I am fully aware that some of you will pass on reading this post, which is totally okay! I know the thought of eating liver totally grossed some people out, so feel free to skip back and look at cute picture of my kids –> here. But for those of you that are intrigued, as I was a few months, please read on!
Where did I hear about eating raw liver?
I fully attribute the initial idea of adding liver into my diet to the balanced bites podcast. Then I did more research on Real Food Liz (this specific post) on the benefits of eating raw liver and thought that it sounded good to try adding in. Why not?
I was ready to try it. The next step was finding a good source of liver, which was super important to me especially since I was going to try it out raw. Luckily I have a local grass fed beef farmer (grass kickin’ farms) I purchase beef from time to time so I happily added a pound of beef liver to my next order.
Why eat liver?
Liver is a nutrient power house. I think of it as nature’s true multi-vitamin. Liver is high in super important nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron (source).
I chose to eat it raw because I was looking for a big energy boost from the high content of vitamin B12 which decreases when liver is cooked, and my preference taste wise was for it raw in smoothies after trying it both cooked and raw.
I know eating raw meats is controversial and especially for pregnant women, so I’m not here recommending you add it to your diet, pregnant or not. It was a personal choice I made knowing that after 14 days of the liver being frozen pathogens and such die off, so I felt safe eating it and feeding it to my children. I also use proper and safe food handling, which is important for all food preparation no matter the food you are choosing to eat.
How to include raw liver in your diet?
I did try a cooked beef liver and bacon paté recipe and managed down a few bites. It was rough (although Zoe loved it). So I’m sticking with the raw liver smoothies since they are easier to drink and the pronounced liver flavor can be masked, which I personally need at this stage in my liver eating life. The first time I made a raw liver smoothie shot I stood over the sink gagging and holding back the reaction to vomit. No joke, it was pretty nasty to me. Way too much liver in that first experiment. Hunter thought that same first smoothie shot tasted funny and only had a sip or two, but Zoe… she devoured all of hers and all of Hunters! I just love young kid palates.
To prepare the liver I defrosted the frozen liver quickly in warm water until it was soft, then just added it to a blender and blended until smooth. I then poured the liquid liver onto a baking sheet with parchment paper to freeze and I cut it into manageable little chunks to add to my smoothies so that it would blend in nicely. Pretty sure I waited another 14 days of it refreezing before using it.
Here’s a smoothie recipe that masks the liver taste pretty well for me. The flavor isn’t 100% absent, but enough that the smoothie is enjoyable and the kids and I are getting the nutrient power house into our bodies little bits at a time. I shoot for a raw liver smoothie once a week, but in reality we’re getting it just about 2-3 times a month.
Banana Peach Green Smoothie with Raw Liver
Serves 2 (or 1 adult and 2 kids)
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 cup fresh spinach
- 2-3 tbsp frozen puréed liver
- 1 cup frozen banana chunks
- 1 cup frozen peaches
- Add the coconut water and spinach to the blender. Blend on high until all the spinach is smooth and combined, then add the liver in and continue to blend until smooth again. You want to make sure the liver is broke down before adding more items so you don’t end up with any liver chunks.
- Add the frozen banana and peach next, and blend until smooth. Depending on your blender you may need to add a little more liquid to keep it going, or just scrape the sides a couple times to get the frozen chunks down to the blades.
- Once smooth and creamy pour into glasses and enjoy!
Note: I don’t keep any leftover smoothie for two reasons. Zoe devours any extra we have, and since I’m feeding us raw liver I want it to go from frozen into our bodies with no chance to warm up just for extra food safety.
Want to read more about why liver is awesome for you nutritionally? Check out this post by Liz Wolfe for so much more info.
What do you think, would you try a raw liver smoothie? Or are you running the other direction?