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Seaweed products: Are They All the Same?

Traditional Japanese Furikake

Seaweeds are classified by colour into 3 broad groups : Reds, Browns & Greens.
All seaweeds have many things in common (like the high concentration in minerals, vitamins and trace elements), but each group and each species also has some unique qualities. For example, Brown Seaweeds are the best source of natural iodine in nature.  Reds and Greens also contain iodine but in much smaller quantities, but they tend to have a higher concentration of vegetarian proteins than the Browns. Trying and eating a variety of seaweed from different groups is as important as sampling a wide variety of land vegetables – they each have unique nutritional value and flavour.

A great way to start adding seaweeds into your diet is to use a seaweed seasoning such as Furikake which contains a blend of 5 different seaweeds.

furikake range sml

Furikake is the Japanese word for seasoning, and using it as a condiment adds visual appeal, amazing flavour and aroma to anything it is applied to.  Additionally, Furikake seasoning will stimulate digestion and enrich the nutritional value of your meal. Used as a  replacement for salt, it is a delicious way to reduce sodium while adding calcium, magnesium, iron, protein, and fibre to your diet. In addition to the important nutrients provided by the seaweed, the sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibres called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans and help prevent high blood pressure. Sesame seeds are also highly valued for their oil, which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity. While traditional Japanese Furikake contains bonito flakes and MSG to preserve flavour and colour, Pacific Harvest’s Furikake is vegan and free from all artificial preservatives.  Our Furikake is made from all the seaweed colour groups, therefore providing an extensive range of nutrients, in addition to the flavours – chilli, citrus and garlic.

Nori sheets commonly found in supermarkets are an interesting topic for us.  Sushi has become very popular as people like the flavour, taste and are convinced of it’s health properties with the fresh ingredients and seaweed wrap.  The reality is is nori sheets are often highly processed then glazed with flavoured salty mixtures to make the sheet shiny, salty and resistant to moisture. Pacific Harvest offers raw and unprocessed Karengo, which is the same species as Japanese Nori, as a raw ingredient for cooking.  Our Karengo is harvested, cleaned and packaged by hand. It therefore retains all the goodness from the clean sea where it is harvested, and will keep for a long time provided it is kept dry and away from direct light.

When looking for seaweed products, assess how they may have been processed.  The best natural taste and nutritional value is realised when you choose raw seaweeds, closest to their natural form, and free from any artificial additions.

Follow the link to find out more about Pacific Harvest’s Furikake range.

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