“In myth (as well as biology), the sea is the source that all things arise from and return to. ” – Healing with Whole Foods
The powers of seaweeds have been drawn upon for thousands of years for their myriad health benefits. Some of these include:
- they contain the greatest amount and broadest range of minerals of any edible plant, especially iron, iodine, and calcium
- they can remove residues of radiation in the body and act as lymph cleansers
- they are helpful in weight-loss because they can lower cholesterol and fat levels
- they relieve swelling, lumps, nodules, and edema
- they support the function of the thyroid gland
Most people are so mystified by seaweeds and their preparation, that they don’t even venture into buying them for use at home. Leave it to the sushi bar, right? Well you don’t have to do that anymore. I’m going to show you a few easy ways to use seaweeds at home that will enliven your recipes and your health. Women, take note. Seaweeds are the #1 natural food product for thyroid problems, and certain seaweeds have up to four times the amount of iron of red meat! They also make a great addition to nourishing soups after childbirth and when recovering from illness.
Easy Nori Wraps:
1 sheet nori seaweed
green apple, sliced thinly
green onion, chopped
carrots, sliced thin or shaved
cucumber, sliced into thin sticks
1 tsp shoyu or tamari
Layer all the ingredients on your sheet of nori and wrap up like a burrito. Slice in half and eat! Also great with brown rice inside, ginger, romaine lettuce, purple cabbage, toasted sesame oil, sesame seeds, etc… use what you have! Nori is perfect for “rolling” things, whether it be sushi, tacos, wraps, burritos. Also toast the sheets in the oven (300˚) with a little tamari brushed on top for a great salty snack. You can also purchase pre-made nori snacks flavored with sesame oil or wasabi… very yummy.
KOMBU & KELP
My favorite way to use kombu is with cooking beans. You heard me! Slice up some kombu into small pieces and cook your black beans with the seaweed mixed in. It will add a great salty flavor, and also make the beans more digestible and easily softened. Kelp will generally increase the nutritional value of any food it is cooked with, as it is considered one of the most mineral-complete foods. The combination of black beans and seaweed is the classic Chinese medicine food remedy to nourish the Kidneys.
WAKAME, ARAME, HIJIKI
These sea vegetables really expand when they are soaked or put in water. I love them in soups mainly (miso soup, chicken broth soups, vegetable soups, anything!), or also added to grains while cooking. You can also saute them in olive oil to cut the fishy taste somewhat, or add them to your leafy greens saute (kale, collards, mustard greens) for extra-dense iron and mineral nutrients.