Many chefs often look to the wisdom of their elders in food preparation. Our grandmothers made many foods we might view as strange and off-putting now, but many like to think of these foods as our lost ‘sacred’ foods. These traditional foods were eaten for a reason so it is worth taking a look at them now with a new eye. Many are not made any more because they are viewed as bad for our hearts (too much saturated fat), they smell bad), or they have been replaced with a perceived convenience item at the grocery store.
According to Feed Your Fertility, a brand new eBook by Emily Bartlett, there are a number of so called ‘sacred’ foods from yester year that are fertility ‘superfoods’. These sacred foods were reserved for the young and especially those of childbearing age. Liver and seafood are some of those foods.
According to the Weston A. Price Foundation:
Quite simply, liver contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food.
In summary, liver provides:
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin AAll the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folate, the non-synthetic form of folic acid
- A highly usable form of iron
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardiovascular function
- A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA
Here is a recipe from homemademommy.net for amazing chopped liver:
- 1 lb. pastured chicken liver
- 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup shmaltz (rendered chicken fat) or ghee
- 2 hard boiled pastured eggs
- sea salt to taste
Add half the schmaltz to a hot pan and then add the onions and cook on medium low for about 15-20 minutes until they start to caramelize. This will add a nice sweetness to the chopped liver without adding sugar. In the meantime, to prepare the liver, drain it and rinse it in a colander. Using a plastic cutting board, cut out the veins in the liver as they can be tough – there is usually only one or two per liver and you can tell when you cut it where they are. Once the onions are soft and starting to caramelize, add the livers to the pan with the rest of the schmaltz. Saute until the livers are pink and are just at the point of no longer secreting red juices when pressed on. You do not want to over cook. Remove from heat to cool slightly. Add half the mixture to a food processor with one of the hard-boiled eggs. Blend until smooth and add salt to taste. Then do the second batch with the remaining liver mixture and hard-boiled egg.
Tip – doing this in two batches allows you to cover up any seasoning mistakes – if you add too much salt to the first batch then don’t add any to the second and mix them up. I enlist the help of my sister to be my salt taster because I never season it enough! This is best served cold so it is worth refrigerating overnight making it a great make ahead dish. Serve with a baguette or crackers or if you are grain free, serve with crunchy raw vegetables.
According to Feed Your Fertility:
Most thriving traditional cultures also revered seafood, often going out of their way to trade for fish if they did not live near the coast. Oysters, mussels, clams, and other mollusks are rich in zinc, iron, selenium and other trace minerals; fat-soluble vitamins A and D; and the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. For optimal nutrition, eat fresh seafood, 2-4 times per week, with a focus on fish roe, mollusks, shellfish, salmon, sardines, and anchovies.
One of the easiest and budget friendly ways to get your seafood on is with sardines and anchovies a plenty, especially in Caesar salad dressing and as salad toppers!
Sardine Selenium Snack
This recipe make enough sardine salad to save some for the next day or to serve 2-3 people.
- 1 can sardines packed in olive oil (where to but canned sardines with no BPA)
- 1 avocado, cut in half and pit removed
- juice from half a lemon
- 1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp homemade ghee mayo (or whatever homemade mayo you prefer)
Dump the contents of the tinned sardines into a bowl, including the olive oil. Mash up the sardines (bones and all – the bones provide minerals and are very soft – you will not even notice them) and the mayo and lemon until it resembles tuna salad. Scoop a dollop of the sardine mix into each half of avocado and sprinkle with the apple cider vinegar. Garnish with tomatoes, pickled beets or kraut and enjoy!