Recipes to introduce seaweed into your New Year’s diet

Valerie O’Connor takes cares of the New Year resolutions in one blitz. 

Mornings. Who invented them anyway? After the fun times of Christmas, most of which are spent asleep, the notion of waking up any time before 1pm just seems silly, really.

If you’re like me, you won’t have seen the inside of a gym over the past two weeks and keep scoffing mince pies every time you pass the kettle (must have tea with pies, and cream with pies), maybe you are feeling a little, well, rotund and sluggish.

That’s Irish for lazy and whelk-like as you lie there on the couch eating sweets while in a permanent state of sloth-like bliss.

Hard as it is to motivate yourself to go for a big, long stretch, it’s also great to get out for a windy stroll up the hills or better still, to the beach. You might think you are the only hero who had the mad idea to go walking on the beach on a howling windy and wild winter’s day, but there will be hordes out with the same idea.

Everyone has had one too many stuffing and gravy-filled turkey sandwiches and it’s suddenly just not funny anymore.

If you’re already signed up to the gym and, like over one half of all new gym members, will never go, then you can get your system back in good working order by upping the anti in the kitchen (not as rude as it sounds) and introducing a few simple smoothies into your daily routine.

It’s not an obvious one, but introducing seaweed into your diet will give your system a boost of minerals and iodine plus the all-important Vitamin D that gets depleted in the minimal daylight hours of an Irish winter.

Strolling on the beach you will see seaweeds of all kinds, from bladderwrack with the big black bubbles in it and fuccus serratus which is similar but with serrated edges. Serratus is great in a hot bath and a hand-full will lave your skin silky smooth and give you a huge dose of magnesium which is a real mood-booster, not to mention this will make you drop some bloating you may have built up over the festivities.

Seaweed is an all round tonic and can help detox your body of heavy metals and ease your liver after a heavy night out. Seaweeds are said to improve heart health and lower blood pressure and are also, surprise, surprise, great for your gut health and digestion. Try these easy remedies and get into these amazing foods.

Carrigeen Cough Syrup

Carrigeen can be made into a simple but effective cough remedy which is great at shifting phlegm. Simply boil up a hand-full of Carrigeen in 300ml water for ten minutes after which time you will see it’s jelly-like properties emerge.

Strain out the carrigeen and add some honey and lemon juice to the mixture and store this in the fridge for up to a week. Take a few spoon-fulls every day to shift that nasty cough. You can also add spoonfuls of this to smoothies to up your iron and iodine intake.

Recipes to introduce seaweed into your New Year’s diet

Supergreen Seaweed Smoothie

Seaweeds, bought in dried form can easily be added to smoothies and this is probably the easiest way to get them into you in a fresh and delicious way. Dr Prainne Rhatigan has written about this super-green smoothie in her gorgeous book Seaweed Kitchen and swears by it for a powerhouse, superfood breakfast on the go.

The Talty family of Spanish Point have developed their family business to produce a range of more user-friendly seaweed from dried packets of kombu, sea spaghetti and carrigeen, to sprinkles versions of the different veggies and all the way to powdered dilisk.

I featured seaweed strongly in my book Bread on the Table, and this recipe has become a staple summer favourite. As a keen grower of veggies in my tiny back yard, I get frustrated by the presence of weeds but with this recipe I get to eat them and reap their nutritional benefits too.

The more different types of greens and fruits you use the better, so one small piece of seaweed or one nettle is better than a whole bunch of mass-produced veg.

Ingredients

Go outside with your scissors cut a small amount of some of these greens including: Dandelion leaves, nettle, chickweed and mint. Pop one or two leaves of each of these into the blender:

Add a spinach leaf or two, a kale leaf, some broccoli greens

Add half a teaspoon of some seaweed sprinkles: nori, kombu, dilisk OR if you have fresh or dried seaweed use one 6 inch piece of Alaria soaked overnight.

A large chunk of pineapple for sweetness

A very ripe banana for thickness

250ml water

1 tbsp honey

Put everything in the blender or nutribullet and blitz everything together until it has a good smooth consistency and enjoy the surprisingly delicious sweet taste. Seaweed will also keep you full for many hours so this will keep you going until lunchtime or have it as a shake on the go.


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