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5 Ways to Add Edible Seaweed to Your Diet

If you're looking for ways to add edible seaweed to your diet, you've come to the right place. Seaweed is full of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Our oceans and seas are full of different types of seaweed. To begin incorporating seaweed into your diet, it's necessary to familiarize yourself with some of the most common varieties. Nori, a common ingredient in Japanese cuisine, is the highest in protein content and can be served a number of ways, including dried and fried. Dulse, a red algae, is commonly eaten in countries with a cold northern coastline, such as Canada and Ireland. Kelps include Wakame, Kombu and Arame and are found in Pacific Rim cooking. Sea Lettuce is a green lettuce-like variety that has a strong "oceany" taste. All types of edible seaweed can be incorporated into daily life to add new flavor to your diet.

1. Sushi for Seafood Lovers and Haters

If you love seafood and already enjoy sushi, then this tip is an easy one to incorporate. Customized sushi rolls for vegetarians and those who don't like seafood can easily be made at home. Use a sheet of dried Nori to create rolls that will please any taste buds. For something new, build yourself a barbecue chicken roll by covering a sheet of seaweed with rice. Then mix together chunks of cooked chicken and barbecue sauce. Spread a line of the chicken mixture on the rice. Lay down a line of sautéed onions and green peppers. Roll up the seaweed to create a long tube, sealing the ends by overlapping them and pressing together with a bit of water. Slice into 1" pieces.

2. Seaweed Salad

Seaweed salad is both easy to make and offers a good alternative to the classic western-style salad. Chop up different types of seaweed, such as Wakame and Sea Lettuce. Mix with thinly sliced cucumbers and green onions. Mix together a homemade dressing of rice-wine vinegar, ginger paste, sesame oil and a dash of soy sauce. Toss the seaweed salad in a generous amount of dressing and eat as a side dish.

3. Soups

There's no reason why every seaweed dish has to have an Asian influence. Next time you're cooking up a steamy pot of soup, add seaweed to the mix to give it some added texture. Since seaweed comes from the water, it won't break down the way other greens might. Add chopped seaweed to noodle soups and seafood soups like cioppino or bouillabaisse. You can even sprinkle dried seaweed strands on top of a freshly poured bowl of clam chowder.

4. Breakfast

Seaweed isn't limited to just dinner dishes. Add diced Nori or other varieties to your eggs to add a new pop of flavor. Try an Asian-inspired omelet with sautéed shitaake mushrooms, seaweed, bamboo shoots and shelled soybeans.

5. Seaweed Snacks

Seaweed can be fried and baked to create crunchy snacks that are similar to potato chips, but with less calories and lots more fiber. Consider making your own seaweed crisps or buy them at your local Korean market or on the Internet.

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