Seaweed is a very nutritious food that has been used by fish and mammals alike. Long-lived turtles love them, Japanese make all sorts of produce and we all ate it in the form of a nori sheet in sushi.
Seaweeds represent a nutrient
Vegan nutrition can greatly benefit from seaweed. It will enrich the diet with calcium, iron, protein, dietary fibre, and so needed DHA fatty acid. The latter is a true find as vegan can get their Omega-3 easier.
Currently there are many kinds of seaweeds available:
- Fresh seaweed
- Seaweed spaghetti
- Supplements made of seaweed
Seaweeds are cheap and highly nutritious. Therefore it is very advisable to add it to the diet. It is not readily available because of the poor image of this food, availability and lack of knowledge how to use it in cooking.
There are a few solutions how seaweed can aid your healthy lifestyle:
- Seaweed powder (try adding it instantly to smoothies, soups, vegetable broths and sauces for vitamin and mineral boost)
- Seaweed nutrient bar (feeling a bit hungry but don’t want to eat crap? –
- Seaweed cooking and usage instructions and education (check out our vegan recipes that are based or using seaweed, follow our instructions to learn about cooking methods and nutritional information)
- Seaweed skincare (try making one yourself, or if it is not your thing, shop for artisan seaweed skincare products)
Seaweeds are extremely nutrient-rich, having a mineral content 10 times greater than in land plants: 10x more calcium than milk, 8x iron than red meat and more protein than beans or eggs. Also antioxidants and anticholesterolemic. Epidemiological studies suggest it can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, stroke
There are claims that it suppresses appetite and rises body’s metabolism.
Seaweeds contain high levels of dietary fibre. It therefore promotes digestive regularity and internal cleanliness. Mr Kellogg was writing about it back in 1908 in his work called “The Battle Creek Sanitarium System”.
It is proven that a regular person on a Western diet does not get enough fiber with his food. We need approximately 35 grams a day whereas we get less than 10 grams. This is because of high amounts of processed foods that we eat. Fiber is great to get your gut working properly and healthier gut means happier you. You can get fiber from many plants and legumes but nothing in meat products. Another good reason to jump on a plant-based whole foods diet wagon. Seaweed is not only rich in fiber, it promotes good bacteria that are needed for healthy metabolism and digestive system.
Try a typical Peruvian salad to get a taster of how seaweeds could be incorporated into food. Mix seaweed with edamame, corn, tomato, onions, coriander and add a dressing of rice vinegar, oil and chili salt.
Yellow Emperor of China said that: “health means restoration to order”. How about transforming an American classic BLT to a DLT sandwich? Simply use dulse seaweed, lettuce and tomato.
Thinking about a sauce? Try preparing a seaweed pesto: seaweed, walnuts, garlic, olive oil.
Find a few more classic seaweed recipes in “Seaweed” book by Kaori O’Connor, such as Icelandic dulse bread, crispbread with seaweeds (quoted in the work of Ole Mouritsen “Seaweeds: Edible, Available and Sustainable (2013)” and Welsh seaweed soup (use 2 liters of stock, 100g carrots, 225 g
Alan Major in his “The book of seaweed” quoted food value in example of Dulse seaweed: 25% protein, 45% carbs, 4% fat and 26% trace elements and minerals (iron, sodium, magnesium, iodine + B1, B2, C, D)
Let’s explore some of the most popular recipes across the world and in the modern cookbooks.
In Canada, they are fond of Dulse bread. Use the following ingredients and method to give it a go: 1 ½ cups boiling water, ½ cup chopped Dulse, ½ cup oatmeal; add 1tsp sugar, let cool. To ½ cup warm water add 2 tbsp yeast and 1 tsp sugar, mix with cooled Dulse mixture. Add flour until dough becomes thick (4-5 cups). Knead well, place dough in a bowl and let it rise until it doubles in volume. Knead again, shape loaf and let it rise until it doubles. Place for 15 minutes in the oven at 200C and then reduce to 180C for 45 minutes or until loaf is lightly browned on top.
In Japan they are keen on wakame and tomato salad with sesame dressing, but you can also try wakame, apple, raisin salad with miso dressing.
Del Sroufe, an author and editor of “Forks Over Knives Cookbook” recommends trying white bean Caldo Verde with cannellini and kale. It is a Portuguese potato soup that you can prepare using seaweed stock as a suggestion from us.
D & C Bailey from “The fresh vegan kitchen” suggest miso soup with mushrooms, seaweed, tofu or a simple sunomono, which is a cucumber and seaweed salad.
Rita Serano in her “Vegan in 7” created “Taste of the Sea” patties using 150 g cooked quinoa (70 g dry), 150 g cooked white beans, 1 tbsp seaweed powder, 1 tbsp mustard, zest of 1/;2 lemon, 2 tbsp chives.
If you are keen on fermented products, you can follow recommendations of Dearbhla Reynolds from “The Cultured Club” and try adding seaweed to make seaweed kraut and seaweed relish using tamari, sugar, mirin & seaweed stock.
Finally, do not miss our own Cooking with Seaweed series. Check out polenta with tomato and avocado salad with seaweedand wholewheat spaghetti made with cheesy sauce infused with seaweed. These easy vegan recipes are a good example of how you can incorporate seaweed to boost your fairly usual dishes in terms of vitamin content and essential minerals.