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liver meatballs

So, I know what you are thinking … liver – ugh. I did too until I discovered this delicious way to get this nutritious food into my body. According to Chris Kresser, liver is “nature’s most potent superfood“. He says that “organ meats are between 10 and 100 times higher in nutrients than corresponding muscle meats” (just check out his chart comparing the micronutrient profile of carrots, apples, red meat and beef liver!). Gross factor aside, many people shy away from liver because they think it is the storage organ for toxins in the body. Although the liver does act as the body’s filter, it does not store these toxins. Instead, it actually does store important nutrients such as vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid. Toxins are more likely to accumulate in the fatty tissue of the animal. A word of caution: pastured beef is always the best option. Check out this picture here comparing conventional, organic and pasture raised chicken liver. Scary! Go to Eat Wild and find a local pastured beef source near you.

As you may know, I am 25 weeks pregnant with my second daughter and I do eat liver once a week. If you google “liver and pregnancy” you will find hundreds of articles telling you about the dangers of eating liver while pregnant because of the risks of getting too much vitamin A. However, as you also know, I don’t accept conventional wisdom without first doing a little digging to find out the truth. According to Mark Sisson liver is one of the top 5 foods to eat when trying to conceive and when planning a healthy pregnancy:

Ounce for ounce, liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It’s loaded with fat soluble vitamins like retinol (pre-formed vitamin A) that are crucial for reproductive health, and difficult to obtain elsewhere in the diet. Liver is also a great source of highly absorbable iron, which helps prevent miscarriage and maternal anemia, and B12, which is required for proper formation of red blood cells and DNA. Liver is also a good source of bioavailable protein, zinc, and folate.

So, if you’ve always wanted to cook liver, but have been intimidated like I was, you’ve got to try this recipe. It’s in my husband’s top 3 favorite meals I cook!
liver meatballs 2


  • 1/2 pound pastured beef liver
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2-4 slices of coursely chopped bacon, cooked with fat reserved
  • 1/2 small onion, finely diced
  • salt & pepper, about 1/2 teaspoon of each

Place the liver in a food processor – I used a magic bullet – for a few pulses until you have broken up the liver, but not completely pureed it. {Yes, this is the part where my “oh my gosh I might be sick” face comes out. However, if you can muscle through, I promise the result it worth it!} Combine liver ground beef and cooked bacon pieces salt and pepper into 1 inch meatballs.

Pour reserved bacon fat into pan and cook the meatballs in the bacon fat until no longer pink in center. I have cooked them on the stove top and in the oven with great success. In the oven, I baked on 350 degrees and cooked for about 30 minutes, rotating halfway.

These really are the best way I have ever had liver – hope you enjoy!