Four Forgotten Superfoods: PART ONE

Whenever we hear about the newest "superfood," it's usually some strange  berry or ancient grain harvested by a tribe living in Africa or deepest Peru. But some of the most nutritious foods, with the highest levels of vitamins and minerals, are forgotten foods. Foods we used to eat when we were young, foods our ancestors ate back in the old country. These forgotten superfoods are not cool or hip. Magazines are not writing articles about them. But they are super, nonetheless.

The first food on our list is the superfood everyone loves to hate. Your grandparents ate it regularly. Their parents knew how nutritious it is. And like most organ meats, it was also inexpensive. Yes, I'm talking about LIVER. (Everyone cringes...)

Ounce for ounce, liver is simply the most nutritious food on the planet. All the other superfoods pale in comparison to liver. Liver has loads of Vitamin A--in the form our bodies need called retinol--most of the B vitamins, all the other fat soluble vitmins--D, E, and K--plus plenty of minerals like iron, copper, zinc, potassium, and choline. Liver has high quality protein. And liver from grass-fed animals also has an excellent fat profile, with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.

And keep in mind: when we're talking about all the nutrients contained in liver, we are talking about the most easily absorbed forms of these vitamins and minerals. Other foods, especially plant foods, might contain some of these nutrients, but not at the same levels and not in the same forms which the body can easily and instantly use.

I know. You hate liver. Your mother made you eat it when you were little and it was horrible. Or your grandmother cooked it and it made her place stink to high heaven.

Yes, the taste is strong. But there are ways to get around that issue. Chicken livers are less strongly flavored than beef, pork, and lamb. But any liver can be chopped finely and mixed with other meats, like ground beef or sausage meat. The mixture can be made into meatloaf, meatballs, burgers, casseroles, spaghetti sauce, or pate. Chopped chicken livers can be blended with hard-boiled eggs for a classic Jewish appetizer. I'd highly recommend it!

You might also be afraid of liver because you think it contains toxins. This is not the case. The liver works to process toxins out of our bodies, but this organ does not absorb and store toxins. It works to eliminate toxins through our poop and pee. Liver is NOT toxic for us to consume. Quite the contrary!

Here's a recipe I posted a few years ago for a meatloaf using finely chopped liver. I've made this with beef and venison liver, ground beef, ground venison, sausage meat, and various other additions. I find that if the chopped liver is about 1/4 of the total meat mixture, you cannot taste the liver at all. Even my husband, who absolutely HATES liver, will happily eat this meatloaf. It's delicious and highly nutritious!

I hope you will try adding liver to your diet. There is no better superfood out there!