The Cornish King of Superfoods
The most powerful food on the planet, seaweed is making a comeback. Do you kombu?
Foodie folk are forever presenting us with the next big gastro sensation – coconut water, quinoa, kombucha… what next? Seaweed (preferably Cornish)! Like so many food trends, it’s a revival of an ancient food source – granny did know best – and one that grows abundantly around these parts.
Seaweed has been foraged for thousands of years for use in food, medicine, fuel and fertiliser but hasn’t been a mainstay on British tables for decades, despite 1500 species growing off our shores. It is however still a vital part of some Japanese, Irish and Inuit diets – in fact, the Inuit get all their vitamin C from seaweeds. Health boosting, fat busting, where do I sign up?
Here’s why and how to add seaweed to your diet…
Seaweed is ridiculously good for you, containing all the minerals our bodies need and it has more vitamins, minerals and trace elements than any other food group.
- Seaweeds pack a major punch of vitamins, minerals and proteins
- They’re great for digestive health and some species have more vitamin C than oranges.
- Seaweed is also a good source of protein (from 8 to 25%) and is the only vegetal source of vitamin B12.
- Many seaweeds contain up to 30% fibre (although the green seaweeds do not contain any)
- Seaweed is low in fat (3%) but the fat it does contains is unsaturated (good fat!)
- Seaweed could even help tackle obesity. Newcastle Uni researchers found alginate – a fibre found in sea kelp – reduces the body’s fat uptake by more than 75%. Now that’s got you interested!
How To Eat It
It’s true – kombu and kelp kick kale’s butt mineral-wise! But how does one eat it?
The Cornish Seaweed Company has a great list of tried and tested recipes for you to try. And Jamie Oliver, whose restaurant Fifteen Cornwall is a customer, has a Japanese recipe for Salmon and Seaweed Salad on his website that looks lush.
The Cornish Seaweed Company
Naturally some of the best seaweed in the world can be found right here in Cornwall, thanks to the unique mix of minerals in our coastal waters. Harvesting it for our pleasure (and health) is the award-winning Cornish Seaweed Company.
Co-founder Caro learned the seaweed trade in Ireland, where it is already well established, before returning to Cornwall to start the business. The company was awarded Best Contribution to Sustainable Food at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards this year and their eco credentials are second to none. Their seaweed is not farmed, so harvesting is governed by the seasons and tides and it is hand-cut using scissors and knives, allowing the seaweed to grow back and regenerate. It is then washed and dried, using wind and solar energies, ready to eat.
The Cornish Seaweed Company harvests a range of different seaweeds, from sea spaghetti and sea greens to organic dulse and kombu. They can be eaten dry or rehydrated in soups and curries, you can even sneak it into sweet treats like brownies. Caro and Tim firmly believe seaweed will be on everyone’s plate in the future and if their dedicated customer base is anything to go on – they’re definitely onto something.
Do you kombu? If seaweed is a part of your diet and you have some tips or favourite recipes to share, we’d love to hear from you. Comment below!