeling good, at least compared to how I was before! But I also knew that wasn't going to be enough and eventually did a NutrEval test through Gail at BeyondPharmaceuticals.com. She was able to find my severe deficiency in Pantothenic Acid, and that has made ALL the difference in supplementing.


I do everything I can to ensure my kids are getting support throughout all systems and functions in the body. As you will see I have added in a good source of iodine to my liver jerky. Which I explain below. And I also add regular muscle meat for taste as well as the large amino acid profile.



Liver my Life Giver!


I still can't get my husband past the idea that liver, though it be one of the bodies filtering systems, is one of the most nutritious things we can eat.. So LONG as it's from a VERY HEALTHY SOURCE!!! My mom once talked about picking up some liver from Walmart and I about choked, "Dear God NO!!!! DON'T DO THAT!!!" And my husband, he REALLY wants to be traditional and do things as our ancestors did, but the guy will just never admit to how very modernized he is! So, if you too struggle with the idea of eating liver check out this article from the Weston A Price Foundation. Anyway, with time I have come to realize that the animals we eat were meant to be eaten in their entirety, which traditionally our ancestors always have, NOT just the muscle meat as we do today in modern society. For example muscle meat is loaded with Methionine, but not enough B-Vitamins to help process that Methionine. Methionine has even been known to feed some forms of cancer and why many benefit from a vegetarian diet low in Methionine during cancer. So maybe our "lack" of traditional food practices are also contributing to cancer, NOT just processed foods! To learn more about this vital and intricate balance check out this great article from the Weston A Price Foundation.


Liver is a good source of Thiamin, Zinc, Copper and Manganese, and a very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid, and CoQ10, Read More.


Iodine the Mastermind!


Along my awesome journey I came upon Iodine. It's need and function in the body is TOTALLY understated even within the Holistic Communities. Hypothyroidism is a common condition found in Autistic Children. "The function of the thyroid is very important to overall health. Thyroid hormone is responsible for the energy production and metabolism of every cell in the body, including the brain. It is a critical hormone for brain development" -The Thyroid Autism Connection. So I bring this up because, I've come to realize that Iodine and Thyroid Hormones are an important part of Cellular Health. Not only does it need energy (ATP) it also helps produce energy (ATP) by supporting the Mitochondria, read here. So I have included Dulse Sea Weed in my recipe.


Dulse is a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Phosphorus, Chromium, Zinc, and a very good source of Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Manganese, Read More.




----------Liver Jerky----------




You will need a large Blender like a Ninja or Vitamix. I use a Ninja, but a Vitamix will work perfectly as well. You will also need a dehydrator! I use a LEM 5 Tray Dehydrator. It is NOT top of the line by any means, but it does the job. If you are wanting to make a smart investment I highly recommend getting an Excalibur Dehydrator. YOU WILL USE IT! I love dehydration because it really protects the nutritional value of our food as well as increases the nutritional value. But you also have the option of using your oven if you don't have a dehydrator. It just may not have as high of a nutritional value. You may also want a Jerky Gun, but it's not necessary. And Parchment Paper is a must!






Makes approx 2lbs of Jerky.
Approx 20 to 30 minutes of prep time.
Approx 5 to 8 hours of cook time.


Ingredients:


1 to 2 TBS Sea Salt
1 tsp Ground Pepper (Optional but really helps with liver taste)
2 tsp Liquid Smoke (Optional but really helps with liver taste)
1/3 Cup Raw Honey (Optional but really helps with liver taste)
1/2 to 1 Cup Water (dependent on moisture of the meat and if you use flax)


Throw everything into your blender and blend it up until you reach a smooth and pasty texture. Add water as needed, starting with half a cup.


Place a sheet of Parchment Paper on each tray. I use all 5 of my dehydrator trays for this batch of jerky. You can then use your jerky gun to make your pieces of jerky. Or you can just spread a big blob of jerky paste out and then slice them into jerky pieces. Use your dehydrator's jerky cook time and temperature but realize that cook time is also dependent on texture and thickness of your jerky. So add more time if needed until jerky is completely dehydrated through.


Oven Option: If you don't have a dehydrator, no worries! I grew up making jerky in the oven. Simply use cookie sheets with parchment paper instead. Set the oven to your lowest heat setting, and let it cook for a few hours until completely dry. Cook time depends on your stove and the thickness of your jerky.


When your jerky is done, it will easily peel off of the parchment paper. The pieces you cut should easily break apart. THEN it is ready to be enjoyed! I think it would be wise to limit your intake to 4 or 5 pieces a day. I know I know, not fair! :) If you limit it to once a week, then you would be able to eat more at one time. So to help you discern how much liver you want in your diet HERE is some good information.

Hope you enjoy!

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