This week, I had the opportunity to try fresh, frozen kelp from the coast of Maine. I’m excited to share my experience with you! Of course, I had to add my Italian twist, but check out how I did it and why kelp is the new best paleo ingredient.
This recipe is an Italian-American adaptation of egg drop soup called Stracciatella alla Romana. The name comes from the shreds, or ‘stracciatelle’ of egg in the soup. Growing up my mom would always make this soup for me when I wasn’t feeling well. It is a great way to add protein when you’re sick and unable to digest meat as protein.The soup is made American by adding spinach. It is made even more delicious with kelp!
I chose to use half spinach and half seaweed for the greens. They have very similar taste and textures. Seaweed is like spinach of the sea. It says, “Kelp me, I’m drowning in delicious soup!”. Oh goodness.
Here are 10 more reasons to eat kelp if you’re paleo
By Ocean Approved
1) The Paleo Connection
Kelp is the perfect complement to the protein in your diet. Kelp has been a staple for thousands of years in the northeast, Europe and Asia, but our modern appetites forgot its flavor. As our food culture shifts toward sustainability, improved nutrition, and low carbohydrate loads, seaweed is ready to make a scene.
2) Farm Fresh from Coastal Maine
Like our ancestors, when Ocean Approved first started, they wild-harvested their kelp. However, pulling it from the wild is not sustainable. Kelp provides critical habitat for many species. “Having seen the changes to the ocean in our lifetime, and having been part of failed fisheries when we were younger, we are committed to leaving a better legacy for our children,” said Tollef Olson, founder of Ocean Approved.
More calcium than milk, more iron than spinach, more fiber than brown rice – this leafy sea green takes the cake – or at least justifies an extra slice.
4) Kelping you Stay Fit
Kelp contains potassium, which is necessary for building muscle, as well as iron, which helps make hemoglobin, oxygen-carrying proteins. Kelp’s extraordinary iodine content is a particular boon given that the American Academy of Pediatrics has identified populations at risk for Iodine deficiency. Iodine is a necessary element for your thyroid, helping to regulate your metabolis
5) Kelp is a True Superfood
Not only does kelp grow at an astonishing 5 ½ inches per day, it delivers more nourishment per tablespoon than one cup of dark leafy greens. Kelp, in other words, is the new kale. (Watch out Big Kale!)
Thanks to kelp’s incredible growth rate, Ocean Approved produces up to 33,000 pounds of highly nutritious foods per acre each season. “Our farming operations are able to create all this food without using any arable land, fresh water, fertilizers or pesticides,” said Frances Buerkens, Ocean Approved’s operations manager. “I’m new to the seaweed scene, but having studied commercial agriculture’s detrimental impact on soil and water, I was determined to work for a company that promotes private sector solutions to global environmental concerns.”
7) Fresh, Frozen Kelp is Easy to Use
Fresh, frozen kelp is mild in flavor and lacks the salty and fishy flavors that overpower dried kelp. Whether you’re making a bacon omelet or a grain-free chocolate cake, fresh, frozen kelp integrates seamlessly, complimenting rather than dominating other ingredients.
8) Breakfast on the go? Houston, we have a solution.
Fresh, frozen kelp is absolutely fantastic for smoothies. It complements spinach and kale, while also melding beautifully with frozen berries. For the perfect antioxidant punch, mix frozen blueberries, kelp, coconut milk, and mint. The cavemen would be jealous if they knew what they were missing.
9) Food coloring? No way.
Food safety doesn’t stop at knowing your famer: We need transparency with food processors as well. Looking at the other kelp products on the market Ocean Approved realized that many of these products contain preservatives, as well as blue dye #1 and yellow dye #5 to maintain a green color. Knowing their customers would want a 100% natural product, they came up with a healthier alternative.
10) Cleans our Oceans, Feeds our World
Our oceans have an excess of nitrogen, phosphorus, and CO2, primarily due to large-scale agricultural activities. Kelp absorbs these excess nutrients and releases oxygen, helping to re-balance the water chemistry of our coastal waters.
Depending on where kelp is grown, its proclivity for bioaccumulation can be great for our health – but it can also be risky. It’s important to understand where your kelp is grown and whether it’s farmed or wild harvested. Like any food that you eat, sourcing transparency is critical. Know your farmer!
Now to the recipe!
If you scrolled down without reading the stuff above I forgive you this time. But really, check it out!
- 64 oz chicken stock
- 3 cups torn fresh spinach leaves
- 1 sheet (about 1/2 cup torn) chopped fresh seaweed
- 4-5 eggs, scrambled
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
- In a large soup pot bring stock to a boil. Add garlic clove and bay leaf. You will remove these later.
- Lower heat and then add spinach and seaweed. Stir to prevent the greens from sticking to one another. Let that simmer on medium heat for about 5-8 minutes or until the spinach is wilted. If you use baby spinach cut that time in half.
- Meanwhile, scramble the eggs in a separate bowl. Set aside.
- When spinach is wilted remove garlic and bay leaf. Turn the heat up to medium high.
- Now it is time to add the scramble egg. Slowly pour in the scramble egg while whisking into the broth with a fork.
- The egg will cook rather immediately. So as soon at your broth changes with egg shreds you can remove it from the heat.
Note: it’s important to use a fork to whisk the eggs. If you use a whisk the greens will get caught in it and prevent the egg from breaking apart appropriately for the soup.
If you’re still getting used to the whole “eating seaweed” thing then try it buried (or berried!) in a smoothie. Here’s another Ocean’s Approved recipe for a Berry Mint Smoothie.
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