Pepper Dulse

pepper dulse

Pepper dulse, osmundea pinnatifida grows on the mid to lower shoreline and I think it is the smallest of all the sea vegetables I forage. This sea vegetable is in season from December to May and best harvested with a sharp scissors and much patience.  Growing only 1 – 8 cms in length makes it fiddly to work with. However, it is worth the effort, pungent and full of flavour. I love it fresh but if you are adding it to a salad, just remember a small bit goes a long way. Use it like you would a herb not a lettuce! Dried and crumbled, it is perfect as a seasoning for seafood dishes. It is considered quite a delicacy and  in some circles is known as “the truffle of the sea”. See for recipe ideas.

Seaweed for Health

Selection of Veggies from the Sea Garden

Selection of Veggies growing in the Sea Garden

Seaweed has been used medicinally in it’s natural form throughout the ages. In Japan, women are given a seaweed soup for a month after giving birth to help them build their strength. It’s full of vitamins and minerals and you will find that different seaweeds, have different levels of each. This natural source of goodness is easy to add to your favorite foods. Without making any big changes, you can make a big difference in your overall health by including 1 -2 tablespoons of seaweed a week in your diet. See for ideas to get you started and remember, everything in moderation! 

Good for bones

  • Seaweed can have up to ten times the amount of calcium that milk has and also iron, phosphorus, copper, potassium, boron, zinc, and over 30 other minerals. There are not many foods that have such a broad range of minerals. And that’s important because no one mineral makes your bones strong. It’s the balance of all essential minerals that builds up bone. Seaweed calcium extract is an effective calcium and magnesium source for improving bone health compared to synthetic calcium and magnesium supplementation. 

Strengthens immune system:

  • Your immune system is a network of organs and tissues that help fight off illness.  A study published in the Journal of Applied Phycology in June 2012 found that seaweed helped to strengthen immune system functions in HIV/AIDS patients. Scientists observed over a three-month period that patients eating just 5 grams of seaweed daily helped ward off increasing numbers of virus counts. Additional research has found that regular seaweed consumption yielded a positive impact on the body’s ability to stifle viral and infection rates.

Fights cancer:

  • Seaweed contains fucoidan, a complex polysaccharide, one of many polysaccharides found in kelps and other seaweeds. In research in Japan, fucoidan administered to cancer cells in a laboratory dish were virtually wiped out within 72 hours. Is good for the prostate and helps prevent growth of tumors and cleanse the body of radiation

Aids your digestive system

  • Seaweed is recommended for digestive and colon health. The nutrients contained  in seaweeds help cleanse the colon and improve digestion and absorption. This is believed to be due to the antibiotic activity of seaweed that destroys harmful anaerobic bacteria.

Helps your thyroid gland

  • This gland produces thyroid hormone (TH), which regulates, among other things, your body’s temperature, metabolism, and heartbeat. Things can start to go wrong when your thyroid is under- or over-active and even a mild deficiency of iodine can manifest itself subtly. An under-active thyroid can make one feel sluggish and tired, you could have difficulty losing weight, find your skin dry and suffer from depression. An overactive thyroid will make you anxious, unable to relax and often have difficulty concentrating due to the production of too much thyroid hormone (TH). It is important to check with your doctor if you think you suffer from either condition. 

Diabetes – type 2

  • Brown seaweed extracts appear to have the ability to interfere with the release of simple sugars from the gut, which in turn reduces high blood sugar levels after eating. Fucoidan, which is found in kelp, is a type of dietary fiber and belongs to the polysaccharide family. It has been found to balance blood sugar levels, prevent insulin over response and promote healing amongst other things, such as fighting cancer cells.

    * People with high blood pressure, high cholesterol or at risk of diabetes should avoid all processed sugars.

The above information is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose any ailment that you might have. We strongly advise that you contact your health professional about any medications or health problems that you have.

Fish Souffle

Fish souffle with seaweed, an easy dish that is sure to impress!

Fish Souffle with seaweed
An easy souffle that is sure to impress
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  1. 600 g white fish
  2. 100 g smoked salmon (shredded)
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1 tsp mustard
  5. 1 tbsp Seaweed (I use alaria milled)
  6. Lemon
  7. Oil
  1. Grease and breadcrumb your molds.
  2. Turn oven on to 200 Celsius.
  3. Cook white fish in a moderate oven drizzled with a little oil and a squeeze of lemon.
  4. Flake white fish and mix with smoked salmon.
  5. In a bowl, combine the fish with one whole egg, two egg yolks, mustard and seaweed.
  6. Whisk two egg whites till stiff then fold into the fish mixture.
  7. Spoon into your greased molds and cook
  1. For the seaweed, you could add flaked seagrass or a ground kelp instead. It is good to experiment and remember you may need less if it is powdered!
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Arroz con gambas


Seaweed Cooking

Have some sea vegetables and don’t know where to start?

Cooking with seaweed is fun. Making your favorite recipes more nutritious is rewarding and not difficult at all. Initially, I would recommend getting a couple of different types of seaweed, sea spaghetti (himanthalia elongata) is a great starter sea veg for the uninitiated, and a milled or ground seaweed is versatile. When planning your menu keep in mind that seaweed and can be added to all kinds of dishes from sweet to savory. No matter what your favorite family recipes are, there is almost certainly a seaweed that will enhance and that dish.  Seaweeds are available online or in any large supermarket.

A great way to start is adding it to your bread dough. No matter what kind of bread you make, the addition of a little ground or milled seaweed makes it much healthier and you will find it lasts longer too! Seaweed is a natural preservative and the sodium contained in seaweeds is the healthy kind. So next time you make pizza, add some to your dough and enjoy the natural goodness of this plant and all the health benefits that go along with it.

There is an increasing awareness in the western world at the moment of the amazing health benefits of seaweed. Jamie Oliver claims to have lost weight due to the inclusion of seaweed in his diet. And in fact seaweed is a natural source of sodium alginate, a chemical that can reduce fat intake by 75%! If you decide to cover your sea spaghetti in a rich creamy sauce or simply top with olive oil and herbs, it’s up to you but either way it is delicious.

Sea Spaghetti Salad
An Asian style seaweed salad with fresh mint.
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  1. 12 leaves fresh mint, finely chopped
  2. 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  3. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  4. 1 tbsp rice/cider vinegar
  5. 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  6. 1 tbsp honey (or sweeten to taste)
  7. 25 g dried sea spaghetti (re-hydrated and cooked )
  8. 2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
  1. Mix first 6 ingredients together in a bowl to make dressing.
  2. Roughly chop sea spaghetti and add to dressing.
  3. Marinade for at least an hour in refrigerator.
  4. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve.
  1. You could just soak sea spaghetti in water to re-hydrate and use raw. I personally like it raw but it depends on your taste buds and texture you desire.
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Quick and Easy Seaweed Yeast Bread
An easy, healthy seaweed bread that is great for kids and adults alike
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  1. 500 g strong white flour
  2. 1 tsp sugar
  3. 1 tsp quick yeast
  4. 300 ml warm water
  5. 1 –2 tbsp ground seaweed
  6. 1 tbsp oil
  1. Combine the dry ingredients
  2. Mix the oil and water together and add to the dry mix.
  3. On a floured surface, knead your dough for 10 mins.
  4. Shape dough and place on oiled tin or baking sheet.
  5. Allow to rise for about 40 minutes
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at about 180° for 35 – 40 minutes depending on your oven.
  7. Bread is done when it sounds hollow when you tap on the bottom.
  1. Make sure your oven is pre-heated and if you like you can brush the top of your bread with milk or an egg wash for extra shine and crust
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Prawn Rice with Pepper Dulse
Traditional Portugese style Prawn and Rice dish with Pepper Pulse
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  1. 12- 16 unpeeled king prawns
  2. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  3. 2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed or grated
  4. 1 ripe tomato, peeled and chopped
  5. 1/2 sweet pepper finely diced
  6. 1 tbsp tomato paste
  7. 2 bay leaves
  8. 1 cup long grain rice
  9. 1 cup dry white wine
  10. 4 cups water
  11. 1 fish stock cube
  12. olive oil
  13. dried pepper dulse to taste
  1. Remove the heads from the prawns.
  2. In a pot, add a dash of oil and sautee the heads for 3 - 5 minutes.
  3. De-glaze the pot by adding a dash of wine and stirring with a wooden spoon.
  4. Add the fish stock cube and 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes.
  5. While your stock is cooking, heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan and add the onions, garlic and sweet pepper. Sautee for 5 - 7 minutes.
  6. Add the fresh tomato, tomato paste and remainder of the wine.
  7. Add the bay leaves and the rice. Sautee for another minute.
  8. Strain the fstock and add to the pan. Stir well, turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 12 - 15 minutes or until the rice is about 5 minutes away from being done.
  9. Add the king prawns and cook for another 5 minutes, or less depending on the size of your prawns.
  10. Top with dried crumbled dulse to taste.
  11. Serve with fresh seaweed bread!
  1. This is a wet rice dish so add more liquid (water if you're out of stock) if required and be careful not to overcook the prawns. Seafood will continue to cook in this hot stew so serve immmediately.
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Monkfish with a Garlic, Alaria and Tomato Sauce
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  1. 24 cloves of garlic
  2. 4 pieces of monkfish (approximately 7oz/200g each)
  3. 1 glass dry white wine
  4. 1 1/2 pints tomato passata
  5. 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  6. 2 tablespoons Alaria sprinkles
  7. Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook garlic in boiling water until al dente. Drain and cool under cold water.
  2. Heat a thin film of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry monk pieces with the cooked garlic until golden.
  3. Add wine, reduce until evaporated.
  4. Add passata, alaria and rosemary.
  5. Gently simmer over moderate heat until cooked about 8 - 10 minutes.
  6. Taste and season with salt and pepper .
  7. Serve the fish with sauce and garlic cloves.
  1. We are fortunate to live in a fishing community with an abundance of generous fisherman and are always on the look out for new fish recipes. This is a dish that has charmed us and all that garlic and rosemary works really well with monkfish as it has a dense, sweet texture, very similar to lobster.
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Sea Spaghetti cookies with Banana
Quick, easy banana cookies with sea spaghetti!
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  1. 1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature
  2. 1 cup of sugar
  3. 1 egg, room temperature
  4. 1 cup of mashed bananas (about 2 ½ large bananas)
  5. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  6. 2 cups of flour
  7. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  8. 25g (dried sea spaghetti, re-hydrated and roughly chopped)
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Cream the coconut oil and sugar together.
  3. Add the egg and continue to beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  4. In a bowl, mix the mashed bananas and baking soda. Let sit for 2 minutes. The baking soda will react with the acid in the bananas which in turn will give the cookies their lift and rise.
  5. Combine the banana mixture with the butter mixture.
  6. Sift together the flour, salt, and cinnamon into the butter and banana mixture and mix until just combined.
  7. Fold the chopped sea spaghetti into your mixture.
  8. Drop in dollops onto parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until nicely golden brown. Let cool on wire racks.
  10. Makes about 30 cookies.
  1. Great recipe for over ripe bananas and lovely alternative to banana bread.
Adapted from simply recipes
Adapted from simply recipes
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