Spotlight on... Wild Irish Seaweed

Posted by Tara Whelan on

Another producer on my very wonderful market stall that attracts a lot of questions is Wild Irish Seaweed. The Talty family of Co Clare hand harvest over 10 varieties of naturally grown organic Irish seaweed from some of the purest, cleanest waters of the Atlantic ocean- and I would have most of them in stock! Everyone has an idea that seaweed is good for you but no one seems really too sure how good it is or how to to approach it. What does it taste like? How do I prepare it? These are my usual questions and a lot of the answers can be found in the product descriptions in the web shop. I'll try to help out a bit here but mostly I want this to be a primer before I begin posting some seaweed recipes! Do I still have you? I know some people may need some convincing so here's a quick run down of some of the nutritional benefits of seaweed!

Did you know that seaweed...

  • Contains ten to twenty times the minerals and vitamins of land vegetables?
  • Contains ten times more calcium than milk?
  • Has eight times more iron than red meat?
  • And greater amounts of protein than eggs, wheat or beans?

Now you know!

So here are the basics:

  • You can use all Wild Irish Seaweed products straight from the bag, just check for crustaceans as this is a totally natural product! Less of a concern if you have purchased a sprinkle jar!

  • Soaking your seaweed helps to reduce the flavour if you prefer a milder taste.

  • Dillisk can be eaten straight from the bag as a salty flavoured snack. Dillisk is actually low in sodium but high in manganese, which gives it the salty flavour. Dillisk flakes (the shaker jar) can be used as a salt replacement for seasoning foods.

  • Sea Spaghetti is a great replacement for regular pasta spaghetti and packed with nutrients and minerals. It's extremely versatile and it's mild flavour means it goes well with anything.

  • Carrageen has been used for centuries as a cough and cold remedy but it's natural gelatine properties are more well known and you've probably had it without knowing. Carrageen can be boiled up, sieved into a jug and them combined with cordial or flavouring to set into a jelly that will help ease a pesky cough.

  • Nori is more commonly known in Ireland as sleabhacan and in the past would have been boiled for hours with bacon. The handy sprinkle jar means it cooks so much quicker and can be added to any dish as a condiment. We'd also be familiar with it from Japanese cuisine. Nori is high in protein and a great source of vitamins E and B12.

  • Bladderwrack is a natural anti-inflammatory and can help to improve digestive health. It's also a mineral-rich anti-fungal that is proven to help with weight loss and thyroid improvement.

  • Wakame (out of stock) can be added to smoothies as an immunity booster.

  • Sugar Kelp, Kombu and Dillisk can be prepped as a crunchy snack. Cut up the dry seaweed with scissors, toss in an oil of your choice and pop into a hot oven for up to 10 minutes until they change colour- this will intensify the flavour. Pat off the excess oil and store in an airtight container for your next snack attack.

  • Sea Salad is a combination of red, green and brown seaweeds and can be added to just about anything that would benefit for a savoury, flavourful boost- soups, salads, pizza, pasta, baked potatoes, rice... even on popcorn! A really handy store cupboard condiment and another one bursting with nutrients and minerals.

I'll be posting some recipes focusing on a different seaweeds over the coming days but you might be interested to know that every purchase of seaweed comes with a lovely little recipe book with seaweed ideas!

Thanks to Wild Irish Seaweed for all the amazing info!



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