Raw Liver Smoothie

Raw Liver Smoothie

The red flecks are berries, not liver! You cannot see or taste the liver in this smoothie.

CAUTION: This post contains an image of raw liver! 

I was looking for ways to get raw beef liver into my diet. I admit, I’m not squeamish about these things. I’ve been eating cooked liver and kidney since I was a kid, so that’s a no-brainer for me. But raw liver? Why would I want to try that?

What prompted me to finally do this, is that I’m really sensitive to sugar. I do my best to minimize sweet treats, but I have an incurable sweet tooth for chocolate, and periodically I overindulge, which nearly always results in a bad case of insomnia which can last for weeks. This makes me very rundown, and raw liver is about the best pick-me-up that I know.

I first read about eating raw liver in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. Liver is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Among other things, it is rich in vitamin A, all of the B vitamins (particularly B12), iron, CoQ10, and has what’s been called an “anti-fatigue” factor. Raw liver in particular is known for its health and stamina-building properties.

Here are a couple articles about eating raw liver:

I ordered some organic, grass-fed raw beef liver through my local food coop (Backyard CSA) and put it in the freezer for at least 14 days (a precautionary measure to ensure that any parasites are killed). Each morning I pulled it out of the freezer and while it’s still frozen, sliced off slithers of liver – about 1 tablespoon. Then I would simply eat it!

However after about my 4th morning in a row of eating it straight, it finally occurred to me to simply throw it into my smoothie! One thing I had noticed about eating raw liver is that it has very little taste (much milder than cooked liver), so I figured it wouldn’t affect the taste of my smoothie at all, especially since I use ingredients such as berries, maple syrup and lemon juice which are fairly strong tasting.

Raw liver is now a staple ingredient in my smoothie, which I have for breakfast about 3-4 times per week.

Chopped raw liver

Chopped raw liver about to be added to my smoothie!

Raw Liver Smoothie

I don’t really measure anything, so I’ve tried to approximate. I don’t do well with yogurt or kefir so I use coconut milk instead.

1 ripe banana
Small handful of berries (strong-flavored ones like blackberries are raspberries are best)
Coconut milk – about 1/4 cup
Raw cream – about 1 tablespoon
Coconut oil – a large spoonful
Flax seed oil – about 1 teaspoon
Pinch of sea salt
Lemon juice – 1-2 teaspoons
Maple syrup or honey
2 raw egg yolks (from pastured hens)
Raw beef liver* – 1 tablespoon, finely chopped

*Important to source raw liver from organically-raised, grass-fed cows, and always freeze it for at least 14 days before eating it raw.

1. Add all ingredients except the egg yolks into a blender (I use a hand-held blender). Blend until smooth.
2. Add the egg yolks and give a quick pulse or two. Finish blending in egg yolk with a fork if necessary (I have read the proteins in egg yolks are fragile and should not be subjected to heavy blending).
3. Enjoy and feel good!

Linking to: Fat Tuesday, Traditional Tuesdays, Hearth and Soul HopReal Food Wednesdays, Healthy 2day Wednesdays, Whole Food Wednesday, Allergy Free WednesdaysFull Plate Thursdays, Simple Lives ThursdayPennywise Platter ThursdaysSunday SchoolMonday ManiaHomestead BarnhopMake Your Own MondaysReal Food 101

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33 Responses to Raw Liver Smoothie

  1. Karen says:

    Love this idea! I have been trying to eat raw liver but I can only get 1 or 2 “pill” size pieces in my mouth and then I start to gag. I try to swallow them whole but I seem to get a taste of it and then no more. I don’t get too far with that method so
    this might be something to try. Will this smoothie last you all morning or do you
    do a snack mid morning? I do love smoothies. By the way, I love your recipes.
    I have been reading your blog for only about a month or so. Oh one more question,
    is your coconut milk from a can? I heard Wilderness Family has a coconut milk powder to reconstitute with water.

    • Debbie says:

      Hi Karen, thank you! You have made my day :) My smoothie is pretty filling and usually does last me until lunch. If I wake up feeling ravenous (which happens frequently!) then I’ll also have a small breakfast sausage or a slice of bacon. I use the Native Forest brand of canned coconut milk which is supposed to be BPA-free (although I can’t find that mentioned on the cans or on their website, so I must look into it.) That’s really interesting about the WFN coconut milk powder – I haven’t heard about it but will definitely look into it. Thanks for letting me know!
      Take care

      • paka says:

        A friend is currently hospitalised and had part of his intestine removed after drinking something similar. Please don’t eat raw chicken…..

  2. Bebe says:

    In my quest to consume more liver, which I don’t particularly care for, I have been looking at a lot of preparation methods. Have yet to find a cooked liver preparation that I like, except pate. I am working with beef and moose liver because that’s what I have available to me but they are the strongest tasting.
    Recently I tried liver shooters: http://www.holistickid.com/raw-liver-shooters/ which has worked our pretty good, especially after I tweaked it for my personal taste. In her directions Monica has you blend the liver into the whole six ounces of tomato juice but for me it just made the juice taste like liver so I broke it down into true single shots. First put a little ginger juice, maybe 1/2 t., into shot glass, next add a bit of grated frozen liver, 1/2-1 t., top with spicy tomato juice (the original calls for fresh squeezed but I was out of tomatoes and did have a bottle of Knudsen’s spicy “Very Veggie” tomato juice cocktail so that’s what I have been using). The just toss it back. Doing it this way you don’t need the lime to cut the aftertaste because there is none! I think the ginger is the key, plus just a gentle stir to separate the liver gratings, making it very easy to swallow.
    After reading the Nourished magazine link above I decided to try just cutting it up into small pill size instead of grating. If you can swallow a few pills at one time you can do it this way and it’s easier because you don’t have to grate it and wash the grater plus the liver stays frozen when you just cut it in bits. This is my new favorite.
    I am afraid to try your smoothie even though it sounds tempting because honestly, I can taste *everything* even when others say they can’t. I must be one of the “super-tasters” of the world! Great post though. I believe liver is THE superfood to get on board for everyone.

    • Debbie says:

      Good on you for persevering with liver even though you don’t like it :) It’s great that you have found some ways of taking it that you can tolerate (I won’t dare say enjoy!) If you ever decide to try the smoothie, I highly recommend using blackberries (as opposed to milder tasting berries such as blueberries) because blackberries have a much stronger flavor, which helps mask any liver flavor. Also, the lemon juice helps mask the flavor too. The maple syrup is there to add in a bit of sweetness to counteract the tartness of the lemon and blackberries. Just in case you do decide to try it :)

  3. Jen says:

    Excellent idea! Thanks for sharing. Once summer gets rolling I am going to try this. Not sure if I could do raw liver directly but I know its better for you than cooked.

  4. Miz Helen says:

    Debbie, you are a brave woman, I really admire that you could even make this smoothie, much less drink it. I think it will be great for all of those who can, I just don’t think I am one of them, but who knows, maybe someday. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and come back soon!
    Miz Helen

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  6. farmer_liz says:

    I have those chocolate cravings/binges too, despite reading Nourishing Traditions and know perfectly well what I should eat and what I should avoid! Do you find that the liver helps to reduce the cravings? or more as a pick-me-up after an overindulgence? I am building up to trying liver next time we have a steer killed. Think I will start off with cooked liver and see how I go!

    • Debbie says:

      I’ve never thought about it that way before…..but I think it might, indirectly, because when I eat liver regularly I feel good – I feel more positive, more energetic, more purposeful, more in control……and therefore less likely to feel like I’m “needing” chocolate.

      Definitely start with cooked liver first :) If you’re new to eating liver, its a good idea to soak it overnight in milk (yes, sounds strange!) because this helps to remove some of the strong taste. I’ve heard lemon juice does the same thing….although I’d imagine that would make it taste lemony. I used to always soak the liver first (described here: http://easynaturalfood.com/2011/08/12/lambs-fry-and-bacon/ ) but I mainly eat lamb’s liver which is milder tasting than beef liver, so I don’t bother to soak it anymore.

      When you have it, let me know how it goes!

  7. Gwen says:

    I’m intrigued…made liver last night for the first time ever and really enjoyed it. Def nothing to be frightened of. Go you!

    • Debbie says:

      Yay, that’s awesome! I personally enjoy the taste, but I know that so many people don’t. Make sure you eat it again!

  8. AleaMilham says:

    I love the fact that you have made a recipe with liver where you can’t taste the liver! :) Bravo! It really does look delicious.

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  10. Sara says:

    I’m excited to try this! Is the liver difficult to cut up when it’s all frozen? I assume you cut it up on a need-to-use basis? Mine was purchased already frozen!

    • Debbie says:

      Mine was purchased already frozen too…..so I just stuck it in the freezer in a big frozen lump! However my piece of liver is no more than an inch thick, so its not too hard to shave off pieces of liver with a sharp knife. I keep it wrapped in its original wrapping, and then put it inside a plastic bag. When I cut it, I just peel back the pastic enough to shave a bit off – I never take the whole thing out of the bag. Ideally if you can find a way to cut it up into smaller chunks that would be better, then all you have to do is pull out a small chunk at a time. Enjoy! :)

  11. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

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  13. This looks great! I’d love it if you would share it on my brand new carnival: GAPS Friendly Fridays!

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  15. Maria says:

    I actually made a smoothie with a raw pastured egg today. It was the best smoothie ever! This is so much better than all those unhealthy green smoothies people seem to consume by the gallon.

    • Debbie says:

      I agree! I don’t do green smoothies either, and I love to add raw egg to my smoothies. So healthy!

    • Greta says:

      I know this comment is old, but I’m really curious why someone would say “those unhealthy green smoothies”? I have a pint or two of green smoothie daily, and my tum seems happier with those than anything else I’ve ever eaten. I stumbled on this site by searching for a recipe using raw liver, and now I’m wondering if I have unwittingly been blind to yet another dietary controversy, with people taking sides and both sides trying to one-up each other with nutritional “facts” that are so readily available to justify almost any viewpoint. Is it a Weston Price thing? I don’t know much about WAP’s diet guidelines, but have read a lot of their raw milk info & opinions. (I just bought my first jug of raw grass-fed jersey milk last week, and mmmmm, it’s good!). Please do not misconstrue my question — I am NOT being critical of the anti-green smoothie sentiment; I am just curious about the reasons for it. Thanks in advance if anyone tries to explain.

      Also — in theory at least — I might like this way of using raw liver, and I’m probably going to try it. Thanks for posting it!

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  20. Beany vonDoom says:

    This is my second day in a row drinking this. I find you can taste the liver, but only because I know it’s in there. It’s not remotely offputting. This makes me feel SO GOOD! Thank you SO MUCH for posting this. I’m going to work on some variations.

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  22. nichole says:

    Im really intriqued by the raw diet especially since I have developed so many digestive problems in the past few years and food intolerances.

    The Paleo diet seems to help the most, but Im still having issues.
    My question is I tried raw liver, by blending it into a smoothie a few times and every time I always feel nauseous for 2 hours after….and then fine afterwards, but those 2 hours are not fun….no diarrhea just nauseous.
    I get the meat from a good source…organic & pasture raised.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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