If those organs, gizzards, or random turkey parts freak any person out in your home, PLEASE don’t toss them. Dogs love these little meaty gems, and they are a vital source of nutrients!
Gizzards, also referred to as the ventriculus, gastric mill, and gigerium, is an organ found in the digestive tract of some animals. A modified muscular pouch behind the stomach in the alimentary canal of birds, having a thick lining and often containing ingested grit that aids in the breakdown of seeds before digestion. Gross but functional, leave it to Mother Nature. Nutritionally, chicken gizzards are low in saturated fat, 16%, and Sodium. They also are a good source of Protein, like 84%, great source of vitamin B12, Iron, Phosphorus and Zinc, and a very good source of Selenium. Woop!
As for organ meats, offal, or variety meats, what ever you want to call them, they have a whopping amount of vitamins and minerals! Good to know your source, the healthier the animal, the least amount of hormones fed, the better the organ meat! Chicken liver for example, is a great source of Thiamin, Zinc and Manganese, and a very good source of Protein. Also high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Iron, Phosphorus, Copper and Selenium.
Washing them off and feeding raw is a great choice, but if that freaks any person out in your home, here is a simple little recipe, or rather guide, as you can substitute pretty much any organ meats from various carcass sources (cow, chicken, turkey, lamb…), any herbs, any oils, and so on.
2 handfuls of organ meat and/or gizzard. Bite size is best, so if you go with a larger animal, cube it.
1/4 C olive oil
optional – dried oregano, parsley, sage. Pinch of fresh garlic minced.
Put the meat in a bowl and add oil (not too much, adjust to the batch you are making)
Add herbs. fresh go right in, dry herbs just need some crunching. Use the flower and leaves, discard the stems.
Mix and let sit for about 15 minutes to let the herbs blend with the oil and meat. Drain off any excess oil or liquid, don’t feel it needs to be every last drop.
Place on a roasting pan. We use clay, you can use what you have. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. If you use a convection oven, about 5 minutes less. These gems should be a golden brown.
Yum! Our house smells ridiculously great right now, and our dogs are waiting patiently for them too cool. Great for a treat or a training reward, or just because it’s a special occasion!
Raw and home cooked is always more nutritious for your dog. When it’s done with good energy and love, it adds that much more!
Gobble gobble, Nancy