Scientific Name: Laminaria longicruris
Other Names: "Kelp", "Kombu"
Overview: Kelp is a member of one of the oldest families of plants on earth and humans have been eating it for thousands of years. Kelp is a very nutritious low calorie sea vegetable that is high in Vitamin B9 and Vitamin K. It is also a great source for Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, and Iodine. It has as much fiber per serving as brown rice, without the high levels of starchy carbs.
Taste: Oceany, Salty, Grassy.
Sustainability: Sustainable. Our CSA pulls a kelp frond (leaf/blade) out of the water for a short time, shocking the plant, which causes it to produce reproductive spores. The plant is then transported to a selected growing area (underwater rock bed) where the spores are seeded and new plants grow.
Reconstitute kelp by cutting 4-5 inch lengths with a scissors and then soaking in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, to use as a vegetable, cut into strips or small squares and add to stir-fried vegetables, bean stews, soups, hot cooked grains, or simple noodle dishes flavored with miso or tamari. Kelp goes well with carrots, onions, parsnips, rutabaga, turnips, tofu, parsley, kale, cabbage, and other greens. Kelp may be used as a tenderizer for cooking beans, peas, and lentils. Kelp contains glutamic acid that softens the beans, making them more digestible. Simply add a 4 inch piece of kelp per pound of dried beans and cook until tender.
Cut a 5-inch piece of soaked kelp into bite-size pieces. Add to one quart of water and bring to a boil. Add cut vegetables of your liking: carrots, onions, celery, greens. Turn off the pot when veggies are tender. Soften two teaspoons miso in a bit of stock and add. Allow to sit a few minutes before serving. Serves 4.
Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and garlic. Sprinkle with thyme, cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in the kelp and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cooked rice, stir in the ginger juice or cayenne, sprinkle with salt and sesame seeds.