They say water is life, and you better believe that the ocean is chock-full of everything that will support life. There was a time when seaweed was regarded as nothing but, well, weeds – the kind that you remove so that other life forms are supported.
This nuance better change fast as the once lowly seaweed is out to let the world know how power-packed and nutrient-dense they are, they deserve to be called Superfood.
- Seaweed is a rich source of iodine, a nutrient usually missing from our food. Iodine is needed to regulate the thyroid, a gland found in the neck, if that is deficient in a diet may result to lethargy, irregular weight gain or loss, goiters and even impaired memory.
- Seaweed is also found to be an abundant resource for trace minerals necessary for our bodies to maintain healthy functions. It contains minerals such as chromium, zinc, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium and iron.
- Similarly, studies indicated algae varieties, including Spirulina and Chlorella can help clear the body from radiation. Radiation negatively affects the brain, heart, GI tract, and the reproductive and circulatory systems.
- Seaweed also supports the maintenance of a healthy weight as it is nutrient dense but of low caloric content and high in dietary fiber; which curbs appetite, prevents overeating and reduce fat absorption.
- Seaweed is identified to have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties, as well as polysaccharides which counteract degenerative diseases.
The term seaweed encompasses a variety of types of algae and marine plants. It must be known that there are different species, with distinct flavors and nutrient contents. Below is a list of just SOME of the most famous seaweeds available in the market, and recipes to highlight these Superfoods.
The mainstream seaweed, Nori became a household name, thanks to miso soup and sushi. Dark green and salty, and often presented dried or toasted into sheets, it is said to have 10 times more calcium than milk and is packed with minerals, and vitamins.
The bacon of the sea, Dulse gives you all the smoky good taste of bacon when fried. The only difference is that Dulse is actually good for you. Reddish brown and may resemble a jerky it is usually ground and sprinkled on salads and soups. It is nutrient-dense with vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants.
Another green-colored seaweed, Kelp has a fresh, slightly salty flavor and a jellylike texture. One way of consuming kelp is by making it into noodles, a perfect substitute for pasta and noodle soup dishes, and requires no cooking. It is a natural source of vitamins and minerals, supports metabolism, and keeps skin and hair healthy.
Has a dark brown color, tart taste, and is being sold as dried strips, Hijiki is rich in trace minerals and dietary fiber, aiding digestion, promotes better sleep, and prevents calcium and iron deficiency. It is prepared by soaking in water and gives a nautical kick to salads.
Green and has a sweet and slightly salty taste, Wakame has the highest level of omega-3 fatty acids among the seaweeds. High in anti-oxidants, protein and iodine, it fights cancer, tumors, and heart diseases. Wakame as a culinary ingredient is featured in savory stir fries, soups and salads.
A list of recipes is provided below which uses these identified superfoods to fuel each one of us into a nourishing and vibrant lifestyle.
Dr. Ann’s Energy Soup
- 5 cups of baby greens (kale, spinach, romaine)
- 1 cup of green sprouts (broccoli or sunflower)
- 1 cup of sprouted legumes (lentil, garbanzo)
- 2 avocados
- 1 apple
- 4 tbsp of seaweed – dulse or nori
- 2 ½ cup water
- ½ inch ginger
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Sliced lemon for garnish
- In a high-speed blender, blend all ingredients until it becomes smooth and creamy. Garnish with a slice of lemon.
- It may be eaten warm (blend for 4 minutes) or room temperature (blend for 1-2 minutes)
Save the Sea Pate
- 2 cups almonds
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 2 tbsp hemp oil
- 5 carrots chopped
- ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp gf tamari
- 2 tbsp dulse
- Half a thumb of ginger, minced
- A pinch of pink salt
- Process the harder vegetables first, then add the rest of the ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.
- Taste as you go, you may want to add more coconut aminos (umami), extra virgin olive oil (fat), or lemon juice (sour).
Tangy Ginger Kelp Noodle Soup
- 4 cups boiling water
- 4 tbsp miso paste
- Half a fresh serrano chili, seeds removed and minced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos or gf tamari
- 1 package of kelp noodles, cut with kitchen shears
- A handful of cilantro
- A handful of chopped scallions
- A handful of sprouted lentils
- The juice from a lime
- A drizzle of hot sauce
- Combine chili, garlic and ginger with 1 cup of water in a high speed blender.
- In a separate bowl, soak the kelp noodles in boiling water, then drain when soft.
- In another bowl, stir in miso paste with the remaining boiling water to dissolve.
- To create a broth, add the rest of the water, and the chili, garlic and ginger mixture.
- Pour the broth over the noodles and top with freshly chopped cilantro and scallions.
- Finish with a squeeze of lime and your favorite hot sauce.