Want to get more nutrition through food rather than supplements? It may be time to accept liver into your life. And if you’ve never tried it — don’t be afraid!
Give this recipe a try and keep an open mind; enjoy it on some crackers or toast, maybe add a little mustard. But honestly I love it on its own. And knowing what it’s doing for my body makes me love it even more.
First, some nutritional highlights:
Major source of choline
Richest natural source of iron
One of the richest sources of folate and vitamin B12
Rich in vitamin A and solid amounts of the other fat-soluble vitamins D, E and K
Percentage of Recommended Daily Intake for the average adult provided by 100g (about 3.5oz) of chicken liver*:
>350 vitamin A
20% vitamin C
50% iron (highly usable form!)
nearly 700% vitamin B12!
125% vitamin B5
*Grass fed beef liver contains a similarly stellar nutrient profile, with some nutrient levels reaching even higher! I prefer chicken liver for its milder flavor, but both are wonderful.
Just a few ounces weekly can do wonders for boosting these nutrient levels.
If you’re concerned about the liver being a “filter” that “stores toxins,” don’t be — the liver’s role is to neutralize toxins, it doesn’t store them. What it does store is a TON of nutrition, including vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, foliate, and minerals like copper and iron. These nutrients actually help your body get rid of toxins!
It is important to try and buy liver from a high-quality source. In full transparency, I often use Bell & Evans organic chicken livers from Whole Foods, which I don’t believe is free range/pastured; but I personally feel the benefits outweigh the risks and feel great with it; that said, a better option would be liver from pasture-raised chickens — one great source that ships nation-wide is grasslandbeef.com
Liver Paté Recipe
2-3 tbsp grass-fed butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
2-3 oz chicken livers (ideally pasture-raised, at least organic; beef liver also works well but has a stronger flavor)
2 tsp dried sage
2 tsp dried thyme
Salt and/or miso to taste (I love about 1 tsp of South River Miso Company’s sweet white or chickpea miso)
Melt 2 tbsp butter over low-medium heat in a medium-large pan
Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent and just starting to brown (about 7-10 minutes)
Add the liver and herbs (hold off on adding salt/miso until the end) and cook the livers a few minutes on each side, until cooked through (you’ll be puréeing it anyway, so you can break them up to make sure they’re cooked all the way through)
Remove pan from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes
Blend to desired consistency — I love using a hand blender for this as it’s really easy to clean, but a blender works great too. Add salt and/or miso to taste. Optional to add additional butter to make the consistency smoother and creamier.
Enjoy weekly with crackers, toast, or on its own, and watch your energy levels soar! Keeps well in an air-tight jar in the fridge for 2-3 days.