When it comes to food quality, the standard american diet is, well, SAD. We load up on a lot of food with little to no nutritional value and ignore the high quality, nutrient dense foods. I’m often guilty of overlooking some of the best – sea vegetables!
My first introduction to sea vegetables was nori, in other words, the seaweed they wrap sushi with. To be honest, it’s not my favorite. As a result, I avoided all types of sea veggies. I knew they were good for me but just assumed I wasn’t going to like them. I wanted to write this post, but how do you talk about the virtues of a food group you don’t have personal experience with, and you don’t think you like?
My solution was to run out to the store, get some sea veggies and experiment. I wound up with some kombu and arame but that was just the tip of the iceberg for options. Some of them required prep work, some of them were ready to go. It turned out it wasn’t too hard to incorporate it into dishes I already make.
Some of the health benefits
By adding in some sea vegetables, you can boost the quality of your food. Sea vegetables are loaded with iodine, vitamin C, vitamin B2 and manganese.
As an added bonus, sea vegetables add a salty flavor without kicking up the sodium level as much as table salt. This makes them a great option for people with high blood pressure who still want salt in their lives.
Sea Vegetable options
There are a large amount of sea veggies to choose from. Here is a basic list. You should be able to find these at any health food store.
- Agar Agar.
- Sea Palm.
Most of these will be dried, and need some prep work before use.
Simple Vegetable Fried Rice
This is a basic recipe, so make it your own – add veggies, arame, tofu or chicken. Make it what you like!
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 thumb length piece of kombu
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, cut into thin crescents
- 1/4 cup carrot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup bell pepper, sliced
- 1/2 cup cabbage, sliced
- 1/2 cup bok choy, sliced
- 2-3 tbsp Tamari (or soy sauce)
- 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Sea salt to taste
- Rinse the kombu and pat it dry (don’t wipe it). Cook the rice according to the instructions on the package with the kombu.
- When the rice is cooked, remove the kombu and set aside.
- Coat a skillet with oil and cook onion and carrot over medium heat until tender.
- Add cabbage, season with salt, toss, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add bok choy and bell pepper, cover, and cook 2-3 minutes.
- Add the rice, tamari and sesame oil.
- Stir in the beaten egg, keep stirring until the egg is cooked.
- Season with salt to taste