This post is a part of Kitchen Tips Tuesdays at Tammy’, head over there for more great kitchen tips!

Kids are really smart. We are not going to convince them that liver is yummy. Especially if we don’t happen to feel that way ourselves!

But! It is so good for them..and us, that it’s worth at least trying to sneak it in, somewhere. Think about the really old people you know. The ones that fly past you at the mall. The really old ones that still smoke and spit. Ask ’em what their moms fed them growing up and they’ll tell ya “liver and onions”! (and cod liver oil, but we’ll talk about that another day 🙂

So how DO you get your family to eat liver?

The very best way to introduce liver to your family is to sneak it in to a recipe in small amounts, without them knowing anything about it. Then gradually increase the amount as everyone’s palates adjust.

I’ve found liver is best disguised when combined with a spicy food like medium or hot sausage. If you don’t eat pork, pepperjack cheese works nicely.

My favorite recipe with liver is “Spicy Meatballs”. It’s based on a recipe I found on my friend Katie’s blog.

Spicy Meatballs (Katie’s Recipe)

1T minced garlic

2t fresh chopped parsley

1T dried basil

2t ground cumin

1T dried dill weed

1/2t ground black pepper

1/2 dry bread crumbs

1.5t yellow mustard

1/2t salt

2 eggs, beaten

1C shredded pepperjack cheese

1.5lb ground beef

1/2 lb liver (liver from grass-fed animals is the healthiest choice, if you can’t buy from a farmer’s market or directly from a farm, most grocery stores (I know Wal-Mart does) sell calf livers. This would be the only liver I would buy from the store! In the U.S. calves are still started out on pasture, so calf liver from the store is still a good option)

Soak your liver in lemon juice for at least 30 min. before using, this helps remove impurities and improves the texture.

Puree liver and combine with remaining ingredients. If you have time to mix this all up either the day before or the morning you plan to cook them the meat sort of marinades in all of the spices and makes the meatballs even yummier!

Form into meatballs and bake in a moderate oven (around 350 degrees) until 140 degrees inside (usually somewhere around 30-40 minutes)

I only had to make these a few times until I noticed myself craving them! Amazing how our bodies know what’s good for us (if we’ll pay attention:)

Now when I make these I use 1lb grass-fed beef, 1lb medium sausage (in place of the cheese), and, because our palates have adjusted, we use 1lb of liver as well!

I always double the recipe. When they’re done I spread them out on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer and after they’re frozen I put them in ziploc bags!

This is SOOO convenient!

I can pull a couple of handfuls out and warm them in a little pasta sauce for a really quick spaghetti dinner.

Or take one or two out and chop them up in an omelette (my personal favorite).

They’re also great on a hoagie with a yummy sauce.

That doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?

Well, if feeding your kids liver now so they can have lots of fun mall-walking and spitting when they’re really old isn’t reason enough for ya…..take a look at this!

  APPLE (100 g) CARROTS (100 g) RED MEAT (100 g) BEEF LIVER (100 g)
Calcium 3.0 mg 3.3 mg 11.0 mg 11.0 mg
Phosphorus 6.0 mg 31.0 mg 140.0 mg 476.0 mg
Magnesium 4.8 mg 6.2 mg 15.0 mg 18.0 mg
Potassium 139.0 mg 222.0 mg 370.0 mg 380.0 mg
Iron .1 mg .6 mg 3.3 mg 8.8 mg
Zinc .05 mg .3 mg 4.4 mg 4.0 mg
Copper .04 mg .08 mg .18 mg 12.0 mg
Vitamin A None None 40 IU 53,400 IU
Vitamin D None None Trace 19 IU
Vitamin E .37 mg .11 mg 1.7 mg .63 mg
Vitamin C 7.0 mg 6.0 mg None 27.0 mg
Thiamin .03 mg .05 mg .05 mg .26 mg
Riboflavin .02 mg .05 mg .20 mg 4.19 mg
Niacin .10 mg .60 mg 4.0 mg 16.5 mg
Pantothenic Acid .11 mg .19 mg .42 mg 8.8 mg
Vitamin B6 .03 mg .10 mg .07 mg .73 mg
Folic Acid 8.0 mcg 24.0 mcg 4.0 mcg 145.0 mcg
Biotin None .42 mcg 2.08 mcg 96.0 mcg
Vitamin B12 None None 1.84 mcg 111.3 mcg

This chart is from The Healthy Skeptic. (Great Source for Health Info)

And, because recipe posts are lame without pictures, I’ll try to get some up today!