I know I should eat more seaweed but am not sure how to use it!
There are a great variety of seaweeds and, just like land vegetables many are seasonal. Dried seaweeds retain their high nutritional value when they are naturally dried. They re-hydrate to their original texture and keep for a very long time, if stored away from light. Seaweeds are versatile and can be enjoyed in many different ways.
If you are new to seaweeds, here are a few ideas to get started:
1. Seaweed seasonings
Use a salt alternative like kelp salt, or replace other store bought seasonings with a Kelp Seasoning or Furikake Seasoning (a mixture of 5 different seaweeds providing a wide range of nutrients). This will add flavour to your meal and is an easy way to get started with low fuss. Seaweed has a number of important characteristics which make it an excellent condiment:
- Seaweed tastes salty, but has less sodium and a better balance of minerals than salt
- Seaweed contain umami, a naturally occurring amino-acid also called ‘the 5th taste’, which flavours , intensifies & balances all the tastes in a dish
- Seaweed can tenderise and add texture to a meal
2. Seaweed in stocks
Whether you make your own stock / bone broth or buy one already made, add a piece of Kombu to your stock for 10 minutes or more to add nutrition and a umami, delicate flavour. When using the Kombu strip in your stock, it is best not to boil it as the taste is more delicate that way, just let it steep 10 minutes or more if possible. Many nutrients are released in the stock, mainly minerals & trace elements, some vitamins, amino & fatty acids. You will notice the presence of the essential element iodine by the colour of the stock which will turn golden brown. It is very healthy to eat the tips of kombu as it has detoxifying properties and is also a great prebiotic for your gut.
3. Smoothies, breakfast cereals or baking
A little goes a long way – as little as 1/4 – 1 teaspoon (depending on the seaweed) daily, can make a significant difference to your well-being. Simply add the powders to your favourite smoothie recipe, to fresh juices or as a topping for your morning cereal. Their taste is mostly mild but train your palate slowly, starting with small quantities, increasing over time. Be sure to check the iodine levels on the reverse of the packet, each seaweed contains some – but kelp as an example, has a huge amount and should be consumed in small quantities.
4. Seaweed leaves as wraps
Most seaweeds are versatile and having the full leaf gives you all the flexibility to use them in many different ways. Delicious with fish, but suitable to a number of other dishes, wrapping seaweed leaves (Kombu, Sea lettuce or Wakame) around food for steaming or baking preserves moisture, imparts nutrients and a balances flavours. Seaweed will become crunchy and delicious when baked in the oven.
5. Add flakes to everything for a nutritional boost!
Sprinkle seaweed flakes on everything, garnish a soup, a butter, a dip, vegetables, baking, omelette and more! This is a great way to boost your nutrient intake and adds lovely flavour and colour to your food.
Disclaimer: This material is provided for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This information is generic and should be verified by a qualified health practitioner for specific and individual needs & requirements.