Many of you hunt, ranch or have access to a local source of quality grass-fed liver. Here’s how to make liver pills yourself!
Read these instructions thoroughly first, and set aside two to four days to finish all the steps. If you have a baby or toddler, get childcare from your spouse or a friend so you can focus. Kids around age 5 and up can actually be a great help. They especially love the encapsulation machines.
- Food dehydrator (I love the Excalibur 9-tray)
- Teflex sheets for dehydrator trays
- Food processor
- Capsules (I recommend ordering pre-separated gelatin capsules)
- Capsule-making machine (I recommend Cap-Em-Quik)
- (Everything listed above can be found on Ebay or Amazon.)
How to do it:
If you’re using beef liver, ensure that your liver has been frozen for at least 2 weeks. This will ensure that any parasites are killed. Generally your liver won’t contain parasites, but its not worth taking the chance. If you’re using liver from wild cervids (deer, elk, moose), goats or sheep, you don’t need to do this step. Bear, I'm not sure. I don’t recommend using chicken, bear or pork liver, because honestly the taste is so mild and yummy, why not just make pate?
Chop up the liver into small pieces, around the size of the palm of your hand. If there’s any fat, put that aside to render or give to your pets as a treat. Don’t include that with the liver pills, as it may cause them to go rancid. If there’s a lot of blood draining out, discard or compost that.
Blend the liver into a puree in your food processor.
Spread the pureed liver onto the dehydrator sheets in cookie-sized medallions. This allows them to dehydrate easily. If you spread it out over the whole sheet, sometimes the middle will take way longer than the edges, and potentially the middle may start to spoil during the long, slow dehydrating process.
Dehydrate at full heat (155 F) for 12 hours. Check. If the liver is dry, remove it. If there is still some moisture, continue. It can take as long as 24 hours, but generally takes around 18.
Take the dry liver “cookies” and crush them. I like to place them in a large gallon-size zip-loc bag, wrap a kitchen towel around the bag, then crush that with my whole body weight, getting them into the smallest pieces possible.
Now blend the dry, crushed liver. Only put a small amount in your blender jar (say, 1 cup or so) to ensure even blending.
Encapsulate the finished liver powder according to the directions of your encapsulator. You can also keep it as powder to add to smoothies, baby food purees, or raw pet food.
Use it up within 6 months. If you make a lot, freeze it in 3 layers of zip-loc freezer bags. The B-vitamins are temperature and light sensitive - don’t leave your liver in a window or a hot car. If the liver is completely dry, it shouldn’t spoil. But over time the vitamins will degrade and the powder won’t be as potent anymore.