I thought about taking a nice picture of some fancy liver pâté, cooked liver and onions, or coconut battered fried liver strips. But if you’re going to add liver to your diet and will be preparing it yourself, you might as well see what it really looks like. Pretty isn’t it? 🙂
Why I Eat Liver
Yes liver has a weird taste and texture. If you haven’t grown up with it, learning to enjoy it as an adult is tough. I never tasted liver until I was in my 20s and was quite put off by the flavour the first time I tried it. I noticed how people who didn’t mind the taste had eaten liver when they were younger, while those who had never had liver would refuse to eat more than a bite of it. In my own experience, it took at least 10 tries before I got used to it enough that I could start to enjoy it. Given how nutrient dense liver is, it’s worth it! If you’re at all concerned about toxins in liver, read Nourishing Days’ Liver Q&A: Why Liver is NOT Full of Toxins.
People often ask if they should take a multivitamin while on the SCD, GAPS or Primal diets. Well, the best multivitamin I have found is beef liver. I used to take a multi B vitamin and a general multi vitamin and always got digestive symptoms from them. These were SCD legal quality supplements and I still didn’t do well with them. I was frustrated because I kept reading about how important B vitamins were for energy. Turns out I get way more energy by eating even just a small portion of liver.
I’m not the only crazy one forcing myself to like this food.
- Kelly the Kitchen Kop got her family to try it, and love it as described in her post I Ate Liver & Loved it, Oh Yes I Did
- Health Home Happy talks about the benefits of liver in the post Liver and Onions – Why We’re Eating Liver
- Cheeseslave fed raw liver to her daughter for some nutrient-packed meals.
For a complete overview of liver and some recipes check out The Liver Files on the Weston A. Price Foundation website.
Nutrients in Liver
This chart shows the Percentage Daily Values for nutrients of various types of liver. I chose the nutrients for cooked (braised) liver in all cases because that’s how I usually end up eating it. Note the amount of B vitamins and iron. This is the food to eat for energy!
|Nutrients per 100g||Beef||Lamb||Pork||Chicken||Turkey|
|B5 (pantothenic acid)||71%||40%||48%||67%||43%|
Values were taken from NutritionData.com.
I used to recommend beef liver to everyone. It’s usually pretty easy to find a good source and it’s cheap. I have been getting all kinds of liver and I have to say it’s nice to have some variation. My favorite so far (yep I have a favorite type!) is lamb’s liver.
Liver is also a source of vitamin K (beef liver), CoQ10 and a high quality source of protein.
How to Eat Liver Raw
Many people believe in extra health benefits of eating liver raw. I have had it raw a few times but I seem to get energy from it raw or cooked. The easiest way I found to eat it raw was to grate a chunk of frozen liver over scrambled eggs, stew, or soup after done cooking. Another method is to cut up fresh or partially thawed liver into small pill size bits, re-freeze it and then swallow them like pills with some water. Raw liver doesn’t have as strong of a flavor as cooked, so I found it pretty easy to eat it grated over other food.
How to Eat Liver Cooked
The first step no matter what recipe you will be making is to soak liver. I soak mine in lemon juice, but you can use any acidic juice such lime or orange. Some people swear by using milk. Soaking liver helps reduce the livery taste and in my opinion also improves the texture. Even if you only have an hour to soak it, it’s worth doing. I usually soak mine for 2-4 hours. Make sure to drain and rinse it well, before continuing to prepare it. If you soak it too long you might notice a slightly sour taste.
I’ve got quite a few links to recipes here, so I hope one or two in this list stand out as a good way to try liver. While most recipes specify the type of liver to use, you can substitute with any kind. Beef tends to have a stronger flavor and chicken seems to be the mildest. I like to cut up liver into small pieces when making a meal dish out of it, which makes handling the texture a lot easier.
My favorite way to introduce liver is a pâté because the texture is quite easy to like. Pâté is really easy to make SCD-legal. If you’re looking for something to eat it on, try slices of cheddar cheese, SCD-legal crackers, or toasted coconut-flour bread.
- Cheeseslave has a couple of great recipes. Her Bubbe’s Chopped Liver can be made using coconut flour bread. She also has a wonderful Balthazar’s Chicken Liver Mousse recipe.
- Nourished Kitchen’s Sage and Chicken Liver Pate looks delicious. You can soak the liver in lemon juice and then drain, instead of using milk.
- Cauldrons and Crockpots has another pate Chicken Livers Redux which would be good served on some coconut flour bread or nut crackers.
- I like having dried fruit in my liver pate, like in the SCD Liver Pate with Cranberries.
I now prefer eating liver as a meal and don’t mind the texture so much. It’s also nice not to need a cracker or bread to be able to enjoy it. The following are a few good recipes for liver as a meal.
- Cheeseslave’s Mexican Liver with Onions can be made with lemon juice and garlic in place of Worcestershire sauce.
- Health Home Happy has an interesting way of hiding liver in her Superfood Muffins by mixing it with other ground meat.
- Divine Health enjoys adding liver to taco meat. This is a great way to sneak it in because the strong taco spices, salsa and cheese mask the flavor well. I enjoy taco meat and all the fixings as a salad instead of trying to make a taco shell or wrap for them.
- Frugality and Crunchiness has an interesting dish Liver and Apple Juice.
- Happy Belly has a delicious recipe for my favorite, lamb liver, in her How to Make Liver Good post.
- One of my favorite liver meals is the Fresh Liver on my Liver & Other Organs recipe page.
Now go eat your liver!