Liver is nature’s most concentrated source of Vitamin A and contains all the B vitamins in abundance. Many of us tend to be deficient in both. It’s also one of our best sources of folic acid, iron and copper.
How to choose liver?
- The World’s Healthiest Foods recommends purchasing liver only from organically raised animals, as the liver is involved in processing toxic chemicals inside the body, such as pesticides and hormones.
- Alternate the type of liver you eat to ensure a variety of flavors and cooking options. Pork, goose, lamb, beef and fish liver are all widely available and good sources of vitamins and minerals, according to the European Food Information Council.
- Keep liver frozen or refrigerated until just before cooking. Calf’s liver, especially, is highly perishable and should be cooked and consumed within two days of purchase unless frozen.
- Cut large pieces of liver into smaller, even-sized pieces. Because liver requires little cooking time, cutting it up before cooking ensures the meat cooks evenly.
“But doesn’t the liver store the toxins?” you might ask. The liver neutralizes toxins; it does not store them. Toxins are more likely to be lodged in the fatty tissues and nervous system. But the liver DOES store a host of vitamins and minerals, all of which you are able to access by eating it. As always, please select liver with as many adjectives as possible (grass finished, free range, antibiotic free, organic…). It’s best to pass on the conventional. And because liver is so powerful, a 4oz serving once or twice per week is sufficient.
Why eat liver??
- Liver is an exceptionally nutrient-dense food as it is an excellent source of zinc, vitamin B12, vitamin A, copper, folate, riboflavin,; a very good source of selenium, protein, niacin, vitamin B6, panthothenic acid, and phosphorus; and a good source of iron. Although calf’s liver is also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, its concentration of so many beneficial nutrients makes it an extremely healthful food.
- 1 pound liver, as free range and grass fed as possible, cut into pieces
- 1/2 onion or shallot, chopped
- sea salt and pepper
- 1 bunch parsley
- 8 oz organic butter, ghee, coconut oil, or organic lard
- seasonings of your choice: try an Italian blend; rosemary, garlic, thyme, sage…
- option: ¼ cup sherry, red pepper, raw milk, garlic
1. Sautee onion in oil until translucent (5 min).
2. Add a little more oil to the pan and add liver. Note that they will release a significant amount of liquid.
3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and seasonings.
4. Simmer livers until browned through make sure and cook on both sides. Inside should still be a little pink (few minutes on both sides). Note that at this point many of the chicken livers will be falling apart on their own; a very good thing.
5. Add liver AND JUICES FROM PAN to blender.
6. Blend in food processor.
7. Taste. It shouldn’t taste overly “livery”. If it does, add more seasonings.
8. You can use this recipe as a snack or alongside a meal. Serve it with sprouted grain toast, cucumbers, gluten free crackers, and garnished with dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and microgreens, chicken liver pâté can make a full meal in and of itself.
I usually put my pate into ramekins. I place some plastic wrap in the ramekins, followed by the pate. I also will freeze the extra into ice trays, especially convenient if you life alone (or are the only on eating this!). When the pate is set, I turn it out onto a plate and remove the plastic wrap. It’s simple!!
I can’t express this point enough: Liver is an important food and is worth learning to like. Like many foods that can seem initially off-putting like wheat grass, sardines, and fish roe, for example, and you may need to try it more than once to acquire a taste for it.
Remember: just one appetizer-sized portion of chicken liver pate provides approximately 41% of the RDA for folate, 79% of the RDA for vitamin B12 and 88% of the RDA for vitamin A. (From: Nourishing Traditions)