When you think of greens that live in the ocean, you might be drawn back to early memories as a child emerging from the waves with thick, smelly and slimy green plants stuck to your ankles. You might think “gross!”, but actually, sea veggies might be just what your cooking needs…for healthy delicious boosts of flavour and incredible health benefits.
Sea veggies include many marine algae varieties found in the water and along the coast. When you think of seaweed, you might think straight to the nori used in sushi, but actually there are over 10,000 types of seaweed found on earth. Being the oldest plant family on earth, they have been used for thousands of years in Asian cooking, however in the last few years cooking with sea vegetables has become more popular, especially among chef’s. Chefs have been having fun playing around with this ingredient, adding it to pasta’s, into mashed potatoes, even on top of cocktails!
In addition to being abundant and affordable, they also do incredible things for our health. They contain vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, amino acids, antioxidants and phytonutrients that our body needs for ultimate health, all of which function to provide powerful anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, the polysaccharides present in the cell walls of sea vegetables have also been studied for their ability to ward off and prevent different viruses from attacking our cells.
We know that seaweed is delicious in the form of nori but there are so many other kinds as well. Conquer your fear of sea veggies with these healthy ways to bring sea vegetables into your diet!
1. MISO SOUP WITH WAKAME
Wakame is a leafy ocean green that means ‘young girl’ in Japanese – this is because young girls used to venture out onto the slippery rocks to pick it. Wakame seaweed is a deep green colour and very soft. You can make a delicious and uniquely flavoured miso soup using miso paste, dried wakame seaweed (found at most Asian grocery stores), soup stock, soft tofu and chopped green onions.
2. ARAME SALAD
Arame is a type of kelp and is quite mild in flavour so a great place to start if you are new to sea veggies. You can use dry arame seaweed in a salad with brown rice, red capsicum, green onions and a garlic sesame sauce for a unique, amazing umami flavour.
3. WAKAME PESTO SAUCE
The emerald green colour and tender texture of wakame seaweed make it a great substitute for basil in a yummy pesto sauce.
4. KOMBU STOCK
Kombu (a type of kelp) adds a secret umami depth of flavour to any soup stock. Simply boil water and insert the kombu and within a few minutes you have a wonderful umami flavour. A great way for vegetarians to have access to that yummy savoury umami flavour as well.
Maybe you might venture out a little bit with your cooking now that you know a little more about sea veggies. They are a great idea for nutritional health in general, but also especially during the current pandemic they might be a good addition to your diet!