Explore a new world of culinary creativity! Clearspring offers a flavourful range of low-calorie, mineral-rich sea vegetables from both Japanese and Atlantic waters.
Using plants from the sea may seem like a new idea, but many seaweeds are used as food in different parts of the world since ancient times.
Sea vegetables enhance dishes and delight the senses with their different flavours, textures and colours. They make a tasty snack or garnish, or can be soaked or cooked to add flavour and nutrition to soups, salads and vegetable dishes.
Sea vegetables offer nutrients and minerals in a concentrated form. It's best to enjoy them regularly but in small quantities, just as people with a tradition of eating sea vegetables do. For more information: Clearspring Sea Vegetable Nutrition (PDF)
A bit of History
Despite being viewed by many as a new and unusual food, sea vegetables have a long history of use in cooking by people all over the world. The earliest records come from ancient China, where several species are mentioned in classical medical texts. In the sixth century BC, for instance, Sze Tsu wrote that 'sea vegetables are a delicacy fit for the most honoured guest'.
Sea vegetables have been widely used around the Pacific. The ancient kings of Hawaii harvested dozens of varieties of limu from their coastline, while the Maoris of New Zealand traditionally used karengo, a kind of nori, in soups and salads and North American Indians made annual trips to the Pacific coast to harvest alaria and sea palm.
In North West Europe the Celts and Vikings chewed dulse on their travels, and until recently dulse and carragheen were traded on the streets in Scotland and Ireland. Wild nori, known locally as laver, was also popular in some coastal areas, and laverbread can still be found today at markets in South Wales.
It is the Japanese with their love of seafood who have been most innovative in using sea vegetables as food however, and indeed no meal in Japan today is complete without the inclusion of sea vegetables in some form or other. Some varieties became so popular a century ago that demand began to outstrip supply of wild vegetables and as a result cultivation techniques were developed so that nowadays stretches of Japanese coastal waters provide just as bountiful a harvest as the land.
Here are some tips to start including sea veg in your diet:
Lesson 1 : Nori, Green Nori, Wakame Flakes
Lesson 2: Sea Salads, Dulse, Wakame
Lesson 3: Kombu, Hijiki, Arame, Agar