Liver is quite simply the most nutrient-dense food available to us. A mere 100 calories worth, about 2oz, contains: 356% of your RDA of Vitamin A, 112% of Vitamin B2, 50% of Vitamin B3, 40% of Vitamin B5, 36% of folate (Vitamin B9), 658% if Vitamin B12, 238mg of choline, 20% of your RDA of Iron, 28% of Phosphorus, 6% of Potassium, 20% of Zinc, 400% of Copper, 10% of Manganese, and 28% of Selenium. Not to mention smaller amounts of many other vitamins and minerals, important trace minerals like molybdenum, plus lots of glycine, methionine, cysteine, and glutamic acid… all of which support the various oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, and conjugation pathways involved in detoxification by your liver (see The Best Foods and Nutrients to Support Liver Detox), and are important for metabolism, central nervous system health, and immune health (see Why Everyone Should Be Eating Organ Meat and The Paleo Approach). A few ounces a week goes a long way toward supporting health!
But, knowing that liver packs an irreplaceable nutrient punch for every healthy diet doesn’t mean it’s always an easy thing to get down our gullets. It can be intimidating to prepare and and a strong dislike for both its taste and texture is very common. Yes, if you’re disgusted by the thought of eating liver, you’re not alone. And, don’t worry, because I’ve got three painless ways for you to eat your liver!
1. Hide It from Yourself!
The classic fried liver and onions, or even Liver Pâté, while delightfully traditional do not appeal to many modern palates. But, here’s a secret: it’s okay to hide liver from yourself! The easiest way is to grind it with a meat grinder or food processor and mix with ground beef for your favorite recipe. I prefer to mix 1 part ground liver to 3 to 4 parts ground beef by weight, but there’s no hard and fast rule! If you still feel like you can taste the liver, go ahead and mix it 1 part liver to 10 parts ground beef! Or 20! Strong seasonings like in my Paleo Tacos recipe work well for masking any liver flavor, so experiment with using more liver in similar recipes. You can also try out my Turkish (Hidden Liver) Meatballs with Paleo Cacik, Egg-Free, Tomato-Free (Hidden Liver) Paleo Meatloaf, and 50/50/50 Burgers, all great recipes designed to help you painlessly and tastily eat your liver!
2. Make-Your-Own Liver Pills
Another way to get liver into your diet is to make your own liver pills. These are basically very tiny pieces of frozen liver that you swallow with water, the same as you would a normal pill (while still frozen).
To make your own liver pills, first purchase any kind of fresh liver or thaw frozen liver in your fridge overnight. Rinse the liver and pat it dry with papertowel. Then, with a sharp knife, carefully cut the liver into pill-size pieces (smaller if you don’t like swallowing pills, larger if you’re a pill-swallowing pro). Line a baking sheet with wax paper, parchment paper or a silicone liner. Place the liver pieces on the prepared baking sheet, separated from each other. Freeze until solid and then transfer the frozen liver pills to an airtight container or freezer bag for storage. Keep in your freezer for a full two weeks before consuming (this is to kill contaminating bacteria). Swallow a few liver pills with water daily or near-daily!
3. Vital Proteins Encapsulated Beef Liver
Vital Proteins Beef Liver is sourced from grass-fed cows from New Zealand to ensure a natural, high-quality, and sustainable source of this nutritional powerhouse. This freeze-dried liver is conveniently packaged within a gelatin capsule–you get all the same nutrients as fresh liver, with zero taste or hassle! About 14 capsules equals one ounce of fresh beef liver, so taking the recommended 4 capsules a day will equate to 2oz of fresh liver per week!
Vital Proteins‘ mission is to provide whole food-based nutrition to support overall health, fitness and wellbeing. Vital Proteins believes that using the whole animals, as our ancestors did, is critical to our healthy lifestyle. Their products are thoughtfully produced for our community, and their gelatin, collagen, and encapsulated beef liver are all staples in my home.
For more tips on increasing your organ meat consumption, see Tips and Tricks for Eating more Offal.