DIY Liver Capsules

Liver is a superfood consumed by traditional societies. The organ meats were often the first part of the animal consumed, because the people knew how valuable the were. If you saw my video on How to Eat Liver, then you know just how important this organ meat is. In my opinion, liver is a vital part of a traditional, whole foods diet; there is no substitute. It has more nutrients gram for gram than any other food: B vitamins (especially B12), vitamin A, vitamin K, copper, folate, and CoQ10 are just a few nutrients that enrich liver. Of course, this liver needs to be from pastured and grass-fed animals; I would never recommend factory farmed meats, especially organ meats.

And while I'm on the subject of health, I need to note that contrary to popular belief, the liver does NOT store toxins. It filters them and sends them on their way. Technically, there can be toxins anywhere in the body (humans and animals). One common place for them to be stored is in the fat, which is why you need to be sure to source clean, pastured fat.

Although liver can successfully be hidden in some recipes, it also needs to occasionally be eaten raw for maximum nutrient density. The easiest way to do this is to take liver capsules. There is only one brand of liver capsules that I consider "okay." They are made from the liver of grass-fed cows and do not contain any fillers. They are also very expensive!

Having recently acquired a dehydrator, I decided I could do it myself. Then I could allow myself to stop swallowing raw liver pieces every morning! I am lucky to have access to pastured chicken liver and grass-fed cow liver for a very reasonable price. If you can get pastured or grass-fed chicken, beef, sheep, or pork liver, you can make your own capsules fairly cheaply, and reap the health benefits of this important food without the ick factor. I've documented the process here.

A note on the capsules: The empty capsules and encapsulation machine can be bought from Mountain Rose Herbs. I highly recommend purchasing these; it will make your life infinitely easier! I ended up with 843 capsules, can you imagine if I had filled all those by hand? I'd still be working on it! The encapsulation machine is only $13.50 and can be used again and again. It's totally worth it - just buy it!

To get started with this project, defrost your liver(s). I used a combination of beef and chicken liver.


Put the liver in a food processor or blender, and blend it until it is all pureed.


Cut out unbleached parchment paper to fit your dehydrator trays. Pour the liver on the trays in even layers.


Dehydrate at 105° F/41° C for 24 hours. Keeping the liver at a low temperature allows it to remain in its raw state so that all nutrients are intact. After 12 hours, I peeled the liver off the paper and flipped it over. It may not be necessary, but I feel like it helped it to dry evenly.


When the liver is completely dry, it should break apart fairly easily.


Put the liver back in the food processor or blender and pulverize it into a fine powder.


Now the liver is ready to be encapsulated.


Here is what the pills look like when they're done.


Store in a mason jar in a dry environment.


That's it!

I cannot tell you how much to take, but generally you will read that 3 to 8 ounces per week is okay. I choose to consume ½ ounce per day. To determine how many capsules you need, follow my example:

Pounds of liver x 16 (ounces per pound) = total ounces
I had 3.28 pounds of liver x 16 = 52.48 ounces

Total ounces ÷ ounce desired = number of days capsules will last
52.48 ÷ 0.5 = 104.96

Number of capsules ÷ number of days capsules will last = number of pills per day
843 ÷ 104.96 = 8.03

I have 843 capsules. I take ½ ounce per day which is 8 pills a day. I will have enough capsules to last me 104 days.

While 8 pills a day sounds like a lot, I bought the smaller capsules. They go down quickly and easily, and the best part is - no taste!

Are you ready to make your own liver capsules?

Printable: DIY Liver Capsules

So fresh that smiles are guaranteed

 

27 comments:

  1. I read somewhere that you can just cut small capsule size pieces of (gag) raw liver into chuncks, freeze it, and take those frozen as capsules. Not really my thing, but since I can't stand liver and understand it's health benefits, I've considered it.

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    1. It really is easy and there is absolutely no after taste. It isn't easy to cut the liver, it is a little easier if it isn't too defrosted. If the pieces are too big I just cut them right before I swallow them. They defrost really fast so don't let them sit out too long.

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  2. @Jennifer, I used to do that. The thing about raw liver, even frozen, is that it tastes bloody. Sorry to be graphic, but it does. That's why I like these capsules - you don't taste anything! :)

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  3. I saw your comment on Excalibur's facebook page... which brought me to your page here. You are so clever! What a great idea! Thank you so much for the very clear and concise instructions. Well done!

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  4. This looks so great! Just bought the machine. I've got so much great liver sitting in my freezer waiting for me to be able to stomach it down. Now I can finally use it! I wonder, would I be able to add small amounts of the power to the smoothies my kids drink without it tasting gross? I think at 3 and 5, they are too young to take pills...Can't wait till they are old enough so I can finally get them taking FCLO :-)

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  5. @Shalonne, Good for you! Yes, I think you could add small amounts of powder to smoothies. Just make sure that it is a very fine powder so it blends well and there is no choking hazard.

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  6. does the dehydrated liver lose any of the nutrients, just asking

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  7. @Anonymous, From the post: "Keeping the liver at a low temperature [105° F] allows it to remain in its raw state so that all nutrients are intact."

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  8. How about soaking the raw liver in salt water to draw out more of the blood so it doesn't taste so bloody? Then process? Our son's NP said to cook the liver but only barely on each side - that it should still be bloody inside. We don't eat liver unless it's from our own animals we raised. Goat livers - good!

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  9. @Anonymous, You don't taste anything when you take the capsules. No need to soak it.

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  10. I am wondering about the smell as it is dehydrating? Stinky?

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  11. What is the brand of prepared liver capsules you purchase?

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  12. After reading another blogger's success with dehydrating/encapsulating liver, I decided to go for it. I'd been wanting a dehydrator and figured this was a good excuse to finally get one. Maybe my problem was not pureeing the liver before dehydrating, but I ended up with liver that just WOULD NOT be processed into powder. I ended up with pretty small pieces, but it was NOT easy to get those pieces nicely into my encapsulation machine...they jumped all over the place and it took hours. I gave up and bought about 9 month's worth of the Radient Life capsules. I've been trying for months to incorporate liver into my diet after becoming pregnant...the taste just makes me immediately need to throw up. Anyway, once my ridiculously expensive capsules are gone, I'll try again, and I'll puree first this time. Sounds easier than the effort it took to cut up the liver into small pieces w/ a knife anyway.
    Oh - to anonymous - I didn't notice a smell at all when I dehydrated my liver...and I've got a heightened sense of smell at the moment. Thank goodness, because the smell would probably have had the same effect on me as the taste.

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  13. What size capsules did you use? I have size 0 (the BIG ones!) and I'm trying to figure out how many I need to take to give me 1/2 oz.

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    1. I use the size 0 capsules also. Use the formula at the bottom of the post to determine how many you need to take.

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  14. First time following your above instructions. After 24 hrs, the liver is dry on the exterior, but is anything but hard and is still doughy; you can twist it. Why didn't it completely dry out and yours did? I do not want to increase the temp as it will affect the nutrition. Only thing I could think of is extending the time to another 5 hours to see if it finally "cures". Thoughts?

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    1. If your liver puree was a thicker layer, it may take longer to dehydrate. Just leave it in there for a few more hours.

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    2. 5.5 hrs later. A little harder and can tear it in half, but still doughy. Is supposed to be dried solid before grinding?

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    3. Mine is sometimes a little "chewy" in the middle. If it's mostly dried should be fine.

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    4. After about 35 hrs + some cooling off time, the liver has the same consistency as jerky and is chewy in the middle as you say. Next time, I will puree with a thinner layer. Thanks.

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    5. When ground, the powder is still moist and can be pressed together. The only concern is spoilage.

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    6. If the powder is still moist, put it back in the dehydrator. Having now been ground, it may dehydrate better/faster.

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    7. What is the wattage of your dehydrator?

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    8. I have no idea, I have the Excalibur dehydrator that I linked to at the bottom of the post.

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  15. my liver is in teh oven as we speak. i bought the exact same capsule machine last week and cant wait to put it all together. thanx for a great post.x

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  16. Mine would not completely process into fine powder after 36 hours of drying.....I probably need a Vitamix...my Cuisinart 7 C. processor just isn't do it...extremely sad because I have 10 pounds of liver...

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  17. Thanks for the recipe! I love the idea of dehydrating liver, not because I want to make liver pills, but because I see it as proof-of-concept for liver pemmican!

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