While many have been saying Kale-YEAH over the years, there is a new green entering the table and its kelp! Yes, the seaweed.
While it’s not yet a very commonly known item to be used for cooking, you most likely are already consuming kelp if you enjoy sushi, ice cream, and most pre-made salad dressings. However, bold innovators in food are taking the leap and using kelp to create pasta substitutes, side dishes or even adding a dash on top of cookies.
Why a sudden increase in popularity? Researchers are discovering that kelp is a superfood filled with amazing benefits for the body and it’s easy to grow.
A few of the favorite health benefits of kelp are:
- It’s one of the best natural sources of iodine, which helps support metabolism, energy levels, and brain function
- Has a substantial amount of iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, and Vitamins A, B-12.B-6, and C.
- High in antioxidants which helps fight disease-causing free radicals
- Researchers have also found that kelp can help slow the spread of colon and breast cancer.
- According to a study by Food Chemistry, Kelp can also help with obesity by blocking fat absorption in the intestines by 75%.
Not only is it a superfood, but it’s also a sustainable choice for the environment and family livelihoods around the fishing industry. The New York Times recently published an article written by a famous food columnist, Melissa Clark, as she took a closer look at the growth and cooking potential with kelp. In her research, she found that “Ocean scientists call kelp farming a zero-input food source. It doesn’t require arable land, fresh water, and fertilizers (or pesticides). And kelp farming has been shown to improve water quality to such a degree that shellfish farmed amid the kelp develop noticeably thicker shells and sweeter, larger meat.”
Ready to put your hand to the test and cook up some savory and sustainable kelp?
We reached out to a few of our partner chefs for advice on how to cook with kelp and Chef Pawansetti, who has served as the Executive Chef of many high end restaurants throughout the country, uses kelp to make dashi stocks. After making the stock, he uses it to line the ice for a shellfish platter, tower or shrimp cocktail.
Our plant-based solution chef, Liz Murphy, was very eager to share her passion for using kelp in her dishes and also included a kelp ceviche recipe:
“Kelp granules are a favorite ingredient of mine as a vegan chef & nutrition coach. They are a great alternative to traditional salt if you are trying to cut down on your sodium intake, but my favorite use is to add in an ocean flavor to dishes traditionally made with seafood. I have a passion for sustainability and believe that one of the best ways for humans to contribute to rebuilding our planet's resources is eating plant-based, but that doesn't mean you have to give up your favorite foods. This is my recipe for the ceviche made with hearts of palm soaked in saltwater & kelp granules to infuse a 'seafood' flavor.”
If you have kelp recipes or if you would love to share with us about your perspective on kelp, please send them our way. We love the innovation, nutritional benefits and how it can help us create a more sustainable environment.
Using this ingredient is definitely creating a dish that is worth sharing. Here’s to future creations where guests are saying Kelp-YEAH!