Healthy Foods: Big health bang delivered by liver

Few things can raise as many “I’m not eating that” and “eew! Disgusting!” reactions from the dinner table as liver, but that’s too bad because the nutrition found in organ meats is unbelievable!

The liver is a storage organ for vitamins A, B12, D, E, and K, as well as copper, iron, and other essential minerals, so it’s literally a nutritional powerhouse.

Yep, there’s a reason why your mother made beef liver, and there are multiple reasons why you should be eating it. Let’s examine a few . . .

• Iron. Whether it’s pork liver, chicken liver, or beef liver, liver is a tremendous source of iron. For best iron absorption, cook your liver in a cast iron pan!
• Vitamin A. Liver contains a ton of Vitamin A, which is essential for many bodily processes, in addition to regulation of blood sugar, protection from environmental toxins, and overall hair and skin health.
• Brain function. Liver contains a high amount of DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), which leads to higher brain function and visual acuity.

Beef liver is cheap, amazingly good for you, easy to cook, and, believe it or not, delicious.

When you add liver to your diet, you’re providing your body with some of the key tools it needs to rid itself of toxins and preserve your good health.

Buying beef liver

When buying liver and any other organ meats, it’s very important to look for pasture-raised liver, free of antibiotics, hormones, or commercial feed. There is more nutrition in pasture-raised animals than in their commercially-raised counterparts.

Cooking beef liver

Beef liver is quite tender, especially compared to pork liver. It also has quite a mild taste.

Liver and onions is a classic dish for a reason. Here’s how to prepare it:

First, if you bought a whole liver from a farmer, you’ll need to remove its thick outer membrane, as well as the veins. I prefer buying the liver already prepared and sliced for me. That’s not such an easy thing to find when you’re dealing with grass-fed animals, though, so prepare yourself to have to do some of the not-so-nice prep.

Slice the liver in slices about a quarter-inch thick.

In a cast iron or stainless steel pan, cook sliced onions in butter until they’re nice and soft and golden brown.
While the onions are cooking, dredge your liver in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. (Buckwheat flour will work well if you’re avoiding gluten.)

Remove the onions from the pan, add more butter and fry your coated liver slices. When the slices of liver are golden brown, add the cooked onions and enough beef or chicken broth to half cover the contents of the pan. Cover and cook on medium-low so that the liquid is at a nice simmer.

The dish should be ready in about thirty minutes. You’ll know when the liver is done as it will no longer be pink in the middle.

Bon appetite!

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