THE BENEFITS OF SEAWEED
Be sure to try the recipes!
Last week we talked about apple cider vinegar, a super food that is inexpensive and versatile. This week I’d like to introduce you (or remind you if you’re already in the know) to another great food that Americans are just becoming aware of, one that comes from the ocean, has great variety, and is loaded with nutrients, vitamins, fiber and anti-oxidants.
Though they might seem exotic to many Americans, edible seaweeds are a common food around the world, particularly in coastal cultures. Seaweed has been eaten in Japan, China and Korea throughout human history, and is enjoyed in Iceland, Norway, France, Ireland, Wales, England, New Zealand, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
It’s hard to imagine another food with as much nutritional value as seaweed. It contains high amounts of iodine, potassium (a nutrient we’re learning is especially useful to men as the age), iron, calcium, magnesium, chromium and vitamins A, B, B6, B12, and C.
Seaweed may help prevent cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis. It is also detoxifying, and helps cleanse the digestive system. It has heart-healthy fats, is especially rich in omega-3s, and its large fiber content helps with the regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol (particularly beneficial in the fight against Type 2 diabetes).
Seaweed can be an acquired taste, but many of us eat it already with sushi, and in any event it is a taste worth acquiring: of the ocean, a little like fish, a little like shrimp, a bit salty, and once you get used to it, very good.
The most common varieties:
Agar – Jelly-like, used to thicken aspics and gelatin-type desserts, used in seaweed salads. High in iodine. Comes in flakes or bar form.
Arame – Good source of potassium, iodine, calcium and vitamin A. Used in
vegetable dishes because of its mildly sweet flavor.
Dulse – Burgundy-colored, and when dry-roasted in a skillet has a smoky flavor.
Rich in potassium and Vitamins B6 and B12, and about four times the amount of iron than that in spinach.
Hiziki – There is 10 times more calcium in a cup of cooked Hiziki than in a glass
of milk. Cook it in apple juice with sweet vegetables, and the seaweed’s
volume expands when soaked.
Kelp – A good source of calcium, chromium, iodine, iron, potassium and magnesium. Eat in soups and stews.
Kombu – Has a great flavor in broths and stews, and is a wonderful source of
calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin C.
Wakame – High levels of iodine, calcium, iron, potassium, and vitamins A and B. Used in miso soup and seaweed salad.
Toasted Dulse With Baby Arugula Salad
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
½ cup loosely packed dulse
4 cups baby arugula greens
1 ½ cups finely sliced green cabbage
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallot
1 pinch sea salt
1 pinch black pepper
8 ½ slices of goat cheese log (optional)
1. Heat a small skillet over low heat for 30 seconds. Tear dulse into bite-sized pieces and place in the skillet. Gently stir with a wooden spoon until dulse turns brown,
about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and set aside.
2. Place arugula and cabbage in a salad bowl and toss.
3. To make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, shallot, sea salt and pepper. Toss dressing with salad to taste.
4. Divide arugula and cabbage salad among four serving plates and top with dulse, adding two slices of goat cheese, if desired. Serve immediately.
Arame with Tofu and Soba
Prep Time: 60 Minutes
Cook Time: 45 Minutes
Yield: 5 Servings
½ pound extra-firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
1 cup water
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons ginger juice
4 ½ tablespoons maple syrup, divided
3 tablespoons tamari, divided
6 ounces soba noodles
½ cup lightly packed arame
4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 ½ tablespoons stone-ground mustard
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ yellow bell pepper, cut into ¼-by3-inch strips
½ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-by3-inch strips
4 scallions, sliced thin
1. Place tofu in a medium bowl. Add the water, garlic, ginger juice, 3 tablespoons of the maple syrup, and one teaspoon of the tamari. Marinate for 30 minutes.
2. Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Add soba. Cook until al dente, about 5 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
3. Place arame in a bowl fill with cool water. Gently stir, then drain. Refill bowl with fresh water, drain after 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 teaspoons of tamari and set aside.
4. Place tofu with marinade in a skillet. Boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add arame. Cook until liquid has evaporated.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together sesame oil, rice vinegar, remaining maple syrup, mustard and sea salt. Set aside.
6. Add bell peppers and scallions to skillet and stir. Place on top of noodles and add dressing. Mix well and stir.