Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

Sea Vegetables: Not Just for the Fishies!

Published on October 23, 2009 by   ·   14 Comments Pin It

Nutritional counselor & Regular GirlieGirl Army Blogger, Katherine Pennington (of Be in Balance,) gives us the scoop on Sea Veggies;

Sea vegetables are perhaps one of the most overlooked vegetables in terms of nutritional value and taste! Sea vegetables contain high levels of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, iodine, chlorophyll, enzymes and fiber and offer more vitamins and minerals per ounce than any other food and are one of nature’s richest sources of proteins, having up to 48% of plant-based protein! Sea vegetables are also high in vitamin b-12, which is usually only found in animal-based sources and is responsible for regulating the central nervous system and blood cell production.  Ounce per ounce, they are higher in vitamins and nutritional value that almost any other food!

There’s more: Sea vegetables have a balancing, alkalizing effect on the blood, reduce cholesterol, regulate blood pressure, remove metallic toxins from the body, reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, asthma, and thyroid disease.   On top of all of that, sea vegetables have been said to have cancer-fighting benefits! “One order of seaweed salad for me,” right?!?

Nori, hijiki, dulse, wakame, and kelp are just some of the many different types of sea vegetables, and each varies in shape, size and texture. In addition to the raw leaves, seaweed comes in flakes that are great to put in salads, soups and shakes and wraps, which can be used to make sushi or a delicious sandwich!

  • Nori may be the best known because it is commonly used as a wrap for sushi. It commonly comes in sheets, which are great for making healthy wraps (see recipe below) and can also be found in flakes that you can sprinkle on your salads. My kids literally eat these plain broken up like chips.
  • Hijiki is a more bitter tasting seaweed that when cooked is delicious and meaty like a Portobello mushroom. Most sushi restaurants have delicious hijiki salads, so try them!
  • Dulse is a red algae that is delicious in a seaweed salad and, when dried, is salty and can crumbled up on a salad or eaten plain like a chip.
  • Wakame has been used for thousands and thousands of years in Eastern medicine for blood purification, to strengthen the outer organs of the hair and skin and for menstrual and reproductive health.
  • Kelp is one of my favorites, and something I use almost daily in my salads! Kelp is very salty and is great sprinkled or crumbled on salads

Avocado Vegetable Nori Wraps

2 sliced Hass avocados
4 Nori wraps (or 2 if you want to double them up!)
4 leaves of romaine (or spinach or any other mixed green)
1 roma or heirloom tomato
1 shredded carrot
For dipping: Nama Soyu soy sauce or Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids

Place a nori roll on a flat surface. You may choose to “double up” the rolls to make them a bit more durable. On top of the sheet place a layer of sliced avocados then shredded carrots then a leaf of romaine and finally a slice or two of tomato. Wrap tightly then serve with a side of Nama Soyu soy sauce , Bragg’s Liquid Amino Acids or any regular soy sauce. These are truly delicious and are a healthy, portable lunch to pack in lunchboxes or for a meal while traveling.

Kale & Wakame “Power Salad”

For the salad:
1 head of kale (preferably locinato or “dinosaur” kale)
¼ head or red cabbage
2 chopped scallions
1/2 cup dried wakame
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1-2 avocados

For the dressing:
¾ cups brazil or macadamian nuts
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup hemp oil
Juice of 1 lemon
¼ cup water

Chop kale and cabbage into bite-size pieces and mix into a large bowl along with the wakame and hemp seeds. Dice the scallions and add that to the mix as well.In a food processor, place the garlic in and chop it up. Then add the nuts, ginger, sea salt, hemp oil, lemon and water and process until smooth. Toss the salad with the dressing and then add sliced avocados on top. Any remaining dressing can be saved to use later on top of steamed vegetables or served with raw vegetables as a dip.

Wakame and hemp are both very high in protein and Wakame also has a high calcium content. This is a wonderful salad to have post-workout, if you are pregnant or tired or just need a little extra energy (and, who doesn’t need more of that?!?).

Katherine Pennington of Be in Balance offers holistic health and lifestyle counseling for women and men who want to lose weight, gain energy, sleep better, reduce stress, get in shape and achieve a greater sense of well-being, balance and happiness in their lives and those of their families.   Katherine is also a raw food chef and teacher and oversees juice fasts for clients. As a mother of two children, Katherine also helps with family meal planning on nutrition. To find out more , please visit

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Readers Comments (14)

  1. […] ***The GirlieGirl Army*** » Blog Archive » Sea Vegetables: Not Just for the Fishies! – view page – cached Nutritional counselor & Regular GirlieGirl Army Blogger, Katherine Pennington (of Be in Balance,) gives us the scoop on Sea Veggies; — From the page […]

  2. Ariela says:

    Delicious! Thank you for all the sea veggie info. Do you wet the nori before rolling it into the wrap? When I’ve tried to make nori wraps before the nori breaks all over the place.

  3. Chloe Jo says:

    Ariela, I think your nori was probably stale. Mine always comes moist enough that it rolls easily without being wet… but brushing it with a little water from a sponge or paper towel should work too.

  4. beforewisdom says:

    The Mao Clinic is recommending that healthy people limit their sodium intake to 1500 mg per day. High sodium intakes have been linked to early deaths from multiple causes. High sodium intakes also contribute to osteoporosis. Sea vegetables are extremely high in sodium. I agree with the author that they have excellent nutrition, I would just warn people not to make sea vegetables a dietary staple.

    I would also warn people to buy organic.

    Sea food is highly polluted and it gets worse with the food harvested closer to the bottom.

  5. Eli Wink says:

    I LOVE seaweed salad in restaurants. Does anyone have a recipe for restaurant-style seaweed salad, and sources for buying the seaweed?

  6. Chloe Jo says:

    Eli: I buy my seaweed (they have every kind) at the Health Food Store. Check the one in your town. If that doesn’t work – find a Japanese food store and go nuts! The main thing that makes those restaurant style ones so delish is sugar, which makes them not so healthy. If you can sub the sugar for agave, or skip it, your bod will thank you. Here are some classic recipes:

  7. Nick J. says:

    There is no B12 in seaweed, or in any plant foods:

    B12 deficiency is a dangerous thing, and vegans must supplement to get it. Please don’t spread rumors to the contrary.

  8. Chloe Jo says:

    Nick: Katherine is a well-respected nutritionist, so I’d highly doubt she would steer us wrong in terms of healthy eating. STILL – all vegans should make sure they get correct amounts of vitamin B, and read “Becoming Vegan” to make sure they get the correct amount of vitamins through their food choices daily. I however have never taken a supplement of any sort, and am in PERFECT health..

  9. Nick J. says:

    How long have you been vegan? B12 deficiency can take a while to manifest. Then again, if you are eating processed vegan foods such as soy milk and nutritional yeast, you are eating B12 supplements. That can be enough, and you may not need to take additional pills.

    However, vegans who follow the non-processed approach need to take pills. It is dangerous to tell them that they can get all the B12 they need from seaweed. Seaweed doesn’t have B12, it has a B12 analogue, which can actually make it harder to absorb B12. Vegan Dr. Michael Greger, a well-respected nutritionist, talks about this here:

  10. Chloe Jo says:

    Been vegan 8 years, and tested for everything. And yes, I do nutritional yeast everyday. I don’t think saying seaweed has some B12 in it will get any thinking vegan off their daily spoonful of nutritional yeast, or bowl of cereal w/ fortified soy or rice or almond or hemp milk, but if you’d like to guest a blog about the importance of B12 and the best sources to get it… please do! Submit to me offline. :)

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