This time of year we traditionally would search for small game. One of those being wabooz (wah-booze) which is rabbit! If you haven’t tried wabooz jerky you are missing out! Wild rabbits have less body mass than my meat rabbits. However, raising meat rabbits is a great way to incorporate a traditional meat source that won’t annoy the neighbors! Though wabooz is small they carry a huge amount of protein which would explain why, during winter, we sought them out. The following is the nutritional facts on a simple 3 oz portion!
Total Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 105 mg
Potassium: 292 mg
Sodium: 38 mg
Total carbohydrates: 0
Protein: 28 g
Vitamin B6: 15%
If you take a look at this tiny critter from a nutritional standpoint it’s a great winter boost. A lot of people see cholesterol as a bad thing, but truthfully there’s good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. (I am not a medical professional by any means, however I dedicate a lot of time to knowing nutrition of what I cook.) The protein level of rabbit is 40% of what you are supposed to eat daily, that is in a 3oz portion! Wabooz is also packed with B vitamins. Why is this important? Because B vitamins helps convert food to energy! Cobalamin is another B vitamin, and B6 is responsible for helping your immune system and neurological (brain) function!
People tell me they don’t want to invest in eating rabbit because there’s not a lot there. But from a nutritional perspective you don’t need to gorge yourself on it to be full! Such a helpful little animal that we are blessed to have. I like to marinate the trimmed off meat an back straps in maple syrup overnight then pop it in my dehydrator until mostly dried for jerky! I also make stew, pot pies and shredded meat for a quick bite on the go. The first time I made slow cooked wabooz for my family my kids didn’t know what it was when I had them try it. My son said “this is really good chicken mom” and my daughter said, “it’s too squishy to be chicken but it tastes good”. Then they gave me the “what did you have us eat” stare. I told them it was rabbit. They explained the flavor and texture quite well. Soft meat that isn’t as dense as chicken with the flavor of chicken.
When I slow cook my rabbit, I like to do so by adding a package of cranberries, some maple sugar and water. I cook it on low heat for up to 5 hrs or until it hits 165 degrees for food safety. I reserve the water it cooked in after straining it. After shredding the meat off it for soup or sandwiches I break the bones and put them in the reserved water with onion, celery and carrot then put it on low heat on the stove without stirring for several hours. This makes the most amazing, flavorful broth! It freezes well so you can keep it for a while!