Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My Favorite Superfood - Edible Sea Vegetables

Many different cultures with well developed traditions, intuitively incorporated sea vegetables into their diets for their unique nutritional and medicinal properties. The regular use of these sea vegetables adds an extra dimension to flavor but they are also a powerhouse of nutritional energy.

Why would anyone want to eat sea vegetables? Because they offer the broadest range of minerals of any food, containing virtually all the minerals found in the ocean-the same minerals that are found in human blood. Sea vegetables are an excellent source of iodine and vitamin K, a very good source of the B-vitamin folate, and magnesium, and a good source of iron and calcium, and the B-vitamins riboflavin and pantothenic acid. In addition, sea vegetables contain good amounts of lignans, plant compounds with cancer-protective properties.

Wakame – grows in temperate waters and is raked from the ocean floor, graded and sun dried. Wakame strips need to be soaked for approximately 10 minutes and then cut into pieces. Remember that Wakame will expand up to 7 times its size! This is the type of sea vegetable that you will find in your miso soup.

Arame – is hand selected and pre cooked for 7 hours to tenderize. Most are cut into thin strips and just need to be boiled for 5 minutes before use. Arame has a mild taste so start with this one.

Kombu – is dark sea kelp that is raked from the ocean floor and sun dried. Rinse it well and soak for 10 minutes. Kombu is great to use as a stock and invaluable for reducing the gas causing side effect of beans! Just add a strip of Kombu when cooking your beans and pulses and remove before serving.

Uses for Sea Vegetables
Toast and eat as a healthy snack or sprinkle over your favorite soup or casserole
Once cooked, add to your favorite stir fry
Mix in with rice for a tasty side dish
Add to your salads – my pick is to add Arame to my fresh spinach, cucumber and toasted pepita salad
Keep a container of kelp or Dulse flakes on the dinner table and use instead of table salt for seasoning foods.

Try the seaweed salad next time you are eating Japanese

Go ahead and begin experimenting with sea vegetables - I know that you will soon love them as much as I do!

Emma xxx

1 comment:

  1. Why don't we eat sea vegetables like we eat garden vegetables?