While most of the world grumbles about the taste of liver, they should be considering all the benefits that come from eating a serving of liver. Granted, it is not a meat that should be eaten continuously, however, at least once a month will help a person feel better and reap all the good stuff.
The liver is an organ meat, and it is considered to be one of the most nutrient dense meats that you can consume. The flavor and the texture is what tends to keep people away from this iron rich, vitamin and nutrient packed meat. Experimenting with the way it is cooked may provide meals that are satisfying and super tasty.
This is not to say that everyone should be eating liver. There are a few drawbacks that could be harmful to some individuals. Let’s go through the benefits first.
Liver is jam packed with:
- Vitamins A, B, C, K
There are 4 grams of Carbohydrates, 4 grams of fat, and 23 grams of protein in a 3 ounce serving of cooked liver. This is considered to be one of the most nutrient dense superfoods.
When you eat liver, you are lowering your risk of cataracts, anemia and breast cancer. Vitamin K found in the liver will help keep bones strong, reinforcing the skeletal frame. Vitamin K helps to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and maintain the health of your circulatory system.
This all on top of the other nutrients and Vitamins and minerals found in the liver. The Zinc amount in beef liver will help support the immune system. Helping you to fight off common issues such as colds and viruses.
The amount of Selenium found in a serving of beef liver can help to improve the body’s metabolism. Alongside the copper that provides energy. Reproductive health, the immune system, the nervous system as well as growth and development are all assisted by a three ounce serving of beef liver.
Liver is actually low in caloric intake, low in fat and heavy on protein. A well researched study has proven that eating a diet that is high in nutrients, but low in calories, will help the body to remain full, satiated longer.
The liver from the cow, beef liver, is the most common type of liver eaten. There are people who eat the livers from other animals also.
Being an organ meat, it is highly recommended that you speak with your Physician in regards to eating liver. Although it is packed with nutrients and Vitamins, it is also one of those foods that increase the Cholesterol in humans. Many people need to lower their cholesterol, so consuming this organ meat may not be a great idea.
Vitamin A Toxicity
Too much of a good thing can still be a bad thing. When we consume too much Vitamin A we can cause issues for our own livers. The human liver cannot process an abundance of Vitamin A quickly, this could lead to signs of Vitamin A toxicity.
When you speak with your Physician you will learn that he or she will recommend only one serving of liver per week, so to stave off the risks of over the limit Vitamin A. Some problems that are associated with Vitamin A toxicity include:
- Pressure on the Brain
- Bone Pain
- Liver Damage
- Vision problems
- Changes to the skin
Copper is another mineral that your body cannot have too much of. Too much copper can lead to serious health problems.
There has also been documented research and evidence showing the Vitamin A can reduce the potency of certain medications. For instance Psoriasis medication and liver should not be together, as the medicine may react differently with this source of Vitamin A.
It is advised that people who have gout episodes avoid eating liver. There are high levels of purine and uric acid found in the liver. This can cause an episode or flare up of gout.
While pregnant, it is highly not advised to consume liver. The amount of Vitamin A in the liver can affect the fetus negatively.
How To Cook and Use Liver
Considering the popularity of this organ meat has faded over time, people obviously do not cook liver as often. There are multiple ways that liver can be used as part of a healthy diet. We will include a recipe further on, let’s go over some ideas first.
Pan fried is obviously the number one way to cook liver. With the liver smothered in brown gravy and onions, people seem to believe this will improve the flavor. And, to an extent it does.
Ground up and mixed with other ground meats will disguise the flavor of the organ meat by itself. This is a great way to disguise it and still feed the family those grilled burgers on the grill. With the right seasonings and flavorings, then topped with lettuce and tomato, they will never know that they are eating liver.
A combination of meats ground together will enable you to make a variety of meals such as Salisbury Steak, meatloaf and hamburger patties. With such an abundance of nutrition in the liver, finding ways to incorporate beef liver into meals will benefit the health of your family.
You could even use ground beef and mix ground liver to make casseroles and hotdishes. Tacos have enough flavoring with the spice that no one would know that there is a combination of meats. It really could be easy to increase the Vitamins, minerals and nutrition with the use of liver created in the meals.
Using herbs and spices can help to disguise the flavor, however, salt intake still needs to be limited. Soaking the liver in milk or lemon juice can help mellow that strong flavor of liver. It is also suggested that soaking the liver in some red wine vinegar and honey mixed with water. Cover or seal in a zipper bag and allow to chill in the refrigerator overnight.
All it takes is an imagination, a great combination of spices and herbs, and a savory marinade and you can make liver a popular meal around your table too.
Beefy Liver Burgers
- 1.5 pounds lean ground beef
- ¼ pound beef liver, ground
- 2 tsp Better than Bouillon Beef bouillon
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 6 slices Swiss Cheese
- In a large bowl combine the ground beef, ground liver, diced onion, ground black pepper, garlic powder, egg, bread crumbs and bouillon. Mix together using a wooden spoon until all is combined evenly
- Form 6 hamburger patties
- Place on a heated grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. These must be cooked until a thermometer reads 165* to 175* on the inside. Liver must be fully cooked
- The last minute, place 1 slice of Swiss cheese on each burger and allow to melt
- Remove from the grill, place each pattie on a bun and top with lettuce and tomato, may and any other choice of toppings.
Sautéed Liver with Onion and Mushrooms
Liver and onions was, at one time, a popular meal. You can still find some restaurants who serve it up.
Liver tends to get a bad reputation due to the texture and the taste. When you use herbs and spices, that will improve the flavor. Marinating the meat for a period of time will allow the meat to soak up the flavor of the marinade.
Marinade can be made using any liquid. Lemon and juice and milk help to mellow the taste of the liver. Using some red wine vinegar and lemon juice will add a spark of flavor.
I also like to simmer the liver in a beef bouillon for at least ten minutes which softens and flavors the liver.
- 4- 4 ounce pieces of beef liver
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp Smoky paprika
- 1 tbsp beef bouillon mix
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Mix together the milk, bouillon and the water
- Place liver into the liquid and cover tightly or place inside a ziploc bag
- Marinate overnight or for a minimum of 3 hours
- Heat the Olive oil in a skillet on medium heat
- Place the liver in the pan and saute for 2 minutes each side
- Pour the liquid from the marinade into the pan and add the sliced onions
- Add in the mushrooms,
- Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes or until the onions have softened
Again, liver was a popular and economical meal for a long time, it can become popular again, with no one realizing they are eating, except the cook who prepares the food. The benefits far outweigh the risks of eating liver. Be sure to cook it completely so there is no danger with uncooked meat.