My 4 Favorite Ways to Eat Liver
Quite simply, it contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:
- 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.
- Spaghetti Bolognese – (a.k.a. tomato and meat sauce). My farmer sells a ground beef/liver blend which makes any standard ground beef dish into a nutrient-dense power house. You can make your own blend by processing liver from grass-fed beef, bison, lamb or pork in your food processor and then mixing with your ground meat. The amount of liver you use can depend on your bravery – start with 10% and move up to 50-60% as your taste buds approve.
To make the bolognese, SautÃ© an onion and some garlic in a pan with some good fat (I usually use left-over bacon fat), then brown the meat and break it up as small as you like. Add your favorite tomato sauce and allow to simmer so the flavors mingle, then pour over brown rice pasta, or if you prefer to avoid grains like we do – pour over roasted spaghetti squash. I also like to slow cook shredded cabbage in bolognese sauce for a meal reminiscent of ‘pigs-in-a-blanket’ of my youth. Essentially, you could use this blend for anything calling for ground beef – meatloaf, chili, and so much more.
- Chicken Liver Pate – Pate is a great gateway food for learning to love liver because this stuff tastes like a delicious, buttery rich spread. If you’re not so sure, start with a thin layer on a delicious sourdough bread and gradually layer more on. Try chicken, duck, or even foie gras if you have the budget for it. Chicken liver pate is affordable and easy to make at home – check out this great recipe from Nourished Kitchen.
- Braunschweiger – This is my new favorite – A German classic sausage similar to liverwurst but with a mild flavor and soft, even texture. The one I like is made with beef, beef liver, and seasonings, though technically it could be made with pork, calf, veal, beef, etc. I order mine online, store it in the freezer, and my family (kids included!) eats about a pound per week with breakfast, lunch, or snacks.
- Burgers – Yes, the good ole American classic can be a nutrient-dense rock star. My hubby is the burger maker, and he mixes our beef/liver blend with grilled onions and pan-fries them in bacon fat. Top with cheddar from grass-fed cows and a dollop of cultured ketchup and serve with a side of sauerkraut – you’ve got yourself a pretty perfect meal that the whole family will love. Oh, and don’t forget that you’re eating liver too!