Nana’s Meatloaf (turns Paleo!)

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My Nana Susie was the light of my life. She was an incredible woman – an amazing artist, accomplished in the kitchen, and the most loving person I’ve ever known. We had such a special relationship, having many afternoon adventures together and sleepovers in her chilly house. She and my beloved Mom (Hi Mom!) had a business together, called the Heart of Byfield. I grew up watching these two driven, creative and hard working women build and run a business from nothing. Inspired by them, I’ve always want to have something of my own, something I could build, work hard at and inspire others…just like them. I’m proud to call this blog my own! Although she didn’t eat very much (!), Nana had a knack for writing recipes and cooking up tasty food. She hand-wrote a cookbook, Susie’s Kitchen Window, which I plan to showcase here from time to time. The cookbook was written in the late 70s, so she calls for margarine and shortening, however, the woman made every single thing from scratch – down to her mayonnaise and ketchup!

It may seem funny that the first recipe I post on my blog is a meatloaf recipe with optional liver. You may be thinking, this girl is a Nutritionist? This recipe is a favorite among the majority of my friends, I grew up eating it, and I’ve struggled to find a meatloaf recipe as good as this one! I’ve adapted it to make it grain and dairy free, but it’s just as delicious as the original! The apple makes it moist and slightly sweet, with the molasses adding richness and depth. The first ten or so recipes I post may seem random, but I’m sharing our family staples that are – nutrient dense, freeze well, produce leftovers, are yummy and pretty easy to make! I hope you like it as much as we do!

Nana’s Apple Dapple Meatloaf (grain free & dairy free option)

Print Recipe
Course Dinner


For the meatloaf:

  • 2 lbs grass-fed ground beef - see note below on adding optional liver
  • 1 cup almond flour or almond meal - instead of breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 large apple, shredded
  • 1/4 cup molasses - preferably blackstrap and unsulfured
  • 1/4 cup milk - whole cow’s milk or almond milk
  • 1/3 cup minced celery
  • 1/3 cup minced onion
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

For the glaze:

  • 2 TBSP molasses - preferably blackstrap and unsulfured
  • 2 TBSP organic ketchup
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, mix (with your hands) all ingredients for the meatloaf together. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty – the more it’s mixed, the better.
  • Place in a 9” x 5 “ loaf pan and bake for 1 hour. (It’s best to use a 2 part loaf pan, one with a perforated insert for the fat to drip through.)
  • At one hour, remove from oven to spread glaze over the top of the meatloaf.
  • Place the meatloaf (now with glaze on top) back in the oven for 15 more minutes.
  • Let the meatloaf cool for 10 minutes.
  • Slice and enjoy.


Nana’s Apple Dapple Meatloaf is delicious with mashed sweet potatoes or white potatoes and either steamed broccoli, green beans or a salad. We eat it with a side of sauerkraut and an extra dollop of organic ketchup on top. Enjoy!
Optional addition:
For the liver lovers – or the not so liver lovers, you’ll NEVER know it’s there!
Beef liver (and chicken liver) is the most nutrient food, gram for gram, on the planet. Eating liver from an animal raised in confinement is not healthy – when animals are not raised under proper conditions (“proper conditions” include outside, in the sunlight, eating grass, hay, bugs, veggie scraps) their detoxification organs (liver and kidney) tend to STORE toxins, rather than FILTER them. However, in a healthy animal, the detoxification organs do just that and therefore the organs are not full of toxins, and are healthy to eat because they are so nutrient dense.
If you’re looking to add more organ meats into your diet – this recipe is a great place to start. Liver is an excellent source of minerals (especially iron), vitamins (especially B vitamins) and, to boot, it’s good for your own liver! I promise, if you follow these directions, no one will know it’s there.
OK…beef liver is usually sold in 1 pound packages. When I make this meatloaf, I always double it. So when I add liver, I use 3 pounds of ground beef and sub 1 pound of ground beef for 1 pound of beef liver. I usually buy the liver frozen from a local farmer, so we defrost it, put it in the food processor and process it for about 1 minute. We just add it with the other ingredients and follow the same directions. Just like grandma said….eat your liver and take your cod liver oil!

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Meet Sara

Hi! I’m Sara, Founder of Well Beyond the Kitchen. I am a Nutritionist, Clean Living Enthusiast, and Writer.
I created Well Beyond the Kitchen to help you feel empowered, and less overwhelmed, about what you put in AND on your body. 

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