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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Top 10 Edible Varieties Of Seaweed

Did you know that seaweed is actually a vegetable??

It is indeed, a vegetable. A vegetable of the sea. With it's abundance of nutrients and health benefits, seaweed is in fact classified as a vegetable.
Some are even calling it a Superfood. There are also many other plants that grow around and in the sea. Many of which contain a shocking amount of health benefits.

Many types of Seaweeds have in abundance fiber, protein, Vitamin B12, and trace minerals. Iodine and omega-3 fatty acids, are essential for brain development. Yes, by adding a few seaweeds to your daily diet, you can increase your health.

Sea vegetables can be harvested from fresh, clean, unpolluted ocean waters. Sea vegetables come in a large variety of shapes, sizes, colors and they range in flavors from strong intense sea flavor to only a mild hints of that salty sea.

Buying Sea Vegetables. When And Where:
You may find many of these fresh sea vegetables all year round at your local grocery or health food store. When purchasing sea vegetables look for, even, vibrant coloring. They should be moist and ply able. Not dry or crumbly.

When buying seaweed, choose certified organic brands where possible. Seaweeds will absorb the properties of the water in which they are grown, so you want to make sure that they have been grown and harvested in Clean, unpolluted waters that are pure, and free from harmful chemicals.

Storing Sea Vegetables:
Keep your sea vegetables moist by placing them in a plastic bag or air tight container, place in the fridge.
**Quick Tip** Add a folded piece of damp paper towel to the baggie, this will help keep them from getting slimy. Your Sea vegetables  will keep in your fridge for up to a week.

Cooking And Eating Sea Vegetables:
Fresh: Many people all over the world enjoy the amazing taste of dulse raw. Being from the east coast, my entire family has been enjoying it's delicious chewiness since I was quite small. Even my eight year old loves it! If you have grown up along a rocky shore you know someone who Loves it. Dried sheets of nori are used for making those sushi rolls everyone loves!
Cooking Sea Vegetables: There are many ways you can cook and enjoy seaweed. Steam it, Stew it, Boil it, bake it or broil it. Even fry it with a little bacon if you please. They make a great beginning to an incredible soup stock.

10 Types Of Edible Seaweed That Will Change Your Health And Change Your Life:

1) Wakame: Wakame has a mild salty flavor and a nice tender texture. It is especially delicious is stews and soups. Also great paired with vegetables or bean dishes. The fonds of wakame are quite tender and only need a few minutes to cook.
Wakame is not only extremely high in nutritional value but is also extremely low in calorie and minimal in fat. It contains only about five calories per serving and is said to actually help burn fat. Wakame helps to prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, blood clotting, and obesity. Wakame has beneficial effects with stroke, hypertension (high blood pressure), viral infections, tumors, oxidation and inflammation while promoting a good immune system. Wakame is a great addition to any diet as there are few things we can eat that are so replete with nutrients and health benefits.

2) Arame: Arame has a mild sweet flavor, and is shockingly filled with iodine. It is delicious thrown into a stir fry or soup broth. Try it sprinkled ontop of rice. Soak your fonds in water and watch them triple in size. Add to sautéed vegetables, salads, and baked goods. Sweeter and milder than its cousin hiziki. Rich in beneficial fiber. Low fat, low sodium, and a good source of vitamin A, calcium, and magnesium. When dried and cooked arame resembles hiziki in color and appearance, it is softer, more delicate and much milder in flavor. Arame is the sweetest all the sea vegetables with a pleasing texture and appearance. These qualities make it the most appealing to those just beginning to familiarize their palate with sea vegetables.

3) Hijki: Dried hijiki has a very strong, salty flavor. It goes well with sweet vegetables, such as pumpkins or carrots. Bring dried hijiki back to it's softer form quickly by placing in warm water for a few minutes. Some of the greatest health benefits of hijiki include its ability to improve the health of the digestive system, boost energy levels, strengthen bones, help prevent diabetes, lower cholesterol, eliminate sleep disorders, balance hormonal activity, and improve metabolic efficiency.

4) Marsh Samphire: Marsh Samphire can be found along the ocean shore. It has long, thin, fleshy leaves with a rich salty flavor. Enjoy marsh samphire lightly steamed or pickled. Marsh Samphire is known for its digestive and anti-flatulent properties. It is rich in iodine and is packed with phytochemicals that protect the liver, heart and cellular DNA. Marsh Samphire is also rich in vitamins A, C, B2, B15, amino acids, and minerals, such as iron, calcium and magnesium phosphorus, calcium, silica, zinc, manganese and vitamin D. Not surprising at all, that it was used by sailors may years ago on ocean voyages to combat scurvy.

5) Bladderwrack: This larger stronger leaf has a much stronger seaweed flavor. It is best when it steamed and added to dishes like stir fries and soups. Due to high iodine content it was traditionally used to make a health promoting tea or broth.
**Be sure to rinse bladderwrack under warm running water and soak for at least 20 minutes before use to get rid of small grains of sand.**

6) Dulse: Dulse has always been quite popular in Ireland and Scotland. It has a rich, meaty flavor along with a gelatinous texture. It makes a great chewy salty snack. A great addition to long simmered stews and soups or mixed into fried potatoes.
The Benefits of Dulse: Rids the body of harmful heavy medals, helps rebuild all glands in the body, supports healthy brain function. Dulse helps heal a poor digestive system, as it is high in calcium, fiber and protein. Dulse can also increase metabolism and may aide with weight loss.

7) Sea Lettuce: The large, wavy edged leaves have a mild salty. The leaves are tender enough that they can be added into your salads, in it's raw for. You can also add them to your soups. Try it fried in butter and garlic, until leaves crispy. You will never think the same about seaweed again. Promotes bone health – 100 grams of sea lettuce provide us with 490 milligrams of calcium and 3200 milligrams of magnesium. While everyone knows that calcium is good for our bones and teeth, most people don’t realize that we also need magnesium to help us absorb it. Since sea lettuce is rich in both minerals, it is an ideal food for building bones and preventing osteoporosis.
Weight loss properties – Sea lettuce is an excellent weight loss food for three reasons: One 100 gram serving of it contains only 130 calories, a meager 0.6 grams of fat, and an impressive 29.1 grams of dietary fiber (which helps us to feel full after eating).

8) Kelp: Kelp is valued for it's rich meaty flavor, it can be found along the North Atlantic Shores. Kelp is high in essential nutrients and tates great in soup stock. Try it steamed and served as a side vegetable.
Kelp helps in Thyroid Gland Regulation: Due to Kelps high levels of natural iodine, it is essential in regulating our thyroid hormones and therefore our metabolism and energy levels. Win/Win!

9) Nori: Nori is cultivated in Japan. It is dried and pressed into tissue like sheets. With it's light salty flavor, these sheets make a delicious, tender wrap for those amazing sushi rolls we all love. Nori is toasted before packaging and has to be stored in an air-tight container, after opening to reduce air exposure and prevent it from absorbing moisture. As it will wither and lose its crispiness.

10) Agar-Agar: This type of seaweed is colorless, flavorless, gelatinous substance is extracted from various sea vegetables. It is used as a brilliant alternative to gelatin. It is sold in health food stores in both flake and powder varieties, and can be used in a variety of dairy-free and vegan recipes as a stabilizing and thickening agent for custards,puddings, sauces and even vegetarian marshmallows.
Seaweeds are one of nature's true wonder/super foods! 
There are so many great varieties to chose from. There are many fantastic reasons to start including seaweeds into your daily diet. They are one of the most nutritionally dense plants on the planet and also the most abundant source of minerals in the plant kingdom as they have access to all the nutrients in the ocean.