One of the healthiest, yet often overlooked vegetables in Americans' kitchens, is edible seaweed. Though the thought of eating seaweed is less than appetizing for most people, edible seaweeds are very different from the stuff you see floating around in lakes! A staple of Japanese cuisine, they are actually quite tender, chewy, sweet tasting and delicious! I prefer them to "land" lettuces, for their taste and denser nutritional profiles.
- are high in essential amino acids, which makes them valuable sources of vegetable protein in a vegetarian or mostly meatless diets.
- contain vitamins A (beta carotene) and C
- are rich in potassium, iron, calcium, iodine and magnesium because these minerals are concentrated in sea water.
- help balance blood sugar because their soluble fiber content helps slow the rate at which foods are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream
- may have an anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effect (based on laboratory studies done on animals).
Arame Sesame Brown Rice
Makes 4 servings
2 T. cold pressed sesame oil
1/2 c. bell peppers, diced
3 T. toasted arame seaweed
4 c. cooked rice
2 scallions, chopped, for garnish
2 T. sesame seeds, for garnish
1. In a saucepan, heat the sesame oil, then add the peppers and arame and saute for 1 minute on medium-high heat.
2. Add rice and stir well until heated thoroughly.
3. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.
Additional Tip: Another easy way to get more seaweed in your diet is by mixing some strips of dulse in your guacamole. Serve this with your favorite kind of tortilla chips.
Where can you buy edible seaweeds such as dulse, arame, hijiki, and nori?
Your local health food store or Whole Foods Market
In the Asian section of some supermarkets
Thrive Foods, Brendan Brazier
"What are the Health Benefits of Eating
Seaweed," Molly McAdams, www.livestrong.com.