Meet Seaweed, Your New Favorite Superfood for 2016

 IMG_7454.jpg 

As someone who is sans-gluten and pretty health conscious (or at least, I like to think so…), I’m always on the lookout for tasty and healthy new treats. This past summer I discovered the joys of roasted seaweed and haven’t looked back since.

Light and crispy yet slightly chewy, seaweed melts in your mouth, leaving a salty-sweet aftertaste. Less bitter than baked kale and denser in nutrients than spinach, seaweed is one of the healthiest and most vitamin-rich vegetables around.

Let’s take a look at some of the health benefits from eating this superfood:

  • High in vitamins A & B
  • High in vitamin C (Seaweed has more Vitamin C than oranges!)
  • High in iron, magnesium and calcium
  • High in iodine, fiber and protein
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Rich in polysaccharides which help prevent diabetes, cardiovascular disease and improve brain and liver function

Lettuce of the Sea...Versatile and Flavorful 

The great thing about seaweed is that there are so many ways to prepare it. Though I personally love eating it by the sheet, it is much like tofu and can be prepared in a variety of ways to take on different textures and flavors. This super vegetable is also a great addition to your menu if you are looking to stay ahead of the trends or simply want to add more healthful options for your customers. It is an especially great option for those with dietary restrictions, as it is gluten free and vegan.

 If you’re hesitant to dive in head first, try out some of our suggestions below on how to incorporate seaweed into your menu slowly. 

Salad 

Incorporating seaweed into a salad is an excellent way to introduce customers to the benefits of this powerful vegetable. Toss with rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and garnish with sesame seeds, cilantro and freshly peeled ginger for a sweet and tangy treat.  Pair with fish or tofu for a complete meal. We love this recipe for Seaweed Salad from Chef Jody Adams at Epicurious!

Sushi 

Probably one of the most common ways to eat seaweed is in sushi. A special type of red seaweed called Nori is pressed into sheets to help give the sushi roll shape and structure. 

Soup 

Slip seaweed into soup for an interesting texture and excellent noodle alternative. Mild yet flavorful, this recipe for Korean style seaweed soup is delightful and healthy. Adding seaweed to a soup base or broth can also be a great way to add a subtle and unique flavor. 

Smoothies

Toss seaweed powder into your smoothie to give it added fiber, a thicker consistency, and great flavor. Try mixing it with rice milk and add your favorite fruits for a healthy breakfast or afternoon snack. 

Seasoned

For a fun appetizer, roast the seaweed and season with different spices or flavors. Some of my favorites include cayenne pepper, wasabi, chocolate shavings, and bacon. Yes, bacon. If you're really feeling adventurous, sprinkle nutritional yeast and seaweed on popcorn for unique and slightly nutty taste. 

Have fun experimenting and let us know what your favorite seaweed recipes are below! 

Chloe is the Social Media and Marketing Coordinator for Bargreen Ellingson. She is an avid reader, loves London Fog lattes and her budgie, Brodie.
Topics: Industry Trends Cooking & Recipes