Flourish in Minerals: Seaweed for Beginners
I hesitated using the word seaweed in the title of this post, thinking, “if they are like me, they’ll see the word seaweed and keep moving along…” 🙂 But I trusted in your adventurous spirit!
Most of our experiences with seaweed in this country are with sushi (though I am not a big sushi-eater either). Seaweed can be a foreign food that seems unappetizing to many at first, or at least a bit confusing to use. But I am going to convince you to give it a try because it is one of the most nutrient packed, healthy foods out there— and it can make a tremendous difference in your health if you are mineral deficient (like most of us are).
Why are we so low on minerals?
The plant foods we eat are increasingly deficient in minerals and vitamins, because our soils are becoming over farmed and deadened with chemical pesticides. Seaweeds still retain a tremendous amount of minerals and vitamins, though, and can replenish our body’s requirements. Mineral rich seaweed has an abundance of calcium, iodine, magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin A to name a few key players. These (and other) minerals and vitamins are essential for healthy skin and hair, healthy adrenal and thyroid gland function, the health of our reproductive systems and proper kidney functioning.
Because I prefer a mild taste, I generally use Kombu, Kelp, Dulse, Laver and Sea Lettuce in my kitchen.
Here are some tips for the beginner to help you get the benefits of seaweed without it being a main part of the meal.
1. Cook your grains with a piece of Kombu. My favorite tip. You can purchase Kombu at a health food store or a Whole Foods store (or online, try Eden Organics). Kombu comes in long dry sheets. When you are cooking any grain (rice, quinoa, millet, ect), drop a sheet of Kombu on top before you close the lid. As the grains cook, they will absorb the minerals and vitamins in the seaweed. When the grains are done, simply take out the piece of Kombu and throw it away. Your grains will be naturally seasoned and boosted with nutrients.
2. Cook your beans with Kombu or buy Eden Organics canned beans. Kombu is also fantastic for beans because it tenderizes them as they cook which makes them much easier for us to digest. If you cook your beans from scratch, add a sheet of Kombu as they are cooking. Because the beans will disolve the kombu completely, you will not need to remove it when they are done, it will have disappeared. If you, like me, generally use canned beans, choose Eden Organic brand. They cook their beans in Kombu and so you have the benefit of better digestibility and increased nutrition in a canned form.
3. Sprinkle seaweed flakes in meatloaf, casseroles, eggs, or burritos. Another way I get seaweed into my diet is by using seaweed flakes or granules. They come in a shaker bottle and can be used anytime salt or seasoning may be called for. Right now I have Kelp Granules and Sea Seasonings Triple Blend Flakes in my kitchen. Just a little sprinkle can make a big difference and gives only a slightly salty taste. I will generally substitute these flakes for the salt in recipies.
These are three simple, non-intrusive ways to use to begin incorporating seaweed into your meals. Then as you get used to using seaweed in your kitchen you can begin experimenting even more.
Do you have any tips on using seaweed in your meals?
[…] Flourish in Minerals, Seaweed for Beginners […]
I look forward to trying Kombu – wonder what my kids’ll think when they see me using it?!
@Kika- You can make it into a fun “experiment” with them– it starts off dry and crackly and after the rice is done, you pull it out and its big and rubbery! Will probably gets some ooohs and ucks, but will be fun too 🙂
[…] soups, or cook quinoa or millet in place of rice. They cook the same way as rice, (remember to use Kombu!) but check the label to adjust the water to grain ratio and cooking […]
I looked for Kombu in a big Chinese market in the nearest city and couldn’t find it. I came back to your site and tried the link to Eden Organics and learned that it is the same as kelp?! I’ll try again now to find some 🙂
I do the same thing, include kombu in the rice cooker! It gives me peace of mind that we’re getting more nutrients in our bodies.
I’ve been convincing the kids to try the seaweed sprinkles, but no luck yet. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow. 🙂
I want to try the kombu sheets in my beans and grains. how much do you put in? I don’t want to waste, it was pretty expensive.
I generally put one sheet in for about 1-2 cups of dry rice. My sheets are generally about the size of my hand. If your bag has smaller sheets, toss two in– or larger sheets you can break them in half.
[…] – Rice with seaweed […]
[…] beans or grains in Kombu (a type of seaweed) is helpful because it makes them more digestible and increases their nutrients. If you use canned […]
Thank you. Info on Kombu is very helpful and user friendly in my experiemental stage. I’m excited about using it and brave enough to go out and buy some at Whole foods. Paul Pritchford’s book, Healing With Whole Foods has an informative article on Kombu (part of the kelp family of sea vegetables). Thanks a bunch. Do you have a newsletter I could subscribe to?
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