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The Best Hidden Liver Italian Meatballs

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hidden liver meatballsThe Best Hidden Liver Italian Meatballs

Liver is one of those foods that most people have a hard time eating. The flavor of liver is strong and bitter but it CAN be hidden. This Italian meatball recipe truly does hide the flavor of liver and it’s actually delicious! Your family will never know what you snuck onto their dinner plates!

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hidden beef liver

Why Is Liver Good For You?

If you have followed the Paleo diet or Carnivore diet you might have heard of eating organ meats, particularly beef liver. There is a very logical reason people are consuming this traditional food, the nutrition is unmatched.

If you have read my post Liver & Collagen: Why Ancestral Eating Matters then you know what a nutritional powerhouse liver is.

slab of raw beef liver

Liver is particularly rich in B-vitamins, vitamin B12 and folate and rich in hard to find minerals, including copper, iron, magnesium, selenium and zinc, and important fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A, D, E and K. It’s also a great source of choline which is an essential nutrient for brain, muscle and liver health that most people are super deficient in.

What Vitamins and Minerals are in Liver?

A 3.5-ounce portion of cooked beef liver provides:

• Protein: 27 grams

• Vitamin B12: 1,386% of the recommended daily intake (RDI)

• Copper: 730% of the RDI

• Vitamin A: 522% of the RDI

• Riboflavin: 201% of the RDI

• Niacin: 87% of the RDI

• Vitamin B6: 51% of the RDI

• Selenium: 47% of the RDI

• Zinc: 35% of the RDI

• Iron: 34% of the RDI

Where Do I Buy Liver?

slab of beef liver

  1. Farmer Markets: I like to go to the local farmers market and buy organ meats and bones from farmers I know and trust. Naturally, if consumed raw, you will want to deep freeze the liver for 2 weeks before you use it to ensure anything harmful has been killed.
  2. Find a local butcher or meat shop and give them a call. 
  3. Whole Foods: Whole Foods does sell good grass-fed organ meats and even bones. I try to pick some up during the winter when the farmers market is closed
  4. Perfect Supplements: Desiccated Beef Liver – since I am not making ground beef dishes everyday I take these handy dandy pills! Even my five year old daughter takes them with me everyday we don’t eat liver!

How Do I Prepare and Freeze Liver

My favorite way to prepare liver is to puree it in homemade bone broth . After I puree the liver until it is completely smooth, I pass it through a strainer. Once I know there are not chunks, I will pour the pureed liver into these silicone ice cube trays and freeze them. 

frozen beef liver Once the pureed liver is frozen I pop them out of the trays and store them in a bag or Tupperware.

Frozen liver chunks will last 3-6 months in a regular freezer and up to a year in a deep freezer!

How Do I Make Liver Taste Better?

There are a few different ways you can prepare beef liver that will help with the intense flavor. One traditional way is to soak your beef liver overnight in buttermilk or milk. 

Another way to make liver taste better is to soak your liver in pear juice. I have not tried this hack yet but I just bought some pear juice and I am excited to try!

This might reduce some of the bitterness but another way is simply to add extra flavors in like onion, garlic or bacon to mask or “hide” the strong flavor of liver. 

onion and liver

What Do I Need to Make Hidden Liver Italian Meatballs 

  1. Ninja Blender  of course you do not need this, but a good blender really does make a difference with taste. 
  2. Small Cookie Scoop you could roll these by hand but this scooper makes it so much easier 
  3. Slotted Baking Pan these kinds of baking pans are nice because the fat won’t drip into your stove and will connect beneath in a pan. If you don’t want to buy one of these, just make sure your pan has sides so you don’t start a fire inside your oven. 

handmade meatballs

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 oz puréed beef liver
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 large egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

hidden liver meatballs and sauce

Instructions

Preheat over to 400°F

Puree the liver. If you want the easiest way to do this, place the liver in a blender and simply pulse until smooth. If you don’t own a blender you can always chop it with a sharp knife until fully mashed. You will want it as close to pureed as possible.

In medium sized bowl, mix all of the ingredients utill just combined.

Shape mixture into 48 meatballs with cookie scooper or by hand.

Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-20 minutes.

meatballs on a tray

Flip half way through to avoid burning the bottoms of the meatballs.

 

hidden beef liver

Delicious Hidden Liver Italian Meatballs

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This meatball recipe is the perfect recipe to make if you are trying to sneak liver into your families diet. These meatballs are nutrient dense and incredibly delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 80% lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 oz puréed beef liver
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 large egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

    Preheat over to 400°F

    Puree the liver. The easiest way to do this is to place the liver in a blender and pulse until smooth. If you don’t own a blender you can always chop it with a sharp knife until fully mashed. You will want it as close to pureed as possible.

    In medium sized bowl, mix all of the ingredients utill just combined.

    Shape mixture into 48 meatballs with cookie scooper or by hand.

    Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and bake for 10-20 minutes.

    Flip half way through to avoid burning the bottoms of the meatballs.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 334Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 157mgSodium: 415mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 30g
Did you make this recipe? If so share a photo and tag @flourishingmotherhood — I can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

 

 

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Hello, I’m Meg Thompson, a wife, mother, and nutrition counselor who is passionate about equipping families in their health journey through practical and simple ways. Healthy living is so important! So let's not making it harder then it has to be. Join me as I share helpful and convenient ways to improve yours and your children's diets!

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