No, those aren’t some creative homemade candies on the right, they’re frozen raw liver.
HANG ON…here me out.
If someone were to tell me even just 5 years ago that I would be consuming raw liver smoothies 1-2x per week I would have laughed in their face in disbelief. But it’s true, and my health has drastically improved because of it. A few years ago I heard of this idea from Real Food Liz, author of Eat the Yolks. A few years ago, since I was recently new to eating meat again and totally scared to prepare liver on the stove for an actual meal (and still am), I had to try it. Her recipe that I originally started using is here.
After trying it there is only one way that could describe how it made me feel – LIKE SUPERWOMAN. I’ve been hooked ever since, and geez what a great thing to be hooked on. I’m sure to have my raw liver smoothie before a big day, whenever I’m not feeling well (especially hormonally), and especially when I’m a bit low in energy. I actually look at it as a food-based multivitamin! Believe it or not, I’ve also been feeding them to Hanley since he was 7 – 8 months old. Recipe for the little one’s can be found in my eBook.
Benefits of liver, nature’s most nutrient dense superfood!
It’s a common misconception to think that since liver is the detoxification organ that when we consume it we’re also consuming toxins that were stored in that liver. Another misconception is the idea that it is too high in vitamin A. It’s important to educate yourself on the actual facts about liver and the Weston A. Price Foundation does a wonderful job of explaining it all. I also love Chris Kresser’s breakdown of it. Please take the time to review this important information.
As it states on the WAPF’s post (link above), liver contains more nutrients, gram for gram, than any other food. In summary, liver provides:
- 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.
So…how do I actually make this happen?
There are a few steps involved in this process, but I promise it’s manageable.
1. Purchase chicken liver from your local butcher, health food store or Whole Foods. Quality is key so opt for pastured, organic chicken liver when possible. Chicken liver has a much more mild flavor than beef’s liver, which makes this whole experience much easier to palate. I can never taste it in my smoothie.
2. Place liver(s) in a high quality blender (I use my NutriBullet) and blend until smooth. I feel like Dexter when I do this. As gross as this part is, the vibrant red color of the liver just amazes me and is a true sign that it’s a nutrient dense food.
3. Pour blended liver into ice cube molds (using a spoon helps) – preferably silicone candy molds that are small, I use these. Cover and freeze for 14 days (this kills any parasites or pathogens) – set an alarm on your phone to remind you that they’re ready and safe to consume). Once frozen, I place them into a (labeled) Ziplock bag. Be sure to use them within 3 months.
4. About 1 – 3 times per week, feel free to take out a cube and add to your favorite smoothie. Or, you can do what I do – I make a smoothie and pour 3/4 of it into a glass, then drop the liver cube back into the blender with the remaining smoothie with a few extra raspberries or strawberries and blend from there so that I can quickly sip it down before getting to just my regular smoothie. The thought of raw liver in my big smoothie…I just can’t, so I like to make it smaller so that it’s over with in a few quick sips.
If I could do it, you can do it too! It’s just those few steps at first but that work yields plenty of nutritious cubes for smoothies.