In the spirit of “new year, new you health resolutions”, I figured I’d talk about one of the healthiest products we have at our farm. Beef liver.
Now hold on, don’t go… I know many of us didn’t grow up eating liver, and maybe you are disgusted by it (I was!), but I beg you to please stay with me and at least read the rest of this post.
While studying nutrition, I heard so much about the health benefits of beef liver- it was even sometimes called a “super food”! Interestingly, it was once a popular and treasured food source, but liver has fallen out of favor. This is unfortunate because liver is possibly one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, and inexpensive too!
It is rich in protein, low in calories, and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. People often look to fruits and vegetables for vitamins and minerals, but liver far surpasses them all in terms of nutrient content. A small amount of liver provides well over 100% of the RDI for many essential nutrients.
Here are some nutrients found in a 3.5-ounce serving of beef liver:
How to Include Liver in Your Diet:
I admit it, liver has a unique taste, which some people love, and others hate. I know it was tough for us to stomach it the first time we tried it, so I’ll give you that, BUT… here are some suggestions on how to include it in your diet and get these great nutrients:
Recipes to Try:
While our recommended way to start eating liver is the "mince, freeze, and add to ground beef" method, here are a couple of good recipes if you want to try.
This might be the best Liver and Onions Recipe we've found:
Beef Liver Pate:
P.S. Beef Heart has a much, much milder flavor than liver and has some of the same nutrients. It’s a lot like ground beef, but I would classify it as “sweeter.” Whereas you’d only add 1-2 cubes of liver to any dish, it’s pretty easy to add up to a quarter pound of heart to a pound of ground beef, even in grilled hamburgers!
***Both Beef Liver and Beef heart are FOR SALE on our web store- so give it a try and REALLY get healthy this new year!***
Extremely nutritious liver was a weekly fare in many households until concerns about cholesterol and toxins threw it off the American menu. However, the availability of liver from grass fed animals answers this issue and permits liver to return to our tables!
On a budget, minimum preparation, serves 2 to 4.
Slice the beef liver into strips, about ½ in wide. Place strips in a small bowl, soak in lemon juice, adding more if necessary. Cover the bowl, and marinate the meat several hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Preheat oven to 350F
Mix the apples, onion, salt, pepper. Heat the butter in a frying pan and sauté the mixture until the onion is translucent and the apples are crisp-tender, about 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside.
Remove the liver from the lemon juice, pat dry, and place in the bottom of a buttered baking dish. Pour the apple/onion mixture over the liver. Arrange the bacon slices on top and pour in hot water. Sprinkle with the paprika. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the liquid is bubbling and the apples are soft. Serve immediately.
Recipe from "The Grassfed Gourmet Cookbook" by Shannon Hayes.
Marisa usually writes about nutrition, grass fed beef, organic agriculture, as well as sharing delicious recipes; Paul writes about farm work- sharing his stories and experiences, and sometimes... we both collaborate on a story!