The raw, unctuous liver smoothie
by Jefferson Munroe
Once upon a time, in a land filled with mountains and ski resorts, a young trio of ladies attended a school for nutrition and herbalism. The adherents of this school were expected to try the dietary choices they would be prescribing to future patients. With a powerful blender they began each day with a smoothie of some sort—greens, reds, and blues would find their way into a smoothie each morning, fortifying them for the rest of the day. One young maiden, Thea, found that at certain times each month she felt tired and worn and that the addition of extra iron in her diet would help to remedy things. After casting about, she found that with a small amount of liver she was replenished and prepared. Alas, the flavor and texture of the grass-finished beef liver was overwhelming. She tried patés, liver skewers, sautéed liver and onions, each with the same result: one bite and she felt the need to remove herself from the table.
Finally, after toiling and failing again and again, she stood up one morning with a shock, “I’ve got it! In a smoothie! And raw!” Her hovelmates looked at her astonished as she grabbed the blender and started throwing all sorts of fruits and veggies in, along with a very few, small, quivering pieces of raw liver. Whirrrrrr ... with bated breath they all tried a sip and, well, it wasn’t bad! It wasn’t bad at all! A touch of something that wasn’t just fruit, and at that, Thea was hooked. Every week hence she would proudly serve up a raw, unctuous liver smoothie (RULS) to her eagerly awaiting compatriots.
To begin with, let’s discuss that pesky “R”—raw meats have more of their nutrients intact. The Inuit diet of raw meat and fish is often pointed to as an example. Although the Inuit did not consume any fruits and vegetables, they were unaffected by scurvy, as uncooked meat retains the vitamin C which would otherwise degrade during the cooking process. In the case of liver there are plenty of B vitamins as well as CoQ10, a substance that helps the body convert food into energy and is found in hardworking organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys. In addition to vitamins, liver is chock full of iron and magnesium, two minerals necessary for healthy body function.
The question isn’t so much, which liver, as it is what will you do with the liver you have. If your liver isn’t fresh, keep it out of the blender. Liver holds onto its blood, which spoils quickly and turns up the liver intensity quickly. Frozen liver is fine. Better than fine, actually. Until Martha’s Vineyard gets a slaughterhouse, the RULS will be made with frozen liver. The Original RULS was designed specifically to combat the intensity of beef liver and make it palatable to those who love liver less, but any liver will do. Jay’s Seize the Day RULS developed in a world of mild chicken and pig livers and as such is less concerned with masking and more interested in creating a nutty flavor profile.
BUILD YOUR OWN RULS
It is all about principles—you want to cover all your bases. A RULS needs a high note that comes from acidity, be it lemon or lime juice, apple cider vinegar, or a bit of Kombucha past its prime. Secondly, a bit of sweetness in the form of frozen berries, coconut water, or a spot of honey can contribute this. Next comes the fat—without fat it isn’t unctuous. Find an avocado, some nut butter, or some olive oil (this columnist sadly cannot recommend lard for your RULS due to the tendency of lard to clump rather than cream at low temperatures).
Finally, add in a few superfoods to jazz things up. Kale, cacao, maca powder. If it’s good for you it can probably get tossed in.