We eat only about fifty varieties of more than 25 000 seaweed species nature has given us. We don’t just eat it. We also find seaweed in drugs, cosmetic creams, soaps, toothpaste. It is also in protective varnishes and in some paints…
Seaweed and health Seaweed is recommended as it contains a lot of fiber, minerals, proteins and vitamins. It is also a blood anticoagulant and a medicine for worms. It is said that kombu helps to digest other foods.
Seaweed and additives They are used as food additives, from E 401 to E 407. These first two seem not to be dangerous, but E406 and E407 seem more suspicious, according the book written by Corinne Gouget, Additifs alimentaires, Le guide indispensable pour ne plus vous empoisonner, ed. Chariot d’Or, 2008 (Food additives, the essential guide how not to poison yourself anymore, Chariot d’Or Publishing House, 2008). Opening yourself to new foods and to looking rigourously for information is the basis of changing how we eat.
Buying seaweed You can buy it fresh or dry, in the form of branches, powder, leaves or sprinkles. But also as flakes, or in a capsule. In this form, they are called alimentary complements, and used for a cure, toremineralize the body. Some veterinaries use it for animals too and suggest adding it to animal’s food. Seaweed is regularly analysed to be sure that it is not polluted with nitrates or by heavy metals such as mercury or lead.
Varieties. It also exists in many colors: blue, brown, red or green. Agar-agar, aramee, dulse, seabean, iziki, kombu – britany or royal – sealettuce, Irish moss – edible only when cooked – nori, seaspaghetti, spirulina, varech, and wakame are the most frequently encountered varieties. It also exists in many colors: blue, brown, red or green.
Agar-agar, aramee, dulse, seabean, iziki, kombu – britany or royal – sealettuce, Irish moss – edible only when cooked – nori, seaspaghetti, spirulina, varech, and wakame are the most frequently encountered varieties. It also exists in many colors: blue, brown, red or green.
Using seaweed When the seaweed is dehydrated, it’s necessary to allow it to soak, from some minutes up to one hour, before eating it. Dry or fresh, it’s better to rinse it to remove any remaining sand or shells. The water, used for soaking can be used again for cooking or to drink like a juice.
If you add kombu to the water when you cook beans and peas, it’ll take less time. Kombu doesn’t like to be boiled.
To conserve seaweed Dehydrated seaweed should be kept in its original bag, in a dry place. Cooked, like other foods, it can stay only a few days in the refrigerator. Varech is the only one which can’t be conserved in the freezer.
Anytime during the meal: at the beginning, on salad, with vegetables, with cereals, as cocktail-shakes, in the soup… or for dessert.
Seaweed gives a salty and refreshing taste. Suddenly, the tide rises up onto your plate and then, goes out very far, to exotic landscapes.
Recipe 1 Beach salad Put a handful aramee in a small bowl and cover with hot water. Let the seaweed rehydrate. During this time, prepare a nice green or red salad. Take a lot of aromatic herbs: pimpernel, oregano, sage, tarragon, chives, mint, wild thyme, basil. Add some of all these leaves to the salad. Grate a raw carrot and a raw beetroot. Add them, and then some chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with golden linseed, brown linseed, sunflowerseeds, gourdseeds, hempseeds and fenugreek sprouts. Add the rehydrated seaweed, reserving the drained water. You’ll use it for a next cooking. Season with sunflower oil, nut oil and freshly pressed lemon juice. Make a flower wreath on your salad, with borage and marigold, just picked. The intensity of the blue and the orange will give a special touch to your dish. You can also eat these flowers.
You’ll feel the freshness and the taste of this salad a long time after eating it.