The Surprising Superfood You Need to Get in Your Diet

is it a bird? is it a plane? is it a superfood?

For a while there I thought that so-called ‘superfoods’ had to be fruits or vegetables.

I mean, as far as nutrition is concerned, it’s plants that win all the golds, right? (an Olympics reference, weeks after the Olympics are actually over? I so have my finger on the pulse).

Wrong.

The superfood I’m referring to in the title is about as meaty as it gets – liver.

a steaming pile of liver

Specifically calf’s liver, from grass-fed cows.

It’s rare that a superfood is so unashamedly gross – on the one hand we have blueberries: sweet, plump and delicious. Then there’s liver: gelatinous, bloody and ewww squishy.

And don’t even get me started on that chalky, bitter taste.

don’t feed your expensive grass fed liver to the cat, unless you really really love it

But I got over my initial feelings of repulsion because it’s so damn healthy.

Liver contains B-vitamins in abundance, it’s a great source of iron, boosts energy, improves immunity and is great for the libido (wink, wink).

Organ meats such as liver are between ten and a hundred times higher in nutrients than muscle meats and check out this handy chart which shows that liver outperforms apples, carrots and red meat in terms of nutrient density.

If, like me, you’re wondering about the liver’s role in processing toxins and wondering why we should be eating the organ that every other organ dumps on, fear not.

liver meatballs….recipe coming soon!

Liver is more a processing plant than a junkyard. Yes, it clears out toxins but it doesn’t store them.

When buying liver look for organic and/or grass-fed. It should look healthy ie dark red and juicy rather than grey and dried-up like a slab of shoe leather.

If you can’t get it in your area, I’d recommend ordering from US Wellness Meats which sells beef, chicken and bison livers (they don’t pay me to promote them, I have no affiliation with the company at all).

I’ll be posting a liver recipe next week and, trust me, nothing will make it onto this site unless I can eat it without gagging (and, coming from an ex-vegetarian, that guarantee means a lot).

In the meantime, here’s a round-up of my favourite ones from the ‘net. And by ‘favourite’ I mean ‘they don’t make me want to hurl’.

  • Balanced Bites has a really tasty sounding chicken liver pate – and it’s probably not that high on the gag scale since chicken livers are milder than cow’s.
  • Get two superfoods in one sitting with The Primalist’s creative Blueberry Liver dish.
  • I might be converted on tasting Jan’s Sushi Bar’s gorgeous looking barbequed beef liver. She also has a Crispy Lemon Liver I’d like to try. Girl knows her organ meats!
  • A good creamy stroganoff is one of my favourite meals. Try it with liver over at Easy Natural Food.

Weigh in: Do you eat liver? What’s your favourite way to cook it? Are you convinced of the health benefits?

This post also appeared at the Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania.

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27 thoughts on “The Surprising Superfood You Need to Get in Your Diet

  1. Oh, thank you for the link love!

    Liver has never been hard for me; for some reason I’ve always loved it. But that Barbecued Beef Liver is simply wonderful – I’ll be interested in hearing how you like it. The Crispy Lemon Liver is also pretty good, but if you make it, instead of using just almond flour, make it half almond flour and half tapioca or arrowroot flour (if you can handle the carbs). It will improve the texture of the “breading” immensely.

  2. +1 for the link to Mark’s Daily Apple about the fact that toxins are NOT stored in the liver. And thank you for the link love!!

    I’ve never had a problem with liver; I’ve always loved it, but then again I’m a bit of an oddball. The Barbecued Beef Liver is almost guaranteed to make a liver lover out of just about anyone (note I said “almost” 🙂 ). The Crispy Lemon Liver recipe is excellent, also, but if you make it, use half almond flour and half tapioca or arrowroot flour, if you can handle the carbs – it will improve the texture immensely.

    And just wait until I find something to do with that goat liver I have stored in the freezer!

  3. I am sure it’s super healthy, but I abstain from eating it……my family made me eat it as a kid so it also conjures up really bad memories! Love the new look by the way!

  4. I love liver! I’m happy to hear an “icky” food getting such good press, especially after AHS 2012. My friends were a little put off by my excitement at finding grass-fed bison liver for $2/lb when we were on vacation last weekend. I don’t think very many people see that kind of food as a treat, haha.

    • Oooh, you were at AHS? Jealous! I’m always excited over finding that kind of stuff – there’s no grass-fed meats in our local store sadly so coming across grass fed bison liver would blow my mind 🙂 Did you buy it and, if so, was it tasty?

      • No, sadly I was not at AHS! I just followed the live tweets voraciously and read all the write-ups afterward. And YES of course I bought it! 😀 It came frozen so I’m going to defrost it soon and try some of those recipes you put up. Barbecued sounds phenomenal. I usually do liver with a “breading” of almond flour and spices, then topped with a huge serving of caramelized red onions and a squirt of lemon juice. Mmm.

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  6. Puree and put it in soup, grind it and put it in meat loaf. Both work. Find someone who is butchering a beast, chances are they dont want the liver, kidneys, tounge, heart, or tail. Came home with 50 lbs of free meat from two grass fed steers. Came home with that much from one steer and three pigs from another friend. Haven’t done the chicken feet and heads yet but maybe next time. Havent tried brains yet either but am told they are good. It’s a shame what we throw away. Oh yes, save the large bones and make broth. Chickens love liver as well and it is good for them (raw)

  7. Ugh, it’s 7:15am as I’m reading your liver post, and I’m feeling a little queasy! Yikes. I really, really, really don’t like liver… at all. If anyone was willing to cook it for me in a way that I do not notice it at all, I might be willing to eat it. But having grown up with my mom’s liver and onion recipe… aaaagh! Must find something good to eat now. 😉

    By the way, I do love your writing style a lot!!

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