Sunday, 5 July 2015

Wakame Seaweed Salad

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What is Wakame?

Wakame is an edible brown seaweed or kelp common in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisines.

You may have seen this salad on your favourite sushi restaurants menu or perhaps even eaten it. However it's premade & delivered, not usually made in house. You can actually by the exact same salad at Costco. Years ago when I bought this, I wasn't knowledgeable about the ingredients, now that I am and re-read the ingredients I stopped buying it and ordering it. Why? Not only is this packaged food full of unhealthy ingredients it also uses blue & yellow food dye to keep it fresh & colorful. 
Here is the ingredient list:

Ingredients: Wakame, agar, high-fructose corn syrup, vegetable fat and oil, sugar, sesame seeds, salt, vinegar, glucose syrup or starch syrup (“Mizuame”), hydrolyzed protein, cloud ear mushroom, red pepper, glucose, seasoning (amino acid, etc.), acidulant, food coloring (Yellow #4 and Blue #1). 

Okay yuck! This beautiful food we know is healthy now becomes unhealthy. 
Here is how making this salad at home more healthy. 


Ingredients

1 package ( 70 g ) dried cut wakame seaweed 
2 large green onions
1/2 Cup sesame seeds ( white & black )
Yields approx 7 Cups

Dressing ingredients

4 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame seed oil
1 Tbsp coconut sugar 
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
3 Tsp braggs liquid soy

Method 

Add the package of seaweed to a bowl with double the amount of warm water to insure all seaweed is covered 
Set aside to allow it to rehydrate while making the dressing

Add all the ingredients of the dressing to a bowl and mix well

Drain seaweed in a strainer & rinse under cold water, this will help brighten up the green colour 
Squeeze most of the liquid out of the seaweed ( I just used my hands )
Chop green onions add them, the sesame seeds and the dressing to the seaweed
Mix well
Eat right away or refrigerate up to approx 3/4 days

I was so pleased with how it turned out. When I tasted it to see if the recipe turned out it was so good but when I ate it again later it was even better. Eating it later gave the salad time to set & marinate which of course always enhances the flavour. I recommend pre-making it for eating at a later time. However either way was delish!

Why eat wakame? Because of its nutritional line up & for its health benefits. Please read below.

Health Benefits of Wakame: Wakame is a good source of the following:

1. Magnesium. This mineral is critical in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, function of certain enzymes in the body, production and transport of energy, and the production of protein.

2. Iodine. Iodine is needed for strong metabolism of cells - the process of converting food into energy. It also maintains the balance of the thyroid gland and is needed for the production of thyroid hormones.

3. Calcium. Wakame easily allows for the absorption of calcium into the human body. Each 100 grams of raw wakame contains 150 milligrams of calcium. Calcium is needed for strong healthy bones and the prevention of osteoporosis.

4. Iron. We need iron because it is essential for the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia.

5. Vitamins!
  • Vitamins A, C, E, and K. These vitamins are all amazing for skin health and repair as well as immunology. 
  • Vitamin D. Promotes the absorption of calcium for healthy bones and enhances the nerve, muscle, and immune systems.
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). We need riboflavin to use the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the foods we eat. Riboflavin helps us use these nutrients for energy in our bodies for growth and is also necessary for red blood cell production. Riboflavin functions as an antioxidant and works in the body with other vitamins such as niacin, folate, and vitaminB6. 
6. Folate. Helps the body make new cells and is especially important for pregnant women.

7. Lignans. Thought to play a role in preventing certain types of cancer, particularly breast cancer.
** compliments of mindbodygreen.com**

More Health benefits

Weight Control:
Cholesterol and Heart Health:
Circulation:
Cancer Prevention:
Energy Booster:
Bone Health:
Balance:

*** A Final Word of Caution: Although the vast majority of the components in wakame are beneficial for your health, it does have a relatively high level of sodium, which isn’t the best choice for people already suffering from obesity or blood pressure problems. Sodium works against potassium to lower blood pressure, so be careful not to overdo it on the wakame in your meals. Other than that, enjoy this delicious Japanese delicacy!***
**compliments of organicfacts.com**

I encourage you to give seaweed a try whether it's wakame or another one of the many other varieties. Where to buy it?
I'm sure you can buy them in many places but I do know for sure that your local health food store will carry wakame and your local Asian market. 
However you try it or enjoy it mostly may you be Nutritionally Well.

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