For this blogging project I had hoped to obtain fresh, locally-farmed seaweed, but this task proved much more difficult than expected! Dried sea vegetables are already available at most natural foods stores (for a pretty steep price) but fresh sea vegetables (undehydrated) are a rarity. However, the dried products that I worked with for all of these blog posts rehydrated quite nicely and apparently suffer little to no nutritional loss as a result of the drying process. We won’t be finding fresh sea vegetables in the produce section of every grocery store until there is a larger demand from consumers for these products. Join the cause and become a sea vegetable pioneer in your own kitchen!
In Long Island Sound, cultivation projects are already underway, and research efforts are being lead by UConn Professor Charles Yarish. I admit that seeing huge strands of kelp being pulled out of the ocean doesn’t exactly get my appetite going, but the recipes below should change the way that you see seaweed forever!
Sea Vegetable #4: Kelp
Kelp is a very large taxonomic grouping of brown-algae which tend to grow in tall, thick underwater “forests”.
I have found the flavor to be mild, which I can only vaguely describe as an “ocean-y” taste. However, it is not overly salty and helps to boost the moisture-content of baked goods, which is why I chose to make the kelp-carrot cake recipe that the makers of my favorite podcast (Gastropod) raved about on their sea vegetable episode: “Kale of the Sea”.
Recipe #1: Kelp-Carrot Cake
See the Ocean Approved Recipe
This recipe is so moist and delicious, it will make you a kelp convert!
Recipe #2: Candied Kelp
See the Maine Sea Coast Vegetables Recipe
*Just a note before you dive into this particular recipe, I found it very frustrating trying to unfold my kelp pieces once they were covered in honey/maple syrup and then covering these in sesame seeds was very time-consuming, so proceed at your own risk. The end result was pretty tasty, but I will not be making this again any time soon!