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Creating Enzyme-Rich Meals

If there is one thing I’ve learned about eating well it is that we need some enzymes. Well, that and good bacteria, but definitely enzymes.

I always thought that by eating raw fruits and vegetables I was eating the most enzyme-rich foods possible. They are certainly more enzyme-rich than say anything you could get at the drive-through, but there are foods richer in enzymes than even raw foods.

And some vegetables eaten in large quantities are better for you when cooked, like leafy greens that contain oxalic acid and fibrous vegetables.

The bottom line, though, is that I find that our family feels better when I make a concerted effort to add enzymes to every meal, using a variety of our favorite raw and cultured foods. Today I thought I’d give some examples and break it down by meal.


Milk kefir and yogurt. This is so obvious it hurts, but these cultured dairy products, especially when made from our beloved fresh goat milk, are teeming with both probiotics and enzymes. Make them the base of a bowl, smoothie, or shake; or add them to a plate of eggs and toast.

Fermented Vegetables. I know it sounds weird, but lacto-fermented salsa is actually awesome with eggs and many folks swear by sauerkraut for breakfast.

Raw egg yolks. Add them to smoothies or in the form of a very softly cooked egg. Be sure they come from happy, pastured hens and there’s so much good in these guys I don’t even know where to begin.

Fresh fruit. So easy and refreshing, especially in high fruit season.

Lunch & Supper

Salad Dressings. If you can, please make your own. Use a raw vinegar and some raw garlic as the base. Or, turn your kefir, yogurt, or sour cream into a creamy base for ranch, blue cheese, or ceasar dressing.

Fermented Vegetables. This is a super easy side when you don’t have salad fixings. Pickles, kraut, kimchi, salsa – the skies the limit. Chop them finely and add to tuna, egg, or chicken salad or just plop them next to a sandwich or stew.

Creme Fraiche. This is a fancy way of saying sour cream. You can let your unpasteurized cream clabber into sour cream, make it by adding 2 tablespoons of buttermilk to cream that hasn’t been ultra-pasteurized, or get a special culture just for the job. Top soups, sandwiches, or salmon cakes (as pictured up top) with a dollop of this cultured treat.

Kombucha & Water Kefir. These two beverages are a great addition to a meal that lacks enzymes.

Raw Apple Cider Vinegar. We keep a gallon of this stuff on hand when we can. I’ll often add about a tablespoon to a tiny bit of water and drink it just for the enzymes. You can also mix it with honey and ice water for a refreshing drink.

Raw Fruits and Vegetables. Of course these guys are great. Salads made from anything and everything coming from the garden, or chopped into sticks for dipping into a cultured dairy dip. Fresh fruit eaten as dessert or made into a big fruit salad covered in yogurt or kefir. Yum.

So, I shoot for one or more of these as a component to every meal. It certainly doesn’t always work out, but when it does there is a noticeable difference in our digestion, energy, and overall feeling of well-being.

How do you add enzymes to your meals?

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