Although packed with goodness, naturally abundant in the UK and delicious to boot, seaweed is often overlooked as an ingredient. This week on Friday Night Feast, Jamie and Jimmy explore the health benefits of seaweed and have fun turning it into something really tasty. Here, Laura Matthews, Jamie’s Head of Nutrition, explains why we should think about cooking with seaweed.
Dried seaweed (or nori) is an incredibly nutritious ingredient. It’s a good source of protein – essential for the body to grow and repair itself – and it contains a whole host of vitamins and minerals, which our body needs in small amounts to stay healthy and work properly.
Seaweed is one of the few veggie sources of iodine, which is important for cognitive function and maintaining healthy skin. It is also a good source of vitamin B12, potassium, iron, copper and manganese.
Native British seaweed
As an island nation, we are blessed with a supply of some of the world’s great sea-based foods, including lots of seaweed! However, despite Irish and Welsh traditions such as laverbread, most people in the UK today have come to associate seaweed with Asian recipes.
In terms of fresh varieties, kelp is a great ingredient to cook with because of its intense umami flavour – great for adding extra depth to soups and stews. So try something different, and give seaweed a whirl!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Laura is head of nutrition at Jamie Oliver. Her passion for food comes from having cooking lessons at a local college from the age of 10, and the nutrition side from a fascination for how the right foods can fuel the body.