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Why You Should Eat Beef Liver, and How to Sneak it in your Diet!

by Lisa on May 14, 2012

As a part of my quest to feed my mitochondria, I committed to adding beef liver to my diet. It definitely took me a while to make this happen, but I had ordered some from Tropical Traditions a few months ago and left it in my freezer for a day when I figured out what to do with it.

It’s important to buy good quality organic grass fed beef liver because although liver doesn’t store toxins, it does hang onto hormones and antibiotics (from factory farmed cattle).

Why liver?

Compared to apples and broccoli, beef liver is significantly higher in:

  • Vitamin A (different forms to0)
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
Broccoli is higher than liver in:
  • Vitamin C
  • Magnesium (only slightly)
Liver is significantly higher than apples in all of the above nutrients. It’s an easy (albeit slightly intimidating to most of today’s Americans) way to pack in the micronutrients…and you know I’m a fan of that!

Of course, many sources warn that liver is high in cholesterol, but the funny thing is that our bodies produce significantly more cholesterol than what we ingest from food—generally, high cholesterol comes from the body not eliminating it effectively (to simplify: if you don’t eat enough healthy foods and fiber, cholesterol is not carried out of the body, and it recirculates in the blood).

That said, check with your doctor or a health professional who knows you and your health before you add something weird like liver to your diet (and pick a functional medicine doctor if you want someone who knows about food in relation to health!).

If you want the benefits of liver, about 4oz a week is sufficient. Let me tell you…this is a lot of liver. Liver smells funny. It’s a weird texture, and it tastes pretty yucky by itself. My Mom experimented recently with liver and onions, and not only was it gross, but the house smelled like liver for days. Blech.

I read somewhere that you could grate liver and add it to things like meatloaf and meatballs. I thought I’d try that…but I couldn’t find the grater attachment to my food processor, and I tried the hand grater but it didn’t work. So I threw the whole pound of liver in the food processor (it was semi-frozen)…and it ended up being pureed. I did not gag, but the texture was really awful.

This is what I made:

Meatballs {with beef liver puree}

1lb ground beef (grass fed organic, please)
1/4 cup pureed grassfed organic beef liver
1-2 tsp pizza seasoning
a few dashes of sea salt
a fea dashes of black pepper

Make meatballs! I sauted them in butter (Kerrygold is my brand of choice) and then baked them to finish cooking them through.

I ate two—and they were really awesome! Of course, I’ll have to eat a pound of meatballs to get that 1/4 cup of beef liver (which is definitely not even close to 4oz), but I have to start somewhere, and I figure it’s ok to take a few days to do it!

Here’s a video I made about how to eat beef liver without tasting it!

Have you ever tried beef liver or other organ meats? Would you?

 

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  • http://www.pure2raw.com/ pure2raw twins

    never tried beef liver before, though we got our second oldest sister to have some when her stomach was at its worst. she thinks it helped some. maybe one day when I am brave enough I will give beef liver a shot haha
    meatballs look great!
    hugs
    ~Lori

  • http://www.1970kikiproject.wordpress.com/ cathy@1970kikiproject

    good luck with your busy week, lisa! at least now, you know that dinner is made (meatballs and more meatballs! haha!).
    good for you, you brave person, for taking on the liver. i have not had liver since i was little. i remember my brother and i hugely protesting when mom announced it was liver for dinner. at one point, she read in a magazine that to get your kids to eat liver, let them dip it in ketchup – so that’s what we did to “choke” it down. at some future time, mom gave up! no more liver in our household, and i haven’t had it since (and i don’t think she has made it since!).
    glad the meatballs worked out – that is a brilliant way to disguise the liver. and i fully understand that liver is healthy for us…but i just can’t go there!
    love that last beach photo!

  • itzyskitchen

    I’m tempted to try it….but the thought really freaks me out ;) Yes- the beach totally rocks. Hang in there this week!

  • http://thehealthybeehive.com/ Jane

    Nice!  I would try it .. especially in meatballs, it isn’t like you are eating it  by itself then.  Good luck with your busy week!

  • http://blissfulbritt.com/ Brittany

    I like to think I am an adventurous eater. It’s rare for me to turn down a bite of food. However, due to the fact that I am a vegetarian (and converting to a vegan with benefits due to the past month and a half of a vegan diet) I would have to say no beef liver..or any animal organs for me. I will have to live vicariously through you and take your word that this was indeed delicious!! 

  • Lisa_healthy_diaries

    I’ve never tried liver but my mom cooks it for my dad every once in a while. She too cooks it with onions and the smell always bothered me so much. It definitely does not smell good! I’m not really sure if I would try it or other organ meats though. I have this
    Royal Butter Oil / Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend Gel that I purchased a month ago and I still have yet to start taking it. I plan on starting this week though because I really think it will benefit my growing baby!

  • http://anediblemosaic.com/ Faith

    I’ve never tried liver but I think I would…that is, I want to say I would, lol.  You’re inspiring me.  :)   Great idea adding it to meatballs, I think I could definitely enjoy them.

  • http://www.thefitnessdish.com/ Laury

    I love you..and I love the nutrition packed in this recipe…but I can’t get on board with liver and beef LOL. I feel too bad for the cows I drive by every day…it will just MOO at me ;-) Maybe someday. Mike asked me recently if I thought I would ever eat meat again…I told him my diet is always changing, and I was so gung ho against it for a while (mostly ethical reasons) but may consider in the future. I just can’t get past the mooing at this point. The nutritional benefits of it from time to time may sway me. 

  • Lauren George

    I have never tried beef liver, and I didn’t know all of the benefits of doing so either! So interesting! I’m pretty impressed by your creativity. :)

  • http://alexiaku.wordpress.com/ Alexia

    your beef liver meatballs look just like the typical liver balls that you get here in Austria. We have a realy famous typical soup that is basically a clear soup with liver balls floating around. its so popular, people love it and my grandma still makes it every time i come home (although she knows i actually dont eat meat at the moment). i still try it everyimt and it does taste great!!

  • Alison

    I’m so glad you commented about liver meatballs, I totally forgot about these! This seems way more palatable to me, at least for a maiden liver voyage. I found local, grassfed liver last week at our winter farmers market (after he showed it to me I chickened out and said “ummm, how about some bacon instead?”) Now that I’m armed with your meatball idea, I’m already feeling more confident!

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