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All You Need to Know About Sea Spaghetti

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Sea Spaghetti grows out from a disc like shape which puts out branches. (Image thanks to Prannie Rhatigan)

 

What is Sea Spaghetti?

Sea Spaghetti is a spaghetti shaped, is a wonderful brown seaweed particularly rich in magnesium and other vitamins and minerals. It can also sometimes be referred to as “thongweed” or “sea thong” and is commonly found in the north east Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea.  It grows from a disc that puts out two main branches, starting to grow in the northern autumn and winter. It can grow up to 2m tall and will die back after it has reproduced.

The species Pacific Harvest offers is called Himanthalia elongata, and it’s harvested from an organically certified areas in France or Ireland because it does not grow in the southern hemisphere, but is one of the seaweeds which is delicious, very nourishing and interesting to eat!

Why Eat Sea Spaghetti?

Well, for starters, Sea Spaghetti is a sea vegetable and we all know we need to eat more vegetables!  But it’s also extremely rich in nutrients and naturally gluten free.  It offers high fibre, low carbohydrates, low calories and as long as it has been sustainably harvested it is very eco friendly!

Its a source of iodine which is essential for thyroid health and a good balance of minerals, vitamins and trace elements. It can also be a source of calcium and magnesium depending on where and when it has been harvested and how it has been dried.

The flavour of sea spaghetti can be altered depending on how you prepare it. Generally it adds a beefy flavour to soups, stews and casseroles, but can be ‘nutty like’ when used in salads and pasta.

How To Use Sea Spaghetti

It can be eaten on its own or mixed with spaghetti to add variety, colour, taste and texture.  You can re-hydrate it in what you are cooking (for example a soup) or soak it prior. Sea Spaghetti has a high sodium level and should be soaked in fresh water for +20 minutes before cooking.

Before cooking it as spaghetti, experiment with marinating it for 10 to 20 minutes in some lemon juice or ginger tea.  The acidity can help to reduce cooking time required and it adds a lovely flavour. 

Use sea spaghetti in salads, soups, deserts or to complement a pasta bowl (increasing the plant content in a subtle way!). Or simply simmer it and serve with a little olive oil or melted butter and spices or seasoning of your choice. It has the texture of al dente spaghetti.

Recipe ideas include cookies, fish with sea spaghetti, bean salads.

 

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