A misperception exists that seaweeds are inedible and difficult to incorporate into the daily diet. In fact, they are one of the most versatile foods, providing abundant flavor and a natural source of salt to many different foods.
Beyond providing seasoning to foods, seaweeds are some of the most nutritionally complete foods on the planet. There aren’t many foods that measure up to the nutrient profile of seaweeds. While varying in exact amounts, they are collectively high in potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, iodine and selenium.
Some seaweeds, particularly nori, are also rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12. Nori is one of the few plant-based foods that contains B12, a critical vitamin for cognitive function. Seaweeds also contain omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to reduce risk for cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Seaweeds have been used to treat many health conditions; most notably, thyroid disorders, heavy metal toxicity, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and chronic fatigue. Despite their nutritional and medicinal benefits, seaweed is overwhelmingly absent from the standard American diet.
One of the simplest ways to incorporate seaweed into your diet is with dried nori. Dried nori can be found pressed into sheets and is often used for rolling sushi; however, it can be crushed and sprinkled on the most basic foods: eggs, pasta, fish and soups. You can find dried nori and other dried seaweeds at most natural food stores such as Seattle-based PCC and Madison Market, as well as Asian groceries like Uwajimaya and Central Market.
Below is a simple recipe that incorporates dried nori. Try it at home and surprise your family with one of the most nutritionally complete foods on the planet.
Scallion, Walnut and Nori Scramble
Try crushed nori in your egg scrambles. Nori provides an abundance of vitamins and minerals, a source of salt and rich flavor. This dish is perfect for breakfast, brunch or even a quick dinner.
2 teaspoons pastured butter
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
4 pastured eggs, beaten
2 dried nori sheets
2 tablespoons walnuts, crushed
Sea salt and crushed black pepper to taste
Heat skillet to medium-high, add butter. Sauté green onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add eggs and stir for 1 minute. Crush dried nori as you would a piece of paper. Sprinkle and fold into egg mixture. Add walnuts and remove from heat.
Prep time: 8 minutes
Copyright 2009, Genevieve Sherrow, Original Recipe.
Note: If you do not prefer the taste of seaweed, try incorporating small pieces of dried nori into dishes that are heavily spiced with curry, chili pepper, garlic, onion or cayenne.