A stressed-out, worn-thin mama friend came to me recently. We commiserated with each other about our sleepless nights and dark-circled eyes. Motherhood is a wondefully, exhausting, and yet oh-so-rewarding experience, isn’t it?
After a good laugh about how dog-tired we are we came up with a plan. A plan to take care of our bodies, nourish ourselves–body and soul–and try to get a little more rest–oh, and also to eat more liver.
Benefits of Liver
Liver is wonderfully nutritious and and provides the body a boat load of bioavailable nutrients. In short,
- An excellent source of high-quality protein
- Nature’s most concentrated source of vitamin A
- All the B vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B12
- One of our best sources of folic acid
- A highly usable form of iron
- Trace elements such as copper, zinc and chromium; liver is our best source of copper
- An unidentified anti-fatigue factor
- CoQ10, a nutrient that is especially important for cardio-vascular function
- A good source of purines, nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as precursors for DNA and RNA.
Pretty awesome, right? Liver is also known for a few other benefits…
- Liver gives you super-human stamina. A not-so-ethical animal study found liver consumption in rats allowed for the rodents to swim for over two hours when left in water. The other rodents, unfortunately, did not fare as well. You can read about it HERE. People also notice a positive difference in energy levels when consuming liver regularly (see HERE).
- Liver helps you stay toned. Vitamin A, a nutrient found in liver, is vital to the utilization of protein and production of testosterone and other growth factors. With the consumption of this nutrient, your body is able to properly use the protein you consume to build muscle and keep you toned. Read more HERE.
- Liver helps regulate hormones. Studies have found Vitamin A to play a role in the production of hormones in the body (read more HERE). Vitamin A found in liver is very easily absorbed by the body.
Does that make you want to go eat a big bowl of liver? Even though liver is an amazing food, it’s not always easy to stomach.
I’ve grown to enjoy liver pate (I’ll share a new recipe soon!), but I don’t make it nearly enough (as in eat 2-3 ounces each week). Any other liver recipe gives me the hee-bee-gee-bees. (Maybe that will change?!) So, for now, liver pills will do the trick!
What Are Liver Pills?
Liver pills are simply little pieces of liver that have been cut up into pill-size pieces. They can be swallowed with water and are TASTELESS! That means you can get all the benefits of liver without actually tasting it. After making a plan with my friend to have more energy, I set out to make the pills.
Should Liver Pills Be Raw?
I found a few awesome tutorials (like this one HERE) on raw liver pills. I was intrigued, but also a bit concerned. Raw meat?! Is that safe? The benefit of raw liver is that you get all the wonderful enzymes in tact. The common theory is that if you freeze the meat for 14 days, all pathogens are eliminated, but according to the USDA,
Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds — present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.
Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict government-supervised conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. Thorough cooking, however, will destroy all parasites. (source)
My friend’s dad is the CEO of a few major restaurant chains, so we asked his opinion on the matter. He said basically it’s as safe as eating a very undercooked hamburger. After hearing the benefits of liver, he said he’d be up for eating it raw if it came from the right source.
I opted for cooking my liver first, but if you are an adventure-seeker, raw, frozen liver pills are also an option!
fresh, grass-fed beef liver
In a skillet over medium heat, cook liver for a few minutes on each side until liver is firm, but not hard, and retains just a touch of pink on the inside. Remove from the skillet and let cool on a cutting board.
Cut the liver into tiny, pill-sized pieces and arrange them in a single-layer without touching on a baking sheet.
When finished, place in the fridge.
Once frozen, transfer the liver pills to a container and store in the freezer.
I like to pop 1-3 liver pills each day.
What about you?
Do you eat liver? What’s your favorite way to enjoy it?
Bon appetit! xo, Allison