Sea vegetables are neither plants nor animals but classified in a group known as algae. There are both salt water varieties as well as fresh water sea vegetables. There are thousands of types – each of which are classified into categories by colour – either brown, red or green. Each is unique, having a distinct shape, taste and texture.
Wakame is quite similar to kombu. It is a highly alkaline food best-known as an ingredient in Japanese miso soup. It has a slightly sweet taste, a silky texture and is easy to prepare.
Introduction: 8 months
Remember, it is a nutrient dense food – a little goes a long way and since it contains a good amount of sodium, don’t use it excessively with the very little ones.
Many sea vegetables originate in the East and have, as a result, been a topic of ongoing debate and research with regards to heavy metal contamination – especially since the Fukushima incident. It is important to buy organic sea vegetables to ensure you are not exposed to the heavy metals which may be present in sea vegetables which have been sourced from polluted sea waters. Some certified organic sea vegetables have been farmed in a process that’s usually referred to as “aquaculture” or “mariculture” and that involves a closely monitored, contained-water environment for the sea vegetables. Others have been wild-harvested, but are from regions where ocean waters are better protected against contaminants.
Look for sea vegetables that are sold in tightly sealed packages. Avoid those that have evidence of excessive moisture.
Sealed glass container cool, dark place several years.
Rehydrate dried wakame by placing it in warm water for 3 minutes. It will expand to about 10 times its dried size and regain its original emerald green colour.
Serve as is for the little ones or for the Mama and Papa version, add sesame seeds, chili powder, ginger and honey to create a simple and delicious Japanese seaweed salad.
Wakame is a great addition to broths and stews and can be used in the cooking water when preparing any grains/vegetables to add extra nutrients and flavour.
Wakame is an EXCELLENT source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, folate, vitamin B2 and manganese.
Wakame is a GOOD source of magnesium, iodine, calcium, vitamins A, C, E, K, D, and lignans.