Long the staple of macrobiotic diets, sea vegetables have become an increasingly popular addition to American diets. Perhaps the popularity of sushi has exposed more mainstream consumers to the delicious taste and health benefits of seaweed.
There is no doubt that vegetables from the sea can provide a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Ounce for ounce, sea vegetable pack a big vitamin and mineral “punch,” providing good sources for calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins C, E and K. It is clear, then, why many cultures believe that it is wise to consume sea vegetables on a daily basis.
However, sea vegetables are also a source of sodium. Red Mountain Executive Chef Dale Van Sky says that while sea vegetables provide a natural source of iodine and other healthful minerals, persons who must limit their salt intake should know that sea vegetables may contain greater amounts of sodium than other vegetables. At Red Mountain, a wonderful nori soup is served regularly. Also, agar agar is used as a vegetarian alternative to gelatin in the sorbet.