UPDATE: November 19, 2008
I found this great chart for Iodine content of sea veggies from VRG!! Great magazine, by the way. I subscribed for years — See Below
I love this brand of Nori sheets. It’s Emerald Cove’s Organic raw seaweed. There are a few other good-quality brands, but the price and quality of these make it a “best buy” 🙂
It’s often toasted, but I prefer it raw to get the most from it. It does not require cooking.
It’s great for a crunchy texture, as well as a chewy flavor when it becomes damp. It comes with the little freshness packet to keep them fresh, of course, but also to keep it crispy. If it’s humid, it very quickly gets soft; not a bad thing at all, really, just, if you want it crispy, keep it in the package till the last minute 🙂 . You may know if you eat or have eaten sushi rolls that it will become chewy-ish when damp but unappealingly soggy if it gets too much liquid on it. The warm rice used to make nori rolls is just enough to keep it soft without tearing.
I used to make sushi quite often pre-ETL, and I used to like it as a snack, as well; and it was quite inexpensive when purchased at Asian markets.
Now, I use the raw sheets to scoop food or as a vessel for ETL-fillings and salad 🙂 . I love that it’s mild and non-seafood tasting.
Sea Vegetables are nutritious, containing lots of minerals. I like Nori daily to get those minerals, but mostly to get adequate iodine, which is so important if not eating processed foods which are laden with salt which contain iodine. . Unfortunately the package doesn’t provide the iodine info (Notice there is no sodium! Whoo Hoo!! Yet it has a savory-mild salty-ish-ness):
and when I enquired via email, they said not only do minerals vary batch to batch (which is expected and normal), but also they just don’t know that info yet. Apparently, they are looking into it. It’s been a long time since I first enquired, and did so again recently, so, I’m not expecting to get that info any time soon. 😦
Here is what they did send me,however regarding Alaria, Dulse, Kelp, and Laver:
Nutrition per serving for Maine Coast Sea Vegetables
– based on 7g per serving (1/3 cup)
– whole-leaf sea veggies
Alaria Dulse Kelp Laver Daily Value
Protein g 1.24 1.51 1.13 1.99 50g
Fat g 0.25 0.12 0.17 0.32 65g
Carbohydrate g 2.79 3.12 2.75 3.16 300g
Calories cal 18.3 18.5 16.9 22.3 2000 cal
Fiber g 2.70 2.33 2.28 2.12 25g
Ca mg 77.0 14.9 65.9 13.2 1000mg
K mg 522 547 784 188 3500mg
Mg mg 64.3 19.0 63.0 26.5 400mg
P mg 35.2 28.6 29.6 28.6 1000mg
Fe mg 1.27 2.32 2.98 1.46 18mg
Na mg 297 122 312 113 2400mg
I mg 1.16 0.36 3.17 0.10 150µg
Mn mg 0.07 0.08 0.09 0.24 2.0mg
Cu mg 0.01 0.03 0.01 0.04 2.0mg
Cr mg 0.01 0.01 0.02 0.01 .12mg
F mg 0.30 0.37 0.27 0.41
Zn mg 0.24 0.20 0.20 0.29 15mg
Vit. A IU 594 46.4 39.3 300 5000 I.U.
Vit. B1 mg 0.04 0.01 0.04 0.04 1.5mg
Vit. B2 mg 0.19 0.13 0.17 0.21 1.7mg
Vit. B3 mg 0.74 0.13 0.25 0.41 20mg
Vit. B6 mg 0.44 0.63 0.60 0.78 2.0mg
Vit. B12 µg 0.35 0.46 0.18 1.23 6.0µg
Vit. C mg 0.41 0.44 0.29 0.84 60mg
Vit. E IU 0.34 0.12 0.19 0.36 30 IU
Please remember that all the statistics in this chart have only relative significance. The whole plants provide much more than the sum of their parts.
These nutritional assays were done by the Silliker Laboratories of New Jersey and the Plant and Soil Analytical Lab., University of Maine at Orono.
I do recall when researching the iodine content of nori (no one seems to know this info!) that I came across one source that indicated that 1 sheet was about 60-70% DV. So, not sure; but I eat 1 or two sheets a day, or other seaweeds, such as my favorite, arame:
Here it is dry:
Sort of spaghetti-like strands, and a really great texture.
It should be soaked first:
A mere few minutes later, it has already absorbed quite a bit …
…and this is partly why it is good for satiety. I think it’s 4-times it’s dry size once hydrated.
It can be cooked or eaten raw; just be sure to soak and rinse. I used to eat it mixed into my grains, and loved it that way. Now, I add it to my ETL salads or to raw “noodle” dishes, or simply on the side and take bites of it throughout my meal.
I would say it has a mild sea flavor; however, to be cautious, and since I’m used to it, I would say that it may be more moderate for the uninitiated. Just be sure to soak, rinse well and drain first. If it’s too seafoody, then simmer it. It’s also not something that is generally eaten in large amounts; it’s often a side dish or, the way I liked it, something to mix in to a dish. A popular side dish is sauteeing some onions and carrots in a bit of oil and adding some prepared arame. Pre-ETL, I used to add some toasted sesame oil to drizzle on top and some sesame seeds on top (usually toasted).
I also like dulse quite a bit, though I need to rinse it because it is the one which has the most naturally-occurring sea sodium on it. It is very very delicate, so it immediately breaks apart and becomes soggy even with a little bit of moisture. It is not crispy at all to begin with, and, actually is chewy and quite delicious. I’ve used a lightly damp paper towel or tea towel to wipe off a lot of the salt; however, it’s tedious and it breaks apart very easily. So, a good solution is to dry it out in a dehydrator — only takes a few minutes, and, actually you can get it crispy this way. Some people actually fry it for a “bacon” substitute Yikes. Not necessary, really; pre-ETL, I made very tasty vegan “BLT’s” or “DLT’s” with it without having to fry ;).
Lots of other seaweeds available, I also like hiziki/hijiki. It definitely has a stronger sea flavor and aroma. I like kombu for vegan dashi, as well as a great tenderizer and flavor enhancer (and de-gasser 😀 ) for cooking beans; Wakame and Alaria are also good for this.
It’s important to buy from reputable vendors and follow the package instructions for hijiki, such as stated on the package of Eden Foods brand:
“…wash, soak for 15 minutes in warm water, drain, rinse well and discard the soaking water.”
Kelp as well as dulse and other combos of seaweeds are available in shakers for use as salt subs or just to add flavor. I like to add sesame seeds and have a salt-free gamasio 😉 . Kelp, by the way should be consumed in moderation — it is *very* high in iodine.
there is laver, various sea lettuces, etc.; and of course, the vegan “gelatin” — the indispensable, agar or agar-agar, aka, “kanten.” Lots to choose!
Could go on and on… 😀
Table 2: Iodine Content of Some Sea Vegetables
Iodine (µg) in a serving
Amount needed to supply 150 µg of Iodine (Adult RDA)
Avoid frequent use of more than this amount per day*
Data from reference 12. All measures are dried (uncooked) sea vegetable. These amounts will vary greatly depending on where the seaweed was gathered and how it was processed and stored.
* Based on Upper Limit of 1,100 micrograms of iodine per day. These amounts assume that your diet does not contain other sources of iodine.
Whoo Hoo! So Iwas worried 2 sheets of Nori a day might be pushing it, but it looks like 3 3/4 sheets is the RDA! Cool beans. 🙂
Try some seaweed!
I made my own salt-free relish to add to my Thousand Island dressing. Came out really, really good. I layered cabbage on the bottom of the container, added my mixture of chopped zucchini and cucumber and fresh garlic slices, dill seed, and black pepper corns. then I topped it with more cabbage, just like for the cultured veggies. I let it go about 1 1/2 weeks and it was perfect. No need for vinegar, either 🙂
You can find low-salt relishes and I’ve seen one or two salt free (though they contain junk, including sugar in some!), but why, when you can soooo easily make your own. No compromise necessary 😀 Who needs salt?!!!