Obviously, for a land locked area like Spokane sea vegetables are not top on everyone's list. Ease of access probably being the biggest reason for this lack of exposure. However, sheets of nori are now widely available in the Asian section of any grocery store and if you live in Spokane we actually have a couple of great Asian markets.
Nori is a sustainable crop that requires no fertilizers. It usually gets all the nutrients it needs from the environment. When processed into what we buy at the market, fresh nori is shredded, pressed into thin sheets, and then dried. Often what we purchase at the store is also toasted. During the drying process the seaweed turns a dark green or even black color.
Iodine is one of the biggest health benefits of nori. When a person is deficient in iodine they can have swelling of the thyroid and develop hypothyrodism. Now if you don't like iodine you can also get it from other common food such as cod, iodized salt, shrimp, tuna, eggs, prunes and lima beans.
In addition to having a lot of iodine - nori contains 25% RDI in just one gram- it also contains a lot of other good nutrients. Here are just a couple:
A recent study has also shown nori to help with significantly reducing plasma cholesterol.
Typically, we think of Nori as something we surround our sushi rolls with. There are so many other ways to incorporate this vegetable into our diets without eating raw fish. Below are a couple of ideas!
First up, what I call nori chips. I know its a bit of a stretch to think these are anything like chips! However I started eating them after my son Jack asked to include them in his school lunches. I guess the kids really like them! These little snacks can be found in most stores. My favorite one is the Wasabi Roasted Seaweed from Trader Joes.
This next idea is just in time for the Super bowl! Try out this Nori Sour Cream Dip from Food 52. Super easy to make and a little twist on traditional veggie dips.
Nori soup is often eaten in Korea for your birthday or for new moms. In fact most women eat this nutritious soup for up to three weeks after. Below is a link to a super easy and quick nori soup to try.
Furikake, which means literally to sprinkle, is a Japanese multipurpose seasoning. There are several different types out these. They could include wasabi, dried salmon or matcha green tea. This one pictured below is from good old Trader Joes. Other varieties can be found at the Asian market.
Typically, it is used on eggs, rice, ramen, over salads, in soup or sprinkled over popcorn.
All of these would make a great nutritious addition to anyone's diets. Hopefully you have also tried the nori wraps we posted about a couple of weeks ago. If not head over to nori-wraps.html
Let us know if you try any of these recipes! We would love to know what you think!
Next month we return to a more traditional veggies of the month: Sweet Potatoes.