Before you dive in, there are few things to keep in mind. First, buy the best quality possible. As with land veggies, look for seaweed that’s minimally processed, dried without additives or preservatives, and harvested from clean waters. While most seaweed will arrive at the store dried, the good news is that the majority of the nutrients will remain intact, so you’ll still enjoy the benefits.
For most people, adding seaweed to the diet in moderation doesn’t pose a problem—but check with your doctor first, particularly if you have kidney or thyroid issues, are pregnant or are on certain prescription medications.
While there are many different types of seaweed, the most commonly used and widely available ones are kelp, nori, and dulse. The question is what to do with them. Here are some simple ways to enjoy them:
Kelp: Enjoy in noodle form and make a meal of them. Rinse off the salty water they’re usually packaged in and add a little pesto and a pile of chopped raw, fermented, or sautéed veggies. Top with fish or poultry, and dinner is served. Or try adding kelp noodles to add flavor and heartiness to soups.
Nori: Most of us are familiar with those slightly crispy, dark green sheets that wrap our sushi, but you can also use nori as a rice or salad topper or as a veggie bed for fish and poultry. Remember, a little goes a long way, so a light touch is best, particularly if you (or finicky family members) are new to the taste.
Dulse: You can find it in dried, powdered form; in strips and flakes; or whole-leaf versions, so you can go as light or heavy as you want. Add powdered dulse to salad dressings and marinades. Sprinkle some on your morning eggs or into a smoothie. Or try this idea from Bon Appétit: Pan-fry whole leaf dulse in a little olive oil till crisp, and use as a healthy bacon alternative.
To get started, check out this delicious recipe using seaweed: