Sunday, June 2, 2013

What The Hell Do You Do With A Sea Vegetable?!


I keep hearing a lot about all the benefits of sea vegetables. Although I do enjoying cooking and am slowly getting better at it, I am often stumped as to how to use sea vegetables in my day to day cooking. Most of them are not ones we would naturally be familiar with, but I have been trying to find simple uses for them.
Sea vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals and have long been a staple in Japanese diets. They are excellent sources of magnesium, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and various B vitamins. In addition, they are rich in iodine, which is great for a healthy thyroid. As someone who does have a thyroid deficiency, I have tried to incorporate sea vegetables into my diet. I have also read that sea vegetables contain fucans, which are carbohydrate-like substances that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Sea vegetables are only recommended in small qualities – a little goes a long way. Additionally, be sure you look at the source of the sea vegetables, as they are highly susceptible to ocean pollution.
The most familiar sea vegetable to most people is the nori used in sushi rolls, however I have used nori myself as alternative sandwich wrap. I will use hummus and vegetables – it’s delicious. Another simple thing I have recently started to do is to add a small amount of a sea vegetable (i.e. arame, wakame, etc.) in the water when I make beans or rice or I even added some to my pasta recently.
I also recently discovered dulse and kelp granules. You can find them in most health food stores or even some regular grocery stores. They come in a shaker like salt and I use them as a salt alternative (although I don’t use a lot of added salt in my food, however a good substitute for people who do like a little extra salt in their food). They are low in sodium and a great way to get your sea vegetables. Also make for a nice seasoning.
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