Why include liver?
Liver is one of the most nutrient dense sources of food out there. I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite thing to eat. The thought kind of grosses me out. But the nutritional benefits are so exceptional that
I try to include it in my meals at least twice a week.
What’s so exceptional about liver?
It packs a LOT in a small punch. It’s one of the highest sources of the following nutrients:
Vitamin B12 Vitamin A
Riboflavin (B2) Folate (B9) Iron
These essential vitamins and minerals are involved in everything from forming red blood cells and transporting oxygen around the body, immune functioning, cellular development, enzyme activation, liver function, and many other critical cellular functioning.
They are particularly important for having energy, building healthy eggs, supporting a healthy pregnancy, and postpartum recovery.
Liver vs. other comparable other sources of iron
You might wonder if it’s really necessary to eat liver. Surely there are other dietary sources of all of these nutrients? While it’s true that we can find all of these nutrients from other sources, the quantity of these nutrients in liver is so much higher than other foods.
For example, let’s look at the quantity of micronutrients in 1 ounce of chicken liver compared to 1 ounce of chicken breast:
The numbers speak for themselves. So even though it grosses me out, I hide it in dishes with ground beef so that I don’t have to think about it too much but still get all the nutritional benefits
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 kilo or 1 lb ground beef (ideally organic, grass fed)
8 oz cooked liver*
One 400 gram/ 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (no sugar added)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
*Note for those who keep kosher: Raw liver that you buy from the butcher is NOT kosher (even from a kosher butcher!) You need to kasher it through a salting and broiling process. For the first few times I kashered my own liver, I used a combo of the Chabad and CRC guidelines (linked below) and I called my husband’s bubby to walk me through it. It seems intimidating, but if you get a separate roasting pan it’s actually super easy. Obviously ask your LOR if you have questions, as this page is not a halachic guide or resource.
In a large frying pan heat the olive oil over a medium flame.
Sauté the onions and garlic until translucent, about 10 minutes.
Lower the flame and add in the ground beef. Use a spoon or ground meat chopped to mix around.
Add in liver and mix.
Add in tomato sauce, spices, and mix until combined.
Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
The meat should be browned and you shouldn’t see any pink.
Serve over zoodles or any veggie of your choice!