Raw liver tonic
1. Grate 1 tsp of ginger
2. Grate 1 oz of raw, frozen liver
3. Combine tomato juice, ginger, lime juice, pickle brine, cayenne pepper, salt, and liver into a glass and mix well.
Three years ago, my good friend made me my first ever liver tonic and introduced me to the delicious world of organ meats. I have been on a real food journey for over 7 years now and if you had told me at the beginning I would happily be eating raw liver today, I would have said you were crazy. But, to tell you the truth, whether you are at the beginning of your health journey or deeply entrenched into it, raw liver in the form of a glorified Bloody Mary is actually pretty good!
Raw liver might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and should not be taken lightly. I personally prefer to follow the examples of my ancestors who understood the nutritional powers of raw foods. When I do consume raw foods (meat, dairy, fish) knowing and trusting my farmer is key. Some say freezing the meat for 14 days before consumption may help eliminate pathogens and parasites. Do what feels right to you.
Modern holistic nutrition now understands the innate wisdom our ancestors had when consuming raw liver fresh from a kill—bioavailability. Bioavailability describes the body’s ability to absorb and utilize nutrients. Raw meats are easier for the body to absorb and digest; therefore, more of the nutrients can be utilized by the body. In addition, the majority of the nutrients are maintained and not destroyed by cooking. Liver is especially high in the B vitamins, Vitamins A, D, E, choline, folate, and the minerals copper, zinc, and iron. Vitamin B12 in particular is mostly found in animal foods, and this vitamin is crucial for mental health, healthy skin, hair, eyes, liver, adrenal glands, and nervous system. Not to mention the mysterious “anti-fatigue” factor that liver provides, so yes, raw liver tonic = breakfast of champions for this busy, pregnant mama.
Note that I do serve this raw liver tonic to my kids. Nutrition anthropological accounts report the prized organ meats were reserved for children, pregnant mothers, and elderly. Most days the littles don’t complain and drink it up in an instant, occasionally asking for more. Other days they are more interested in the fruit of their choice that follows the tonic. Either way, this mom is happy knowing they have had at least one serving of an organ meat for the day.
Making it Tasty
Think of the raw liver tonic as a fancy Bloody Mary sans alcohol. Who needs that anyway if you have the liver to give the energy boost? The tomato juice is the starting point and everything else you add in is purely optional and depends on taste preferences. I prefer (this brand) from Whole Foods. A few mixing options are:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Pickle juice/brine
- lime or lemon juice
- sauerkraut brine
- Tabasco sauce or any other hot sauce
- grated ginger
- cayenne pepper
- garlic salt
- mineral water
The list is endless. I definitely recommend adding a generous amount of salt as it will aid in digestion and improve the flavor of the tonic. Everything else is completely based on flavor preferences.
It is easiest to grate the liver when it is frozen using a microplane or a regular box grater. I prefer to take it out of the freezer 5-10min before preparation and wrap my hand in a towel when grating. The amount to grate is totally up to the individual. I tend to get overzealous and grate as much as my frozen hand will tolerate…after all, this mama needs all the raw liver she can get!
See below for the recipe and use the tag #nourishthelittlesrecipes on instagram if you make it! I love to see our community incorporating nutrient dense foods into their diet.