Tuesday, August 24, 2010


ok, placentas can be a bit intimidating. first there is the weirdness of an inanimate slab of meat hung by umbilical cord coming out of you. second there is all the blood and veins surrounding it, and then there is the question of what to do with it. so many options! but for me, the fascination factor overpowers the grossness factors, and after letting sparrow's placenta go to waste in my doula's freezer for about two years before i think she finally threw it away (i JUST couldn't decide how to enjoy it!), i went turbo with golden's and cooked it up with onions and garlic and ate the whole thing in two sittings! this time, i wanted to try dehydrating/encapsulating the nutritive mystery meat for a more spread-out release of the benefits (not to mention more user-friendly consumption).

now let me just observe that people are uncomfortable with placenta consumption because, presumably, of where it comes from. it comes out of a...crazy...kind of place. you want to eat that?? i'd like to remind everyone that the BABY came out of that same place, and we don't hesitate to kiss and smell and coo over it, even though it has not been sanitized by cooking, and has far less nutritional benefits. for that matter, YOU came out of that place. if you think eating placenta is gross, i think you're gross. 

on the night of august 22, the placenta was on the verge of turning 3 days old. now or never, i decided. at midnight i entered the kitchen prepared for a late-night tussle with the steak of my son's in-utero provision. i know i am supposed to start going to bed early, but...that's just going to have to start tomorrow! i recalled from golden's placenta that the process of dealing with the membranes can be very time-consuming, bloody, and frustrating. however, was in for several nice surprises and two nasty surprises.

the online tutorial i was using came from the cafe mom website, from a cindy collins. most grateful to her and to the internet. here is the approximate process:

step 1:  prep the prep area. get out all supplies. cover counter with newspaper (or paper bags) to help minimize cleanup.
the iced tea and dark chocolate are for personal fortification, prior to beginning. for some, a glass of vodka may be more appropriate?
2. rinse placenta in colander in sink and stab while rinsing to "bleed." (nice surprise #1: LOTS LESS BLOOD when you bleed/rinse beforehand! hello! why didn't the "cook it up like liver" tutorial tell me this last go-around? AVOID excessive trauma by adhering to step #2!)

3. sever cord at base (i used kitchen shears. i love them.)

4. "wrap placenta membrane fetal side around placenta into a ball." er... what? fetal side? ball? hm... my placenta's membranes seemed to be somehow already cut and partially separated from the placenta anyways, so this step was a no-go for me. i ended up cutting off the excess membrane and dealing with a partially-membraned organism, hoping for the best. (nice surprise #2: not having to remove all the membranes from the meat this time! that was the worst, remembering the last experience...)

5. place fresh lemon and fresh ginger in steaming water and steam placenta 15 mins. each side. huh. i had no lemon and no ginger. i did, however, have limes. the ginger is optional anyways. ...right? (nasty surprise #1: my steamer! it has a big skewer with a metal ring coming out the middle! i had to cut a slit thru the middle of the placenta in order to stab the skewer/ring through it. the worst was not realized until post-steaming: the placenta had shrunk and tightened to an astonishing degree, becoming stuck onto the skewer! in fact, i could not turn it over after 15 minutes; i had to steam it on one side for 30 mins. instead. then let it cool a bit before i wrestled it off the skewer.)

12:24 AM--what's cooking in mom's kitchen

6. slice thinly and dehydrate. set oven (toaster oven) to lowest temperature. should take 6-8 hours. (no... mine took about 34. the 6-8 hours must have been for a professional dehydrator only.)

7. have fun cleaning the utensils! (nasty surprise #2: steaming a placenta creates some majorly adhesive residue! i will never, never put a placenta into that type of leaf-folding steamer again. ever. nope.)

8. grind to powder in food processor. (yet to be done. the pieces are looking like beef jerky right about now, being stored for the time when i have time...)

9. fill empty capsules with placenta powder. take 3 capsules twice daily for 1st week and 2 capsules twice daily for 2nd week. store in freezer! (storage tip from my doula friend, not online.)

10. enjoy feeling like SUPERWOMAN.


Cindy Collins said...

Yeah my tutorial!!! Woot!

Im hosting my first workshop in October to train others :)

Wells McDonnell said...

That's awesome, Cindy! Have you thought about doing webinar/ teleseminar tutorials or a DVD instruction series? That'd be cool!