Liver and Onions
This chart graphically details the % that a serving of Calf's liver provides for each of the nutrients of which it is a good, very good, or excellent source according to this Food Rating System.
>> In a medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in onion and saute until softened. Stir in sugar and continue to cook until onion caramelizes.
>> Rinse liver and remove thin outer membrane. Slice liver into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices.
>> Heat remaining butter in a medium skillet over medium heat
>> Dredge liver slices in flour and brown in melted butter for about 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve liver smothered with caramelized onions. Serves 4
Absolute Best Liver and Onions
This recipe will turn liver haters into converts. Very simple!T
he three things that will set your liver above all others are:
1) soak in milk, 2)turn liver as little as possible, 3) don't overcook!
2 lbs sliced Beef Liver
1 1/2 cups milk or as needed
1/4 cup butter, divided
2 large Vidalia onions, sliced into rings
2 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
salt and pepper to taste
Calf's liver is an exceptionally nutrient-dense food as it is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin A, copper, folate, riboflavin, and selenium; a very good source of zinc, vitamin C, protein, niacin, and phsophorus; and a good source of vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and iron. Although calf's liver is also high in cholesterol and saturated fat, its concentration of so many beneficial nutrients makes it an extremely healthful food. Here are some of the most important reasons why individuals who eat meat should make calf's liver a frequent choice.
>> Cardiovascular Benefits
First of all, calf's liver is a very good source of protein, providing 49.1% of the daily value for protein in just 4 ounces. In addition to being a very good source of protein, calf's liver is an excellent source of vitamin B12, folate, and riboflavin, as well as a very good source of niacin and a good source of vitamin B6.
Vitamin B12, B6 and folate are all needed by the body to convert the potentially dangerous chemical homocysteine into other, benign molecules. Since high homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, getting plenty of B12, folate and B6 in your diet is important. In addition to these three B vitamins, a fourth B vitamin, riboflavin is needed since it is necessary for the proper functioning of B6. Without riboflavin's assistance, vitamin B6 cannot change into its active form.
But that's not the only reason to value riboflavin for cardiovascular health. Riboflavin is also a cofactor in the reaction that regenerates glutathione, one of the body's most important antioxidants. Among its many beneficial activities, glutathione protects lipids like cholesterol from free radical attack. Only after cholesterol has been damaged by free radicals does this fat-containing molecule pose a threat to blood vessel walls.
Lastly, niacin, yet another B vitamin with cardiovascular benefits, has been used for years to safely and effectively lower high cholesterol levels, which is also important in atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
A four-ounce serving of calf's liver provides an amazing 689.8% of the daily value for vitamin B12, 215.2% of the DV for folate, 129.4% of the DV for riboflavin, and 28.0% of the DV for B6, and 48.0% of the DV for niacin.
>> B Vitamins for Energy
As noted above in relation to its cardiovascular benefits, calf's liver is a very good source of niacin and a good source of vitamin B6. In addition, calf's liver is a good source of another B-vitamin, pantothenic acid. This particular mix of B-complex vitamins makes calf's liver a helpful food in supporting energy metabolism throughout the body, because these three vitamins are involved as cofactors that help enzymes throughout the body guide metabolic reactions.
All three B vitamins are important for energy production. Niacin is essential for the conversion of the body's proteins, fats, and carbohydrates into usable energy. Niacin helps optimize blood sugar regulation via its actions as a component of a molecule called glucose tolerance factor, which optimizes insulin activity. Vitamin B6 is essential for the body's processing of carbohydrate (sugar and starch), especially the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in muscle cells and to a lesser extent in our liver. Pantothenic acid also plays an important role in the prevention of fatigue since it supports the function of the adrenal glands, particularly in times of stress. A four-ounce serving of calf's liver supplies 48.0% of the daily value for niacin, 28.0% of the DV for vitamin B6, and 25.9% of the DV for pantothenic acid.
>> Cancer Protection
Diets high in vitamin B12-rich foods, especially if they are low in fat, are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. And, calf's liver is also an excellent source of selenium and a very good source of zinc. Selenium helps reduce the risk of colon cancer since it is needed for the proper function of glutathione peroxidase, an important internally produced antioxidant that not only protects the cells of the colon from free radicals and cancer-causing toxins, but has also been shown to reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Selenium is incorporated at the active site of glutathione peroxidase, which is particularly important for cancer protection. Glutathione peroxidase is used in the liver to detoxify a wide range of potentially harmful molecules, which might otherwise wreak havoc on any cells with which they come in contact, damaging their cellular DNA and promoting the development of cancer cells. For this and other reasons, foods rich in selenium are also associated with a reduced risk for colon cancer. Accumulated evidence from prospective studies, intervention trials and studies on animal models of cancer have suggested a strong inverse correlation between selenium intake and cancer incidence. Selenium has been shown to induce DNA repair and synthesis in damaged cells, to inhibit the proliferation of cancer cells, and to induce their apoptosis, the self-destruct sequence the body uses to eliminate worn out or abnormal cells. Just four ounces of calf's liver supplies more than 82.6% of the daily value for selenium.
Calf's liver is also a very good source of zinc, which along with vitamin A, another nutrient for which calf's liver is an excellent source, is essential for the health of epithelial tissues, including the endothelium--the lining of the blood vessels. These two nutrients provide another way in which calf's liver can help to prevent the blood vessel damage that occurs in atherosclerosis. Four ounces of calf's liver provide way more than 100% of the daily value for vitamin A-609.7% in fact, plus 72.0% of the daily value for zinc.
>> Protection against Emphysema
If you or someone you love is a smoker, or if you are frequently exposed to secondhand smoke, then making vitamin A-rich foods, such as calf's liver, part of your healthy way of eating may save your life, suggests research conducted at Kansas State University.
While studying the relationship between vitamin A, lung inflammation, and emphysema, Richard Baybutt, associate professor of nutrition at Kansas State, made a surprising discovery: a common carcinogen in cigarette smoke, benzo(a)pyrene, induces vitamin A deficiency.
Baybutt's earlier research had shown that rats fed a vitamin A-deficient diet developed emphysema. His latest animal studies indicate that not only does the benzo(a)pyrene in cigarette smoke cause vitamin A deficiency, but that a diet rich in vitamin A can help counter this effect, thus greatly reducing emphysema.
In his initial research, Baybutt took just weaned male rats and divided them into two groups, one of which was exposed to cigarette smoke, and the other to air. In the rats exposed to cigarette smoke, levels of vitamin A dropped significantly in direct correlation with their development of emphysema. In the second study, both groups of rats were exposed to cigarette smoke, but one group was given a diet rich in vitamin A. Among those rats receiving the vitamin A-rich foods, emphysema was effectively reduced.
Baybutt believes vitamin A's protective effects may help explain why some smokers do not develop emphysema. "There are a lot of people who live to be 90 years old and are smokers," he said. "Why? Probably because of their diet…The implications are that those who start smoking at an early age are more likely to become vitamin A deficient and develop complications associated with cancer and emphysema. And if they have a poor diet, forget it." If you or someone you love smokes, or if your work necessitates exposure to second hand smoke, protect yourself by making sure that at least one of the World's Healthiest Foods that are rich in vitamin A, such as calf's liver, is a daily part of your healthy way of eating.
>> Optimizing Immune Function
The large dose of vitamin A and zinc supplied by a serving of calf's liver can significantly help immune system function. Vitamin A is critically important for the health of epithelial and mucosal tissues, the body's first line of defense against invading organisms and toxins. The epithelium is a layer of cells forming the epidermis of the skin and the surface layer of mucous and serous membranes. All epithelial surfaces including the skin, vaginal epithelium, and gastrointestinal tract rely upon vitamin A. When vitamin A status is inadequate, keratin is secreted in epithelial tissues, transforming them from their normally pliable, moist condition into stiff dry tissue that is unable to carry out its normal functions, and leading to breaches in epithelial integrity that significantly increase susceptibility to the development of allergy and infection.
So, when our vitamin A levels are low, we are much more susceptible to infections such as recurrent ear infections or frequent colds, or we may wind up with an immune system that is overactive, leading to autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. In fact, low vitamin A levels in Third World countries are blamed for the huge amounts of complications and deaths due to childhood diseases like measles. When children in these areas are given adequate amounts of vitamin A, the number of deaths from these illnesses drops dramatically, just one demonstration of the importance of vitamin A for strong immune function.
Zinc, the most critical mineral for immune function, acts synergistically with vitamin A, promotes the destruction of foreign particles and microorganisms, protects against free-radical damage, is required for proper white cell function, and is necessary for the activation of serum thymic factor--a thymus hormone with profound immune-enhancing actions. Zinc also inhibits replication of several viruses, including those of the common cold.
Calf's liver's supply of these two nutrients alone provide reason enough to rely on this healthful food for immune support, but the same four-ounce serving of calf's liver also contains 58.6% of the daily value for vitamin C.
One of the best known antioxidant and immune supportive nutrients, vitamin C is vital for the proper function of the immune system. The primary water-soluble antioxidant in the body, vitamin C disarms free radicals, thus preventing damage in the aqueous environment both inside and outside cells. Inside cells, a potential result of free radical damage to DNA is cancer. Especially in areas of the body where cellular turnover is especially rapid, such as the digestive system, preventing DNA mutations translates into preventing cancer. This is why a good intake of vitamin C is associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.
Free radical damage to other cellular structures and other molecules can result in painful inflammation, as the body tries to clear out the damaged parts. Vitamin C, which prevents the free radical damage that triggers the inflammatory cascade, is thus also associated with reduced severity of inflammatory conditions, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Free radicals also oxidize cholesterol. Only after being oxidized does cholesterol stick to the artery walls, building up in plaques that may eventually grow large enough to impede or fully block blood flow, or rupture to cause a heart attack or stroke. Since vitamin C can neutralize free radicals, it also helps prevent the oxidation of cholesterol.
>> Minerals that Support Energy Production, Bones, Blood Vessels and Colonic Health
Calf's liver is also an excellent source of copper and a good source of iron.
Copper is an essential component of the enzyme, superoxide dismutase, which is important in energy production and antioxidant defenses. Copper is also necessary for the activity of lysyl oxidase, another enzyme that is involved in cross-linking collagen and elastin, both of which provide the ground substance and flexibility in blood vessels, bones and joints. Copper's involvement in both antioxidant defense and joint tissue production may be why people with rheumatoid arthritis find copper helpful for relieving some of their symptoms. Low dietary intake of copper may also be associated with increased fecal free radical production and fecal water alkaline phosphatase activity, risk factors for colon cancer.
Iron is primarily used as part of hemoglobin, the molecule responsible for transporting and releasing oxygen throughout the body. But hemoglobin synthesis also relies on copper. Without copper, iron cannot be properly utilized in red blood cells. Fortunately, Mother Nature supplies both minerals in calf's liver; a four-ounce serving provides 450.5% of the daily value for copper, along with 16.5% of the DV for iron.
Calf's liver is also a very good source of zinc. In addition to maintaining prostate health, another reason for older men to make zinc-rich foods, a regular part of their healthy way of eating is bone mineral density. Although osteoporosis is often thought to be a disease for which postmenopausal women are at highest risk, it is also a potential problem for older men. Almost 30% of hip fractures occur in men, and 1 in 8 men over age 50 will have an osteoporotic fracture. A study of 396 men ranging in age from 45-92 that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found a clear correlation between low dietary intake of zinc, low blood levels of the trace mineral, and osteoporosis at the hip and spine.
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> Liver and Onions
>> Slice liver and gently rinse under cold water and place in a medium bowl. Pour in enough milk to cover; let soak for an hour or two. This step is SO important in taking the bitter taste of the liver out.
>> Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Separate onion rings and saute them in butter until soft. Remove onions and melt remaining butter in the skillet. Season the flour with salt and pepper and put it in a shallow dish or on a plate. Drain and discard milk from liver and coat slices in the flour mixture.
>> When the butter has melted, turn the heat up to medium-high, and place the coated liver slices in the pan. Cook until nice and brown on the bottom. Turn and cook on the other side until browned. Add onions and reduce heat to medium. Cook a bit longer to taste. Best when the liver to just barely retain a pinkness on the inside when you cut to check. Enjoy! Serves 6
Liver and Onions
1 lb Beef Liver
3 tbs butter
1 onion, diced
2 tsp white sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tbs butter
salt and pepper to taste
Over 100 Great
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