3 Ways my Kids Love Seaweed: Nutrient-Dense Snack Solutions

Thanks to Donna Gates' Body Ecology Diet I have been inspired to use more seaweed in our family's diet. Without totally repeating Donna's Chapter on sea vegetables, I will share some quick snacks that have been a huge hit with my picky 3 year old.

From Body Ecology:

"Ocean vegetables are important to restoring your body ecology because they naturally control the growth of pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and viruses. A body ecology imbalance or immune system disorder causes a severe mineral deficiency, plus we have been eating foods grown in mineral-deficient soil for most of our lives. Ocean vegetables are rich in minerals and trace elements lacking in our diets today, and are organized in such a way that the body can assimilate them easily."

My daughter had a severely imbalaced Body Ecology resulting from a whole year of prophylactic antibiotic use due to a kidney reflux disorder. Add to that my own ignorance about proper nutrition at the time. I was giving her a diet rich in grains that her body couldn't digest; which only fed the yeast! This resulted in an inability of her to absorb minerals. Rebuilding her body ecology was essential. Beneficial microflora in our intestines are the key to mineral absorbtion.

Now that her gut has had time to heal and rebuild its microflora, her little body is starving for mineral-rich foods. Seaweed has been an amazing solution. These crunchy, salty snacks are low in carbs (if any) and high in a broad spectrum of trace minerals such as iodine, potassium, magnesium, iron and many others.

One delicous favorite has been Dulse Chips.

Dulse is salty and very tasty. It's high in all the minerals mentioned above, along with vitamin B6. Sea Vegetables purchased from Eden Foods or Maine Coast Sea Vegetables are additive-free and carefully processed to retain enzymes and to be free of any pollutants. These nutrient-dense foods keep well for long periods of time, and would be ideal "rations" to have on hand in the event that times get tough with food.

If your local food store does not carry Maine Coast, you can order through the link below (this is for a bulk order, not just one package!):

Eden brand is also very highly recommended. You can purchase in bulk through Amazon. The cost looks hefty, but a little goes a long way when reconstituted (you can't tell from the picture, but that's for a pack of six, and it only takes about 2 T for a serving:

For a more economical seaweed (that is extremely high in trace minerals and nutrients also) is kelp:

1st way my kids love seaweed: Dulse Chips

How to make dulse (or kelp) chips:

1. Put about 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (or bacon grease) in a skillet (when melted, oil should cover the entire skillet at least 1/8 of an inch or so). Melt over medium-high heat. Place dulse (or kelp strips) inside skillet.

2) When dulse turns a light green, which will happen quickly, turn over. When both sides are light green, remove and drain on paper towel. Kelp will also turn lighter. Be careful not to burn!

2nd way my kids love seaweed: Nori strips (plain)

Nori strips are those which are commonly found in sushi restaurants. They are long and flat, and can be eaten plain or rolled up to make sushi. Nori isn't the most nutrient-dense, but it certainly isn't bad . It contains some iron and calcium. It's great toasted (simply put over a burner for a minute or two until crisp).

3rd way my kids love seaweed: Arame Saute

Arame is an extremely easy to use seaweed, and it's very kid-friendly. I like to saute chopped kale and scallions with the arame (it takes about 5 minutes for it to soak and reconstitute) and toss with toasted sesame oil and nama shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce). My kids devour this! You can use any veggies you like, but this one is a personal favorite.

Do you have a favorite way to enjoy seaweed? Please share!


Xenia Kathryn said...

Other than throwing kelp at people at the beach? No... I don't have a favorite way of using seaweed.

:D You go, girl!

Michele @ Frugal Granola said...

We like to put chunks of dried seaweed (now, doesn't that sound appetizing?) in all of our soups/broths. Yum!

Also, when I was in grade school, I took a Japanese class, and then my dad was stationed in Japan for awhile. I just adored those seaweed-wrapped snacks they had! :) Who knows what else is in them, though.

We accidentally stole a toy pepperoni from your house. I need to give it back, so that you can make pretend pizza. :)


maria said...

We love it in broth and cooked rice as well!
Never thought about making chips! I will try that!!

~M said...

Arame is great in soups. Try this one: http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2008/02/sesame-noodles-solo.html

Rebecca said...

Miso soup is our fave, my son has loved it since he was small.

Paula said...

These are really good, We use Sunbutter instead of peanut butter.

We also fry the dulse are use it as bacon in recipes. Our fav is making a DLT - Dulse, lettuce, tomato. Between two pieces of sprouted bread, this is so yummy! With eggs is also great.

We use the dulse flakes in salads instead of bacon bits.

I use kelp granules on my son's sandwiches (as he needs more kelp in his system).

We add wakame to our soaking water for beans - helps keep gas away.

But our all time fav is using nori and making our own sushi. We do not use raw fish (too scared). The rice is very easy to make. Then we use sliced veggies, avocado and sometimes we will used cooked talapia or salmon if we want fish.

Thanks for this post!!!