9 Jun 2006

Sea Vegetables - Arame

For centuries sea vegetables were only eaten by people in the Far East and those on a Macrobiotic diet, but due to their high nutrition and health benefits they are fast becoming popular with vegetarians and vegans.

Being sweeter and milder tasting, Arame is a good place to start when trying out a sea vegetable in cooking for the first time. Arame grows on the coasts of Peru and Japan. It is often called the sea oak as it's leaves resemble big, tough oak leaves. Once harvested it is shredded and dries to a black color. When cooked it changes color to dark brown.

Arame, like other sea vegetables is high in iodine, calcium, iron, vitamin A, niacin, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, zinc and protein. It contains plant compounds called lignans which are said to have cancer protecting properties. Arame is one of the richest sources of iodine of any vegetable so is excellent for thyroid health. The pantothenic acid is important for the adrenal glands. Nutrients in sea vegetables help cleanse the colon and improve digestion and absorption. As Arame promotes soft, wrinkle-free skin, enhances glossy hair and prevents its loss, it is used in many beauty products.

Preparation: Shake to remove any grit, put in colander/sieve and rinse well with cold water. Soak in a pot for around 8-10 minutes and drain. Arame can be steamed, sauteed, added to soup, or eaten in salads.

Simple Arame Recipe
from Ketayun

Saute finely sliced onions carrots and ginger in water or water/wine combo. When almost done, place arame on top and let it steam till soft. Mix and add soy, tamari or vinegar. You could eat this with brown rice, tofu, or after cooling chop it and add soy mayo+lemon juice and scoop it with rice crackers.

Mediterranean-Style Roasted Vegetables with Arame
A delicious recipe, to entertain in style and surprise your friends.

1/2 cup Arame
4 baby onions, or 1 medium onion, quartered
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 courgettes cut into thick rounds
1 red pepper, cut into pieces (discard seeds)
handful of mushrooms, cut in half
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp concentrated apple juice (optional)
1 tbsp dry oregano
2 bay leaves
pinch of sea salt

Rinse the arame under cold water quickly. Soak it in just enough cold water to cover for 7 minutes, then drain well. Heat the oven to medium heat (200°C/375°F/gas mark 6). In an oven casserole dish, mix the vegetables, arame and seasonings well. Add a small amount of water to just cover the bottom of the dish. Cover with the lid and bake until the vegetables are sweet and tender (approximately 30-35 minutes).Garnish with 1tbs capers and chopped parsley. Serves 2

Arame Lemon Soak Bath
from Eden Foods

Deeply relaxing and cleansing. The minerals in the arame are readily absorbed into the skin helping to cleanse pores and melt away accumulated fats and oils.

1 cup Eden Arame
2 quarts water
1 lemon, cut in half

Place the arame and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, reduce the flame and simmer for 15 minutes until the water becomes brown. Strain out the arame and discard. Pour the water into the bath tub. Add more hot or warm water until comfortable. Squeeze the lemon juice into the tub and toss the skins in. Relax and enjoy for about 10 minutes.


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