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January 5, 2012

Nourishing Nori

For centuries, Nori has been valued as a food of longevity and detoxification by Asian cultures. It is a sea vegetable known for its nutritional and medicinal qualities.Western cultures have now embraced it for its health benefits, particularly in its ability to cleanse the body of toxins and heavy metals
that cause a variety of health problems.

Rich in minerals like iodine and potassium, seaweed is believed to boost the body's natural immune system and improve thyroid and liver function which will further help with detoxification. Knowing this, you should seriously find ways to incorporate it into your regular dietary eating habits.


Roasted Seaweed Strips


What stirred my interest in seaweed was that I kept seeing health conscious people eating these little green strips from store bought cellophane bags that say “Roasted Seaweed Strips.” Not knowing what kind of seaweed is used, and not knowing if it was at all tasty, I purchased a bag and gave it a try. And all I could think was “This is a joke.”

Basically the strips tasted like toasted Nori with a little oil and salt. And for this they charge a dollar (It was a .17 oz bag- not even 1 ounce). Sure enough, when checking the ingredients, seaweed, oil and salt are it. So I experimented in the kitchen with some Nori, made a big batch this morning of “Roasted Seaweed Strips.” They didn’t last very long.  Not only did us humans gobble it up, but we had plenty of help from Celeste (my amazingly healthy yorkie-poo).

Creating simple healthy snack foods is a hobby of mine. I love my junk food just like everyone else, and I am always finding ways to make them into healthy junk foods. My easy raw chocolate recipe is definitely my #1 healthy snack and you can read my blog on this to find the recipe. Nori strips is now #2.

It takes less than 5 minutes to make and its health benefits are beyond anything that you might get from some other salty chip in a bag. 

The high content of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in sea vegetables, make it one of the healthiest foods on the planet. New and exciting findings indicate that ocean algae can reduce our rate of fat absorption by 75%, thanks to a digestive enzyme called lipase. So it is also a great way to reestablish your healthy body weight.

Sea vegetables are very high in iodine, a much needed mineral that most Americans are deficient in. Iodine is necessary for thyroid and hormone production. So you should consider adding Nori to your diet if you have any hormone imbalances. As an added plus, sea vegetables are also very low in calories.
Nori is the Japanese word for seaweed. It is commonly used as the wrapper for sushi, but now it can be used as a simple snack food. Did you know that it is also one of the ocean vegetables highest in protein? It offers lots of fiber, omega 3 fatty acids, iron, minerals, EPA, vitamin C and essential B12. So, it’s not just for sushi anymore. I like Nori since it is easy to work with in the kitchen and it is easily found in most health food stores.


I’ve posted my recipe below. If you are afraid to try it since it might taste seaweedy, you can always doctor up the flavor a little more with toasted sesame seeds, onion or garlic powder or use toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil. Here’s the basic recipe.

Dr. Brand’s Easy Nori Chips

·         1 package of organic toasted Nori sheets (at least 5 to 10 sheets)
·         Olive oil (in a spray can is easier) or toasted sesame oil
·         Sea Salt to sprinkle
·         Garlic powder/Onion powder/Wasabi powder –All are optional if you like that kind of flavor. I do not suggest mixing them. Just use one.

1. On a large clean flat surface or counter, lay out at least 4 sheets of Nori. Lay out more if you have the space.
2. Spray with oil. Evenly spread (you can use your fingers) the oil on the entire surface of the   Nori or brush with a pastry brush to lightly evenly coat the Nori.
3. Sprinkle with salt.
4. Turn over the Nori and do exactly the same thing on the other side.
5. Lay the salted Noris on top of each other. Cut evenly into 4 to 6 pieces.
6. Store in a dry container in a cool place. Refrigerator is fine.  (Might be helpful to place a desiccant packet in the container to keep it fresher longer. I transferred over the desiccant that came from the pack I bought).

This is a simple to make snack with a tremendous amount of health benefits. I’ve already made small ziplok bags full to take with me for a quick pick-me-up during the day. And if I’m not careful, Celeste (my dog) may finish it for me.

Nori has maintained its popularity as attested by the proverb, "Nori each day will keep the doctor away.”  It sure beats eating an apple a day. And besides, I have eaten at least 5 sheets  of Nori this afternoon; I’m set for the week.

Bon app├ętit!

If you liked this post, you might also like: Seaweed Salad Anyone?

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