You want me to eat liver? Gross.
I grew up in a part of the country where liver ‘n’ onions was a staple and common dinner fare. (or as they say in Virginia, “supper”) Once I grew up and got married to a California-kid who scarcely knew what liver was, I quit cooking or eating it.
That is until the last few years as I’ve learned what a super-food it is. I’ve returned to my roots and started making liver ‘n’ onions again, much to the disappointment of my husband and kids. Three of my four girls eat it fairly willingly, one can barely swallow without dry heaving and my husband eats it while making a face like he just licked a donkey’s butt.
Why is liver good for you?
Ounce for ounce, liver contains more nutrients than any other food. Yep, you read that right, baby. And considering how cheap and readily available it is, you really should be eating liver.
An excellent source of high-quality protein
Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
One of the best sources of folate
A highly usable form of iron
Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
The mysterious anti-fatigue factor – as in rats fed a diet supplemented with powdered liver were able to swim 87 minutes whereas rats supplemented only with extra vitamins swam an average of 13 minutes before giving up. Whaaat? (source)
So, how do I get more liver into my diet?
First and foremost, make sure you source your liver from the best animals possible. Healthy, well managed animals = health liver super-food. Sick, poorly cared for animals = doo doo meat. You want animals that are pastured, fed their natural diet and butchered ethically.
We get our liver from a local grass-fed beef company. They also sell pastured chickens, so we get chicken liver as well. (my favorite)
So, if you think liver tastes and smells like someone puked in a sack and then fried it up for you, take heart. I’ll show you how to make lovely little “liver cupcakes” and how to stealthily use them to get more liver into your family. The best part is, they’ll never know…
Okay, so it’s not as tasty as it sounds. But it works and you can’t even tell you’re eating something once called a “liver cupcake”.
First, get your package of liver and dump it into a blender or food processor. I usually use a one pound package and it lasts our family of six about 2-3 weeks, depending on how much stuff we put the “cupcakes” into. Please, for the love of Pete, do not smell it.
Mix that junk up until it’s a frothy brown mess. If you can chance it, let your kids in on this part. They tend to enjoy grinding raw meat in a blender. Don’t tell them what it’s for and please…do not smell it.
Have one of your little nuggets put cupcake papers in a cupcake pan. Be sure to make it crystal clear that these are not tasty-delicious-fun cupcakes. Otherwise you will incite a rebellion. You guessed it…do not smell it.
Using a handy ice cream scooper, put a scoop of your awesome liver paste in each cupcake paper. Oh geez…go ahead and smell it.
Throw your pan in the freezer for a few hours, then transfer your little balls of awesomeness into an airtight freezer container and use within a couple of months. Liver swells quite a bit when freezing, so make sure to leave room for expansion.
You’re probably thinking, “this is great and all lady, but what the crap do I do with cupcakes of raw liver?” Well, almost anything. We primarily use them in dishes that use ground beef or any ground meat, for that matter. Meatballs, meatloaf, taco meat, sausage, hamburgers, ground sausage or hamburger for pizza toppings, ground meat for soups and stews…the list goes on and on.
Simply defrost (they thaw out super quick), peel the cupcake paper off and dump into your ground meat while cooking. It disappears into thin air, but packs your food with a nutritional super-punch. Seriously, your kids and husband won’t know. I typically use two little cupcakes (4 tablespoons) per pound of ground meat. You may want to start with less and slowly work your way up just in case you have a very discerning palate on your hands!
Just how great is liver?
We run a kennel and occasionally take in homeless animals to rehabilitate and re-home. In the past, we’ve had people bring us puppies sick with Parvovirus. If you’re not familiar with “Parvo” it’s like the black plague of canines and it’s everywhere. It’s practically airborne and nearly impossible to kill without drenching entire objects into bleach water. No Bueno.
My rate of saving for many years was about 20%. Even with everything my vet could do, we could only save very few puppies. That is until I started using liver. I began making a “liver smoothie” consisting of raw grass-fed liver and whole, raw milk. I would feed this to the puppies several times per day with a syringe as well give them a little herbal tea I mixed up with Pedialyte, healing herbs (oregano, garlic and basil) and chamomile.
My save-rate sky-rocketed to 80%. Seriously, it was a miracle! The puppies would also recover in half the time as puppies treated conventionally with my vet’s methods. My vet’s office was amazed and didn’t believe that I was saving all those puppies!
So, boom. Proof of perfection. Go get some liver and eat it. I dare you.
Do you eat liver? Comment below and let me know how you like it.