See? My giant seaweed monster fear might not be so irrational after all. Just think about having some of that swallow you up and suck you into the ocean! But seriously, this is awesome stuff. Suggested uses: Kelp is used to make a traditional Japanese broth called dashi. You can sprinkle the granules on food, in salads (like my Detox Salad ), or just about any other dish. Oh, and don’t just stop at eating it. You know those seaweed wraps that you see on spa treatment menus? That’s usually kelp too. It heals from the outside-in!
Wakame: This is another brown algae, like kombu. It doesn’t need much cooking at all in order to become reconstituted, and although it looks very dark in colour when dried, it becomes bright green after soaking. Wakame looks like this in the ocean…
…and like this when you buy it in stores:
This seaweed is a natural diuretic, so it helps to reduce bloating. Awesome, yes? It’s also one of the very few vegetarian/vegan friendly sources of vitamin B12. Suggested uses: Wakame is traditionally used in miso soup, as well as seaweed salads.
Nori: Even if you’ve never tried any of the seaweeds above before, you’ve probably at least seen this one! Nori is dried and pressed into thin pieces, and it’s what’s wrapping all the veggies and fish into your maki rolls.
It has a mild sweetness, is low in sodium, and like other seaweeds, is full of vitamins (A, B, C) and nutrients. Just 1 sheet has as as many omega-3 fatty acids as 2 avocadoes, so it’s fantastic for improving skin condition. Suggested uses: Sushi!!
As you’ve probably noticed, most types of sea vegetables can be used in stir fries. This is how I consume them most often, and the following recipe can be tailored for whichever ones you have on hand. They might seem a little pricey (about $8-9 per bag), but you don’t need to use much in order to reap the lovely nutritional benefits. To start out, I’d recommend trying arame, simply because it’s quite mild and it’s my favourite!
Ginger Garlic Stirfry with Sea Veggies
by Angela Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Keywords: stir-fry entree lunch dairy-free low-fat nut-free vegan vegetarian vegetables Asian Japanese 6020254
Ingredients (2 servings)
InstructionsPowered by Recipage
In a large wok or frying pan, heat oil for 1 minute. Add minced ginger and garlic, stirring constantly for another minute until fragrant.
Toss in the chopped veggies, starting with the hardest ones first (cabbage and carrots). Stir them around the wok with the soy sauce or tamari until just tender crisp and colours are bright. This should only take about 3-4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low and add the dissolved miso mixture and seaweed. The seaweed will become re-hydrated by the liquid and soften. Stir occasionally until all liquid disappears. Sprinkle the chili flakes, kelp and/or dulse granules over the vegetables, then remove the wok from the heat.
Divide the vegetables between 2 plates, garnish with spring onion, and enjoy! Serve over rice or noodles for a more filling meal.
Note: You can easily add your choice of protein to this dish – I recommend using chicken, shrimp, tempeh, or marinated tofu. The chicken should be stir-fried in the wok before adding the veggies, and if things start to get too dry, add a little water to prevent sticking. If shrimp are already cooked, they can be added in near the end as too much heat will cause them to shrink and get rubbery.
Nutrition per serving (without any added protein suggested above): 117 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 519mg sodium, 16g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein.
If you’re wondering “does the seaweed make the entire dish taste and smell like seaweed?”, the answer is no. I actually really love the taste of wakame and arame, and since they’re both a little salty, you probably won’t need to use as much soy sauce as you would normally. The miso (fermented soy beans) also adds a saltiness to the dish, and it’s got the added nutritional benefit of being a fermented food.
I don’t think many large grocery stores sell the Eden Foods seaweeds that I’ve been buying, but I usually find mine at local health food stores or Whole Foods. (If you are local, I know that Fiddleheads and Healthy Foods & More definitely have them.) As for the flakes (kelp and dulse), you can buy them in bulk at these stores, and they’re produced by a company called Frontier Co-Op . Both make all sorts of other healthy foods AND allow for online shopping, so check em out!
Ok, enough from me! Now it’s your turn: