Liver can be considered a superfood because it is low in calories and offers many health benefits. Although it used to be a popular food because of its nutritional value, liver has become less popular over the years, as have other organ meats. It's very rich in protein and has essential vitamins and minerals. Let's take a look at why you should add liver to your diet and three ways to cook it perfectly.
Liver Nutritional Value
Liver is known to be one of the most nutrient-dense foods we have, period. Although we are used to getting our minerals and vitamins from fruits and vegetables, liver offers these same components but exponentially more than fruits and vegetables do. It's so nutrient-dense that just a small amount of liver can give us over 100% of the daily value needed for these nutrients.
Liver has well over our daily value needed in vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and copper. Vitamin B12 is important for the health of our DNA, red blood cells, and brain function. Vitamin A is important for reproduction, immunity, and vision. Riboflavin is important for cellular health and energy. Copper is important for enzymes, brain function, and iron metabolism.
These aren't the only important vitamins and minerals liver offers. It's also a great source of folate, iron, and choline. Folate is important for DNA formation, iron is important to carry oxygen through the body, and choline is important for brain development and liver function.
Now that we've covered why you should add liver to your diet, here's how you can oven-bake liver. First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In the meantime, prepare a cooking sheet, cover it with aluminum foil, and grease the pan. To prepare the liver, rinse it under cold water and pat it dry. Cut it into slices anywhere from half an inch to two inches thick. Season the liver with spices like salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and basil. You can also use chili or curry powder. Place the seasoned liver on the cooking sheets and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes. Liver needs to be well cooked, so make sure it reaches 160 degrees.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cover a cooking sheet in aluminum foil and grease.
- Cut liver into half-inch to two-inch slices.
- Season liver with desired seasonings.
- Place in oven and cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Check it has reached 160 degrees.
- Serve and enjoy.
Most often, when grilling liver you are going to marinate it. You can do a simple marinade with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Or you can do a more complex marinade with ingredients like ginger, parsley, red pepper flakes, and sherry wine. Whichever marinade you decide to use, prepare the liver with the marinade and let it sit for a minimum of two hours. Once ready, preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Remove the liver from the marinade and pat it with paper towels to dry. Place the liver on the grill and cook for three minutes on each side. Once removed, add salt and serve.
- Marinate liver for a minimum of two hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Remove liver from the marinade and pat dry with a paper towel.
- Grill on each side of the liver for 3 minutes.
- Remove from grill, salt, and serve.
Pan Seared Liver
A common way to pan-sear liver is with onions. To prepare the liver, season it on both sides with seasonings you like. Salt, pepper, and garlic are commonly used when pan-searing. Then, cover the liver in flour. Heat up your pan with some olive oil, and add the liver. At this point, you don't need to fully cook it, just brown each side. Then remove the liver from the pan, and add sliced onions to the pan. Cook the onions for five minutes. Then, add the liver back to the pan with a quarter cup of water and cover with a lid. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 8 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve.
- Season liver with preferred seasonings.
- Slice an onion.
- Heat up a pan with olive oil.
- Brown both sides of the liver and remove it from the pan.
- Add onions to pan and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add liver back to the pan with 1/4 cup water.
- Cover the pan with a lid and reduce heat.
- Cook for 8 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
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