Sea Spaghetti - An Introduction to This Nutritious Sea Vegetable
Do you wish there could be an all-raw, all-natural, all-nutritious alternative to pasta? If so, read on.
There is now a wide variety of raw food products which try to fill the gap left by processed, hard to digest wheat pasta. Many people love zucchini, a vegetable that is easy to slice into long pasta strands, and some also enjoy spiral slicing carrots, beets, turnips and more. Many are also enthusiastic about kelp noodles, as they can be stored for a much longer time than zucchini and other veggies, but more than a few people deplore their crunchy texture or their sometimes off-putting smell.
Few raw pasta lovers are aware of yet another pasta substitute, one without a chemical aroma, a crunchy texture, or a short shelf life: sea spaghetti. Sea spaghetti (Himanthalia elongata) is another seaweed wonder. It grows in the natural seaweed fields of Brittany, and unlike kelp noodles, it actually looks like pasta right out of the water!
Processing and Color
Like most sea vegetables, sea spaghetti is a natural dark purple color, and a rich source of chlorophyll and minerals. In comparison, kelp noodles are transparent, as the outer skin is removed. This may seem natural at first, but, if you take a piece of kelp and try to remove the outer skin, you will find that it is not always easy to do so, and you will not end up with the final kelp noodle product.
Packaged kelp noodles have gone through a certain amount of processing, while sea spaghetti is an all-natural, unprocessed, unheated and nutritious product. After harvesting, sea spaghetti is gently dehydrated in a drying cupboard in Brittany and doesn't ever reach 115 degrees.
Being the natural sea product that they are, sea spaghetti thrive in a cool, water rich environment and will fully saturate in it, yielding long, soft linguine like strands.
Sea spaghetti is more nutritious than kelp noodles, just like unprocessed kelp is more nutritious than kelp noodles. Consider the following numbers:
In a 4 ounce serving, kelp noodles contain dietary fiber (4%), calcium (15%) and iron (4%). The nutrition facts label says little else.
In a 4 gram serving (much less than 4 ounces!), sea spaghetti contains dietary fiber (5%), vitamin C (400%), potassium (40%), magnesium (29%), calcium (25%) and iodine (56%). Sea spaghetti is by far one of the most nutritious raw pasta replacement available, and when you consider that each sea spaghetti package contains more than 10 times the above serving size, it really is a bargain!
Sea spaghetti are no different from other types of seaweed, with a pleasant, fresh taste of the sea. Rinsing will help remove much of the salty flavor, yielding a milder noodle.
Sea spaghetti is delightful in a cashew based tomato-cream sauce with crushed red pepper, or in a fra diavolo-type sauce rich in fresh tomatoes, garlic and parsley. No shrimps needed here! Creamy pesto sauces are also delightful tossed with soft, long stranded sea spaghetti.
Unlike fresh vegetables and kelp noodles, which need to be refrigerated, sea spaghetti is low temperature dried and shelf stable. You can stock as many packages as you'd like and keep them in a dark, dry cupboard for at least 3 years!
If you've been longing for the long soft strands of grain based pasta and are looking for an easy to digest, nutritious and delicious alternative, you will love sea spaghetti! Kate Magic recommends you “just soak it in the morning & serve it in the evening,” and in her book Evie's Kitchen, Shazzie writes: “I (...) love sea spaghetti, which comes in long strands of tagliatelle-style seaweed. After soaking in water for an hour, it makes the base of one of the most satiating raw meals on the planet.”
At Sirova, we like to soak an entire package of sea spaghetti in a large covered container and keep it in the fridge, changing the water every couple of days. Then, we just whip up a quick sauce, toss in a few cups of soaked sea spaghetti, and we've got one of the fastest, most nutritious foods possible!