Liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. But many of us don’t know how (and why) to eat liver. If you’ve always turned your nose up at this superfood, I’m here to convince you to give it a try!
Some of the many health benefits of liver include:
1) Liver is one of the best foods to prevent and treat iron-deficiency anemia.
Liver is high in iron, folate, and vitamin B12, all of which are needed to prevent anemia. Read more here about how to recognize the symptoms of anemia, and how to treat it naturally.
2) Liver contains an abundance of vitamin B12
Our bodies need vitamin B12 in order to produce red blood cells, nerves, DNA, and carry out many other functions. In fact, vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body.
A single chicken liver contains more than 3 times the recommended daily amount of vitamin B12! And there aren’t any harmful side effects from eating more than you need (as long as the source of vitamin B12 is food, not supplements).
3) Liver is a great source of vitamin A
Vitamin A is an essential fat-soluble nutrient that is necessary for healthy vision, growth, bone development, and immune function. Research shows that vitamin A also lowers the risk of breast cancer.
Too much vitamin A can be toxic, however, and can block the activity of vitamin D. Liver should therefore only be consumed about once per week.
How to Eat Liver
- My favorite method is to blend up some raw liver and freeze it in ice cube trays. Once frozen, I store the cubes in a plastic bag in the freezer. I throw a couple of cubes in when I’m cooking tomato sauces, pizza sauce, soups, and curries. No one seems to notice my little secret!
- You can also add 2-4 of these frozen liver cubes whenever you’re cooking ground beef, towards the end of the cooking time.
- Grate frozen liver and add it to eggs when cooking.
- Don’t forget to serve iron-rich foods like liver with Vitamin C, in order to increase your body’s absorption of iron.
- Note: Liver can be fed to your baby from the age of 6 months (or whenever solid foods are introduced).
When Cooking Liver…
- Don’t overcook it! Cook until just done to avoid tough and grainy liver. Turn off the heat when the liver is still a bit pink in the center, as it will continue to cook after the heat is turned off.
- You can soak the liver in milk for an hour or two before cooking, to remove the bitter taste.
Liver Pate Recipe
My friend Muna shared this easy and delicious Liver Pate recipe with me. Thanks Muna!
- 2 tablespoons butter or ghee
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pack of chicken livers, chopped (about 400-500g)
- 250g lebneh or cream cheese (about 1 cup)
- salt, pepper, and other spices, to taste (such as coriander, paprika, cumin, chili, etc)
- Melt butter or ghee in a pan on medium heat.
- Saute onions until caramelized. Add garlic and liver, and saute until liver pieces are just cooked (don’t overcook!).
- Allow to cool and then place in a food processor with lebneh, salt, pepper, and spices.
- Blend until smooth.
Liver & Sweet Potato Puree (great for baby!)
1 small piece of calf’s liver (around 1 tbsp in size)
1/2 small sweet potato, peeled and diced
120 ml (1/2 cup) bone broth
Place the liver and sweet potato dice into a small saucepan and add the bone broth.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender and the liver is done.
Puree until smooth.