Not quite sure seaweed benefits are for you? You might want to think again.
Seaweed is a rich source of iodine and is known to stimulate the thyroid and cleanse the system of toxins, which makes it super beneficial to the diet. Some pinch their noses around it and others fear it is far too exotic and specialized in nature to prepare in the comfort of a home kitchen. However, seaweed is quite easy to work with and there are many different variations that you can experiment with to get the seaweed benefits. The following 5 seaweed types are great for you health and wonderful add-ons to your meals or incredible foundations to a new dish!
1. Agar Agar
Agar agar is a derivative of seaweed that is gelatinous and thus makes for a gelatin substitute that is vegetarian and vegan. Agar agar is a result of cooked and pressed seaweed. It is available as flakes, a powder or as a bar. It takes about one hour to set and does not require refrigeration. Substitute for gelatin using equal amounts.
Dulse, to me, makes seaweed easy to love. It’s a salty seaweed that can be used as a salt substitute in stews and soups as well as a savory crunch over a salad. I love how it adds a unique texture to dishes and gives me the savory bite without the addition of table salt.
I find kelp to be incredibly versatile as a seaweed. Kelp is great tossed into a salad, used as a foundation for pasta or added as extra texture in a miso soup.
Kombu comes in many different variations – fresh, dried, pickled and frozen. Like most other seaweed forms, it is rich in iodine. Kombu is wonderful in a miso soup.
If you eat sushi regularly, you’re likely familiar with nori–the dark thin sheets that wrap around the sushi fillings. It is the most familiar seaweed used in Western cuisine. Don’t just use it for sushi, wrap salads, vegetables and other grain dishes in nori for a tortilla of sorts, only without all the carbohydrates.
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Photo Credit: Jeff Kubina