The recipe for Sea Zest combines three sources of nutritional powerhouses for a tasty herbal seasoning that adds zest to vegetables, meats, sandwiches, salads, and possibly even ice cream. It’s one of the very best of seaweed recipes.
The basic recipe includes sesame seeds, kelp fronds, and stinging nettle leaf.
Sesame seeds are an excellent source of the minerals copper and manganese. They also contain a good amount of magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
Kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana)
Kelp contains a vast amount of nutrients. It’s used in many seaweed recipes. According to the authors of Vegetables from the Sea:
“All the minerals required for human beings, including calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, iron and zinc are present in sufficient amounts. In addition there are many trace elements in seaweeds.”
Kelp also has significant amounts of vitamins A and C, as well as B1, B2, B6, Niacin, and B12. By adding this nutritious weed of the sea to our diets we can find that our hair grows faster and thicker and our bones, teeth, and nails are stronger. Seaweed also supports metabolic function.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Nettle is one of our most nutritious plants. According to Mark Pederson who wrote the book Nutritional Herbology, nettle contains high amounts of calcium, magnesium, chromium, and zinc.
Making this herbal seasoning is easy.
Sea Zest Seasoning
What you’ll need…
- 3 cups sesame seeds
- 1 cup granulated kelp (See the “P.S.” below on where to get kelp)
- 1 cup cut and sifted nettle leaf
Step 1: Preparing the sesame seeds
You can buy sesame seeds in packages or in bulk at your natural foods store. Sesame seeds are high in oils and can go rancid easily, so be sure to buy from a fresh source.
When making Sea Zest Seasoning in our home, we start with 3 cups of sesame seeds. If this seems like too much for your family, you can reduce the amount of ingredients in ratio. (For example, you could do 1 1/2 cups of sesame seeds and a 1/2 cup each of kelp and nettle.)
Toast the whole sesame seeds on low heat. We like to use a clean and dry cast iron pan for this, but whatever you have will work fine. Be sure to stir them often so they toast evenly and do not burn. Once they become darker in color and have a nice aromatic smell, remove them from heat.
Using a food processor or blender, grind the seeds into powder and then place in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Mixing it together
Add 1 cup each of granulated kelp and cut and sifted nettle leaf to the sesame seeds.
If you are beginning with whole kelp fronds or whole nettle leaf, then you can use the food processor to mince them up well.
One word of caution is that it’s better to have granulated kelp rather than powdered kelp. If it’s too powdery, it doesn’t mix well.
Also, buying whole kelp fronds will ensure better quality than buying it granulated. You’ll want it this way for all your seaweed recipes.
(These next two photos show whole nettles being processed. This is not necessary if you purchased cut and sifted nettle leaf)
Once it is all mixed together, you can bottle it up, label it, and enjoy! That’s my husband Xavier below.
Because sesame seeds are high in oils, you’ll want to consume this seasoning quickly so that it doesn’t have a chance to go rancid. If it has gone rancid, you’ll notice the strong unpleasant smell.
You can store excess seasoning in the fridge for better storage.
This simple seaweed recipe can be a base for many other kinds of seasonings. You could add savory herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano. You could also add spicy seasonings like cayenne, ginger, or turmeric.
We sprinkle this seasoning on practically everything, but we haven’t tried ice cream yet. Let us know if you do!
P.S. As for kelp…
Just make sure it’s from a quality source. Pay attention to the packaging. Unless the packaging or source touts it’s clean source, do not buy it.
For example, do not by a cheap bag of kelp at a conventional grocery that does not tell you the source. The kelp fronds I saw the other day at Whole Foods were from a very reliable source. You pay more, but at least you know it’s healthy.
Also, once again, make sure you do not buy powdered kelp, as it does not work as well as fronds or granules. Like I said, for seaweed recipes, the fronds work wonderfully.