Simple Ways to get the Mighty Liver into Your Diet

17 May 2020

Liver was once a regular on our plates, many moons ago. It’s since been outcast and forgotten, to the detriment of us all. Let us revitalise this humble meat, let’s make it the staple it once was. Let it be crowned the king of Mother Nature’s Superfoods, just as it deserves to be known.

A quick interlude – at the end of this post, you’ll find some simple suggestions for getting liver into your diet, even if you can’t stand the taste.


The Wonders of Liver

Liver is one of Mother Nature’s wonders. It’s the king of all the organ meats packing a massive nutrient punch in the most bio-available package possible. In fact, it’s the most potent food on the planet – in a good way.

So powerful that we should limit the amount we eat to just one or two portions a week due to the huge dose of vitamin A in the form of retinol – the best form for us humans.

Oh yes, this wonderous offering from Mother Nature is now under-appreciated, scoffed at, kicked into the gutter and forgotten, at best… left for the dogs.

Which is ironic; there’s a theory that back in simpler times, when we had to hunt for our food, in a time before Tesco’s and Maccy ‘D’s, the fat and offal, and especially the liver, were the prized parts of the kill.

The muscle meat – that we mostly gobble up now – was thrown to the dogs regarded as scraps. I wonder what they knew that we’ve forgotten?

No no, that can’t be right… we’re so much more advanced than they were, we must know better than our ancestors, we must have learnt from their mistakes, you know; ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’ ‘n’ all that.

With all our gadgets and gizmos and media and big pharma and corporate processed food giants, this world must be better now than the millions of years before!

Erm… I’m not too sure.

In fact, I am sure… we’ve got ourselves into quite the mess with diseases and illnesses lurking around every corner.

Anyway, that’s a whole other subject. I got sidetracked – rant over – where was I?…

…Ah yes, the mighty liver…

…Let me put the power of liver into perspective. It’s been drummed into us that we need plenty of fruit and veg for all the vitamins and nutrients our body needs… obvious right?

Well, meat rarely gets championed for anything other than its protein content – the following table will show the real picture (I’ve highlighted the winners in blue).

Liver vs. Fruit & Vegetables Table

As you’ll see, liver obliterates the competition. Who would’ve guessed?

In fact, if we combine both liver and muscle meat, we cover most nutritional requirement bases.

With plenty of calcium available in dairy and adequate vitamin E obtained from liver (different nutritional sources suggest different numbers here putting liver ahead on this also).

The only anomaly – when it comes to obtaining all we need from animal meats – is vitamin C. As you’ll see, there is some contained in liver but oranges provide more than double. Plus, the cooking of liver will reduce this down further.

I make no secret that I’m a fan of getting all our body’s nutrient requirements from natural sources, which in most cases is food but not forgetting we get healthy levels of vitamin D from sun exposure. I’ve written more on this here.

Vitamin C is where I break my own rule. I supplement daily 4-6 grams which is far more than we can realistically obtain from any food including oranges. As I’ve written in a previous post, we would need to consume between 40 and 60 large oranges per day to get 4-6 grams.

Why do I supplement high dose vit C..?

Well, there’s loads of research that suggests potential benefits for our immune systems taking high dose vitamin C, and there’s little to no evidence that vitamin C is in any way detrimental to our health. If we take more than our body can process, we get a bit of botty trouble and that’s it. Reduce the dosage and you’re good to go.

I appreciate that it sounds like I’m vilifying fruits and vegetables, but that’s not my aim here.

I’m simply trying to highlight that the what’s been rammed into our heads about fruit and vegetables, just isn’t true. We wouldn’t be depriving our bodies of any goodness or essential nutrients if we didn’t eat any fruit and vegetables at all as long as we’re eating nose to tail meats.

So, my philosophy is that I make meats – including offal – my main source of dietary nutrients, and I complement my meat with vegetables.

I eat little in the way of fruit apart from some blueberries and cream… a weekend treat that my daughter Molly and I devour.

I call organ meats ‘Mother Nature’s Superfoods’, and as you’ll now understand, the humble liver is the king of these superfoods.


Simple Recipe Options

If you don’t already eat liver, here some simple ways of getting it into your diet.


Raw liver

The simplest of all is eating it raw – yes, people actually do this. I’ll confess, I haven’t – yet – but I will at some point. If you consider doing this, I’d suggest ensuring you source the best quality liver you can find.

The dude in this video suggests just swallowing and not chewing due to a grainy texture.




Sauteed liver

This is how I usually take my liver – done right, it’s a real treat.

My butcher supplies my liver in long slices, so I either leave it like this or cut it into smaller bite-size pieces.

Get the frying pan nice and hot – my hob goes up to 9 and I set it to 7.5.

Rub in some salt, throw a knob of butter into the pan and get your sizzle on.

The trick here is not to overcook it, you’re just aiming the brown the outside, but still be pink in the middle, otherwise, it’ll taste too livery… not good. Give it no more than a minute each side.

Let it rest on some kitchen roll in a pre-warmed oven, hot enough to keep the liver warm but not hot enough to cook it any more. This will allow any remaining blood to seep out.

I’ll have this on its own with some eggs, or with some salmon for a take on surf ‘n’ turf or alongside my steak

,Liver sruf n turf

Liver and bacon is a perfect combo, my wife Dana and I can’t get enough of my liver and bacon bites – simple but yummy.

Liver & bacon bites

Any leftovers will go in the fridge for me to snack on the next day. For me, salt is essential, it complements liver so well – don’t be shy with the salt.


Can’t Stand the Taste?

If your stomach turns at the slightest whiff of liver, don’t worry, you’re not alone, liver is definitely an acquired taste. I heard somewhere that if your given liver at a young age regularly, you’ll grow up to love the taste.

I doubt many of us had that privilege, so there are other options.


Hide it in Other Stuff

Ask you butcher if they can provide you with minced liver. Some get funny about this as they can’t cross-contaminate the meats on their equipment. In which case, you can buy a mincer so you can do it home.

You can then mix this with minced meat for various dishes such as burgers, meatballs, bolognese, lasagne or shepherd’s pie. Basically any dish that has mince in. You may need to play around with the ratios to make sure the taste of liver doesn’t overpower.

Burger with liver


Freeze it

This involves cutting the liver into pieces small enough to comfortably swallow. Throw it in the freezer then swallow a few pieces a day – essentially homemade supplements.



This is the simplest way of getting your liver without enduring the taste, but it’s also the most expensive.

Liver – due to its unpopularity – is cheap, even for high quality liver. But if you can afford it, then this is a great option.

This Hunter & Gather lamb liver supplement is an option – I’ve never used them or have any affiliations.

This is also a good option if you have a period when you can’t get the real stuff, like a holiday for example.


The Importance of Quality and Welfare

The source of my meat is important to me. I hunt out 100% pastured meat from animals that have lived a good life roaming around and chowing down on good old grass, just as Mother Nature intended.

Grass-fed can be promoted even if the animal has only been fed on grass for just 51% of its life. In my opinion and of many others, this is unacceptable.

In the UK, the only way we know our meat it 100% pastured is if your butcher is certified by ‘Pasture for Life’. You can find your local ‘Pasture for Life’ butcher here.

I get my meat from Deersbrook Farm just outside of Braintree in Essex. The guys at Deersbrook, including Scott and Anna, provide a friendly service, and meat of the highest quality all at reasonable prices. If you’re nearby, I recommend you try them out.

Deersbrook Farm liver

The great thing about offal, even high-quality offal, is that it’s cheap. It’s the most healthy, nutritious food on the planet, yet no one wants it. So if you can, I’d recommend seeking out 100% pastured offal.

But, if that isn’t possible, don’t let that put you off. We have stringent farming regulations in the UK and most butchers will provide good quality meat.

The most important thing, is to get some liver in your belly. Your body and brain will thank you for it.


Have a nutritious day!


There you have it! Just a reminder that I’m no doctor, dietitian or any other profession for that matter. I’m simply a bearer of information for you to do what you want with; question it, research it, erase it from your mind, you are in charge of you.

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