Though liver is known by some as “nature’s weekly multivitamin,” it is often neglected from the family table because of its strong taste and unique texture.
To be honest, I do not like beef liver. I have tried eating it many different ways and nothing seems to make it better for me, except by masking it in chili or a small amount of it mixed in with ground beef in other heavily spiced dishes. I’ve tried eating it raw and frozen, marinated and fried, in smoothies, and even dehydrating it into “liver chips” (actually, this wasn’t so bad! Credit goes to Primal Edge Health for this great idea). But even though it’s hard for me to eat (contrary to my experience with delicious lamb liver…I have zero issues eating that!), I am grateful that my children have no trouble eating it. I suppose that’s because they’re used to it, having been exposed to it since babyhood. I am definitely jealous of their indifference towards it!
Here are some reasons why I’ve made a good effort to incorporate it into our diets:
- High in pro-vitamin A (retinol): specifically known for supporting immune system function in a measles infection (and basic immune health, I assume), I make sure we are never deficient in it [reference].
- High in Choline: this brain-power nutrient isn’t found in high amounts in plants and is especially valuable in pregnancy and supporting overall brain development and function [reference].
- Liver contains CoQ10 [reference].
- A great source of protein.
- Nose to tail eating respects the animal.
- Great for increasing iron levels, which is important for children and premenopausal women. I’ve personally found heme iron to work better than non-heme iron (molasses or non-heme iron supplements) for this purpose.
So, if your little ones can learn to get used to the flavor or if they don’t have a problem eating it, take advantage and try to serve them liver 1-2 times a week. That is what I strive for (and typically fail at) and they are exposed to it enough to not have trouble eating it. Actually, my two oldest children always ask for more once it’s gone.
And if you can’t tolerate beef liver, you can take desiccated grass-fed beef liver capsules, or indulge in a treat of lamb liver if you’re like me.
I hope you can successfully incorporate this wonderful food into your meals if you so wish!