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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Eat Your Liver

Liver is a Super Food!

There are so many reasons we should eat more liver (or liver at all if you are like me).  I can be somewhat anemic at times and suffer from hypothyroidism so I really need to add it to my diet on a regular basis. Beef liver is a source of vitamin D, one so many of us are low in.

So what makes liver so wonderful? Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:  (according to The Weston A Price Foundation )
  • 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 our best sources of folic acid
  • A highly usable form of iron
  • Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
  • An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
  • 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. 

And according to at least 10 websites I visited it is also a decent way to add vitamin D to your diet.

With all that goodness what is holding you back? Oh, the fact that I am talking about LIVER. Only old people eat liver. Liver is gross, tastes like shoe leather (so I have been told, up until today I had never eaten either!) Are you just a little scared of it? I know I was.

Those older people, the ones who grew up eating liver well, they are on to something great - liver is a super food extraordinaire! 

So, why am I even talking about liver? Well someone accidentally thawed a package of liver and so I needed to prepare it. I have never tasted liver before today. I always wanted to try it at a restaurant but I was afraid I wouldn't like it and be stuck with a yucky meal. 
You know how I hate to waste food so I decided today was the day, it was now or never.

I found an easy recipe at Squidoo - in a post entitled "How to get your kids to eat liver" perfect, because well, when it comes to liver I am definitely a kid. I just made 1 piece of liver to see if I even liked it, so I skipped the carrots in the recipe, but I am sure they would have been delicious.

First I heated up some butter in my iron skillet and added a piece of liver (that I should have salt and peppered but didn't think to until later) I cooked it a couple minutes on each side to brown. Then I dumped in some apple juice and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. That was it. I don't know if I over cooked it or not - but it was brownish in the center and rather mushy. I ended up dipping it in 57 sauce just so I could finish my piece.

I didn't really care for it - but it wasn't terrible either - I was able to eat it. I chopped the rest of it up into little pieces and put back into the freezer

I will add small amounts to my chili's and maybe meat loaf. I would also like adding some raw pieces to my morning smoothie - just teeny little bits, until I can taste it. Update: I ground a pound of it raw up and froze it in icecube trays. I added a cube to my smoothie and couldn't tell at all - this is now my preferred method! Update on the Update - I do this all the time and add the cubes of  liver to chili and sloppy joes and spaghetti (up to 1/3 of the meat) as I am browning the meat and no one notices - though they know I do it.

I have also read that soaking the liver in either milk or an acidic juice for at least an hour - more is better, helps to get rid of that distinctive liver taste. Just be sure to drain it well before use.

The next time I have a package thawed I will try cooking it in a more traditional manner with bacon and onions and eat it with mashed potatoes.

It is going to take some doing to become a liver lover, but I am glad to know I don't hate it! Now, my children - that is going to be tricky!!

Liver and Apple Juice (from Squidoo)

  • Slice the liver up into flat pieces. You can slice it into strips if you like.
  • Quickly brown the pieces in a little butter.
  • Stir up the juices left in the pan in a little water. Put the slices back in the pan.
  • Cover with apple juice
  • Add a couple sliced carrots.
  • Turn the pan down low and simmer for 20 minutes or so. Add more apple juice when necessary.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes. 

So do YOU like liver? How do you prepare it? Does your family LIKE it?

(Check out my post on the importance of Vitamin D and other natural sources of it!)

I am linking this up with Simple Lives Thursday @ A Little Bit of Spain in Iowa
Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays


    1. In Venice, Italy liver and onions is a delicacy. Check this style of preparation and pretend you're in a gondola.


    2. Oh, now I feel guilty for not eating my liver. There are so many nutrients in it. My mother always made it with onions and sometimes bacon. Maybe I will have to take the liver the next time we get a side of beef from our family's farm. Hmmm...


    3. Kim, everything tastes delicious in Italy - and Venice, well thinking of it makes my stomach growl. Thanks for the links!

    4. oh christy...i wish i could get on board with this...but the only way i like my liver is in pate. does that count? i will admit, the recipe looks intriguing!

    5. Really sorry for all with a diagnoses of hypothyroidism. But it's curable if you're mentally strong enough to deal with its complication. This is by far the most helpful resource I've foiund so far.

      My sister has hypothyroidism and we are looking for as much information as we can find.

    6. Whitney - thanks for the link. I would love to get off my thyroid meds!

    7. WHOA! You are very brave! At least compared to me. I know that liver is considered a delicacy in some parts of the world, but I am so very afraid of trying mom used to make it when I was a child and I think she traumatized had a very terrible texture and that ruined it for me. But sense you've reminded me of its nutrient content, maybe I need to give it another go!

    8. The only liver I've ever had outside of pate (which I love, but as Christy asked, does that even count?) is my MIL's liver......and let's not even go there. You're very brave. :o)

    9. I love liver! I had been avoiding it because I had some idea that it was BAD for you. Especially chicken liver. I saute it in olive oil and add some marsala wine or vermouth to the pan. YAY, it's good for you!

    10. Christy you certainly are quite brave. If I had accidently defrosted liver I would have put it right back in LOL. Actually I never have liver in the freezer because no matter how many times I've tried I can't stand the taste. I think my mother tramatized me with her liver and onions when I was a kid LOL.

    11. I'm a liver lover. I promise you, the best and tastiest liver you could ever have is out of a freshly killed animal. It tastes sweet and has none of that "livery" taste. But if you've got frozen liver, then go with pate every time. If you need to hide it, try smearing into a sandwich as a spread.

    12. Ok ladies - pate is a GREAT way to enjoy liver, and if you make it yourself it is full of delicious healthy ingredients.
      We never had liver growing up so I got to dodge the overcooked liver bullet!
      Thanks everyone!

    13. I love liver. It's actually a staple I grew up with. Weird, huh?

    14. Great info Christy! I do need to prepare more liver in my house. Thanks for linking up to Simple Lives Thursday!

    15. Gosh, don't know how I missed this post last week. I love liver and you just reminded me that I haven't had it for ages. Funny as a kid I used to hate the dreaded "Lambs Fry & Bacon" - didn't mind the taste, but it was usually so over-cooked you could re-sole your shoes with. Then I in my 20s I came across a recipe for Liver cooked in Dubonnet with Oranges, and that was when I discovered just how delicious it can be when it's cooked properly. I'm definitely going to try your version - I think apple juice would go perfectly with liver.
      Sue :-)

    16. The farm I buy my grass-fed beef from gave me a TON of liver this last time. Like, 12 lbs of it! So, here's what I've been doing:
      Take a pound or two and partially thaw it. run it through the food processor (not for the weak stomached) and then freeze it in ice cube trays or small batches to sneak into smoothies, stews and soups, meat loaf, burgers and taco meat. Work great! I also know people who cut off small pill-sized slivers while frozen and swallow whole. I haven't done that yet. I do take 3 desiccated liver tablets daily though :-)

    17. Brilliant Jenny-fer! I have tons of liver and you can so taste it even if it is cut up itty bitty small but run through the food processor would be so much better. You should have heard Katie "you fed me LIVER?!! I am never eating anything again without knowing if there is liver in it or not!" she has gone on and on and on about it - I just put a little bit in the spaghetti.
      love ya chica!!

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