Seaweeds many nutritional benefits include being rich in iron, magnesium, iodine, and the omega-3 fatty acids. Plus there's that great "umami" flavor. Umami is Japanese for "pleasant savory taste". These are the reasons we humans love to add seaweed to our diet- but what about our dogs?
Turns out seaweed is a great addition to our dog's diet. Those same powerful nutrients that benefit humans help improve our dog's coat and skin. Nori, the unseasoned sushi wraps can make great training treats for your dog. That umami taste sensation is similar to a rich, meaty bone.
If you are lucky enough to live near the beach, washed ashore seaweed is NOT a safe dog treat. In general, my Puerto Rican street dog Tuffy eats a lot of gross things on the beach- but she's never shown an interest in beach seaweed. The dangers are possible pollutants, salt poisoning and expansion as the dried seaweed expands in the tummy.
If you're looking for a good seaweed rich supplement for your dog check out the Maine company Source. Susan Domizi developed a nutritional product to help her horse's health. One of the problems of modern society is our soils may be depleted and not have all the essential micronutrients that our dogs need. Source for dogs contains "selected seaweeds plus the added benefits of yeast cultures, brewers yeast, garlic powder, vitamin E, zinc and natural beef flavor."
Source also makes a human supplement which I use but that's another blog!
Find out more on the Source website- https://www.4source.com/product/source-plus-for-dogs/
I'm a cooking junkie. I love to watch cooking shows, my favorites being Top Chef, Chopped and The Great British Baking Show. I also love cookbooks. I often buy a regional cookbook as my souvenir from a trip. The books most often checked out on my library card are cookbooks.
I have been enjoying (and learning a lot) from Ocean Greens written by Lisette Kreischer & Marcel Schuttelaar. In addition to enhancing the flavor of your food and adding some serious nutrition another reason to explore seaweeds in your kitchen is sustainability. "On the cutting edge of food and sustainability, seaweed and sea vegetables are good both for you and—with the potential to drastically reduce our carbon footprint—for the planet" (quote from Ocean Greens website).
One section I really loved was "Special Ingredients". I tend to use seaweed as a spice and often reduce or eliminate the salt. As I read thru there was a section about salt, especially sea salts. Sea salts are more complex and nutritious than ordinary table salt. In the book they prefer Danish smoked salts for their intense smokey aroma. I'm totally thinking seafood as I'm writing- just the idea of that smokey aroma. In addition to the intense aroma Danish salt is also high quality in terms of the salt making process and mineral content. Being in Maine we have some great salt makers including the Maine Sea Salt Company. My two favorites happen to be their Hickory Smoked and Dulse.
Another spice I'm eager to try with seaweed is Smoked Paprika. According to Ocean Greens Smoked Paprika adds a deep meaty flavor. Don't use regular Paprika but look for the smoked variety which is from a particular pepper cooked over an open flame.
An ingredient not mentioned in the book but that I particularly love with seaweed is dark rum. Prannie Rhatigan's Irish Seaweed Kitchen introduced me to the world of baking with seaweeds. Now whenever I am making a cake, muffin or brownie I replace the vanilla with chopped dulse soaked in dark rum. I let it mellow together when I start mixing my batter and at the final few stirs fold it in. It's totally yumminess. Ocean Greens has some beautiful sweet recipes including Chocolate Chip and "Weed" cookies and a lovely Chocolate, Raspberry and Seaweed Cake. I can't wait for my backyard raspberries to ripen.