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Seaweed - a sea treasure of health and beauty

Some time ago, the average European, who would hear that seaweed can be eaten, moreover - that it is tasty and healthy, would tap his forehead at least several times. Fortunately, this approach is now changing. When discovering oriental cuisine, after getting acquainted with nori, associated mainly with the trendy sushi, we come across other seaweed used. What is more, seaweed is starting to become increasingly interesting for the cosmetic industry representatives.

Seaweed (in other words algae or alga) is a common name for aquatic plants growing wildly, which exist in all geographic areas, with soft bodies and properties valued by the people of the Far East, Korea, Japan, China or Vietnam. It is in these countries where the highest percentage of people is recorded to enjoy great health and vitality to a late age. It is not surprising that their typical diet is being analyzed, and its products are increasingly appearing on European tables - we want to be healthy just like the residents of the Country of Cherry Blossoms. Inspiration does not need to be sought far away, e.g. in Ireland or Great Britain edible algae does not shock anybody and its consumption is a regular everyday thing. For thousands of years the seas, lakes and rivers have given green, brown, red and blue-green algae and were included in the daily diet of, among others Celts and Gauls. In the Far East countries, the following seaweeds were commonly used in the kitchen: wakame, kombu, hiziki (hijiki), arame, or the popular nori used among all for sushi wrapping. Algae were regularly consumed by the inhabitants of coastal areas, islanders and sailors in Scandinavia, Russia and Siberia, the Mediterranean basin, the Iberian peninsula, the African coast, South Asia, Australia, the Pacific Islands, the Pacific coast and the Atlantic and in North and South America. They were transported deep into the territories in exchange for grain, vegetables and other crops. Although as a full-valued product, seaweed has lost a bit of importance in the modern kitchen, macrobiotics are the main reason for the returning interest in these aquatic plants.

Seaweed is subject to very stringent harvesting rules, from the point of view of harvest quality and environmental criteria, followed by storage and processing. On the other hand, immediately after collection algae are thoroughly rinsed for desalination, the salt deposited on the surface absorbs moisture and can cause its discoloration. Next, the algae are dried in shade, because direct sunlight causes them to lose color and deteriorate faster than land plants. Finally, they are stored in a dark and dry place. All these activities cause that the naturally dried seaweed preserved with salt has almost indefinite durability.

Algae are conquering the world, their nutritional value and healthful properties are gaining more and more supporters. Over a hundred species are consumed worldwide.

 

 

Healing, dietary and cosmetic properties that seaweed should be valued for:

  • They contain essential iodine for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. They can also be found in sea fish and seafood, but there is still too little of it in the daily diet of Poles. Introduction of seaweed to your diet is a quick and easy way to ensure you get the right dose of iodine. That way, even if we do not like fish, we won't have to worry about deficiencies.

  • They are a source of other macro and microelements (including iron, calcium, potassium, chlorine, sulfur, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium,).

  • They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

  • They have vitamins C, E, those from the B group and vitamin A in the form of beta carotene.

  • Green seaweed has alpha-linolenic acid, and red seaweed - eicosapentaenoic acid, whose main source in our diet are sea fish.

  • They are a source of wholesome protein with a set of exogenous amino acids.

  • They have dietary fiber, mainly water-soluble fractions.

  • They contain very little fat - about 7% with the predominance of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

  • They improve memory and concentration.

  • They strengthen the immune system, they are extremely helpful in the fight against rheumatism, diabetes and mycosis.

  • They cleanse the lymphatic system - they are highly effective in the treatment of swollen lymph glands, swelling, puffiness and nodules. According to ancient Chinese books, "there is no such edema that seaweed would not be helpful with." A cleansed lymphatic system, means its better functioning, and therefore better immunity.

  • They help the bloodstream by reducing cholesterol and fat in the blood.

  • They protect the heart, regulate blood pressure.

  • They have an anti-inflammatory effect. Coating gels contained in seaweed soothe and revitalize the digestive tract, skin and lungs, thus relieving inflammation and chronic cough.

  • Research confirms that marine algae contain chlorophyll, which by lowering the level of free radicals, has an antitumor effect. It is especially effective in the case of fibroids and breast cancer. Among Japanese where the algae account for 10% of food, the incidence of breast cancer is much lower than in other countries.

  • They accelerate slimming by regulating the metabolism and removing toxins from the body.

  • They have a beneficial effect for beauty - regular consumption of seaweed, especially hiziki, arame, wakame or kombu gives shine to hair and prevents they’re falling out.

  • Around 60% of the active substances contained in algae are polysaccharides, including the most important one in the cosmetic industry Hyaluronic Acid.

  • They contain D-mannitol and sorbitol, i.e. hydroxyl alcohols, which are of significant importance in the cosmetic industry as they not only nourish and hydrate the skin, but also regulate its natural processes, primarily sebum production. They provide a clean and smooth complexion, preventing the formation of wrinkles.

  • They help fight against cellulite - the alginic acid contained stimulates microcirculation in the capillaries.

 

When it comes to volume, seaweed in the kitchen are a nutritious addition to meals. 

Nori pieces can be used not only to wrap sushi but also to fry, wrap meat, add to oriental soups, rice dishes and many other. When suitably dried and pressed, it makes delicious crisps.

Algae such as kombu and wakame are added to soups, salads, pasta, pizzas and other baked dishes. Their taste is very well composed, among others with green beans, cucumbers and salmon. They are also an inherent part of the traditional miso, the Japanese soup with a paste of fermented soybeans. 

To sum up, seaweed can be used in the kitchen in many dishes and taste compositions. Everything depends from our imagination.

 

We recommend a simple and quick (only 15 minutes) recipe for a refreshing, summer, healthy wakame seaweed salad.

 

Ingredients:

  • Wakame seaweed
  • 1 ½ tablespoons of rice vinegar,
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce,
  • 1 sesame oil spoon,
  • 1 spoon of sugar or honey,
  • a pinch of salt,
  • ½ teaspoon of ginger juice,
  • 1 spoon of sesame seeds,
  • a quarter of a shallot,
  • an optional pinch of chili

Preparation:

1. Soak the seaweed in a large bowl - if you prefer it to be crispy, leave it in water for 5 minutes, if you like it softer - for 10 minutes.

2. The most important thing is the sauce - mix rice vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, honey or sugar.

3. Add spices and mix them all together until uniform consistency is obtained.

4. Strain the seaweed so that it is not soaked with water and cut into smaller pieces

Add seaweed dressing, sprinkle everything with sesame seeds and toss in a sliced shallot. Ready!

This salad is a great idea for an appetizer - it is often served in restaurants in anticipation of the main course - sushi or soup. We can take a snack like this for lunch. It can also be an addition to other Japanese dishes as it matches rice and meat or it is great as a side dish for tofu. Enjoy!

 

A wide range of seaweed in various forms - dried, dried blends, frozen salads and frozen blends - is available in the nationwide World Cuisines Deli and in our mobile store. FISHMOBILE KITCHENS OF THE WORLD. Detailed information is provided by the deli employees - the contact list of all locations can be found on our website, tab DELI. Detailed information and contact to the mobile store can also be found on our website, under the tab FISHMOBILE KITCHENS OF THE WORLD.

Orders of larger quantities and custom orders can be made by calling: 22 785 95 20 or by sending an email to: zamowienie@kuchnieswiata.com.pl

 

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