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Vegetable of the Week #6: Sea Vegetables



As a beach girl, I love all things that come from the ocean, so when I analyzed the fun seaweed snacks I feed my kids and found that they have many health benefits, I was overjoyed! Sea vegetables (seaweed, kelp and the like) are an excellent source of iodine, which is required by the thyroid to synthesize thyroid hormone. They contain a variety of antioxidants including vitamins A, C, and E as well as carotenoids and flavonoids. Sea vegetables are a significant source of thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), iron, manganese and copper. They have omega 3's and prebiotic fiber, too! As you remember, prebiotic fiber delays gastric emptying and helps you feel fuller without excess calories.


We mix spirulina, a type of algae, in powdered form into smoothies, which is a convenient way to regularly consume sea vegetables. They can have an acquired taste and texture, especially for children. Thus, I recommend to start with the seaweed snacks, then proceed to sea vegetables with rice. Seaweed can be cooked but is very refreshing when eaten cold, paired with rice for a combination pleasing to the palate.


Sea Vegetables with Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 pack Mixed sea vegetables (these can also be purchased from amazon prime now for less)

2 cups uncooked sticky rice (we use Thai white rice for this dish)

Optional: 1/4 cucumber, 1 large carrot

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

Olive oil or avocado oil for toasting sesame seeds


Method

1. Start rice in rice cooker or Instant Pot. I love the Instant Pot for rice cooking - no mess and perfect rice every time!

2. Rinse sea vegetables and start them soaking in cold water, as they will need to soak for 10 minutes.

3. Toast sesame seeds in olive or avocado oil until light brown; remove from heat.

4. Optional: thinly slice cucumbers and grate carrot.

5. Mix all ingredients and serve over rice.


Great served with shrimp or air-fried chicken cutlets!

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