If you're like a lot of people, you've probably never heard of nori before. But I can almost guarantee, you've seen it! Nori is a type of edible seaweed that's becoming increasingly popular in the United States. It's used in sushi rolls and other Japanese dishes but did you know you can eat it on it's own too? Nori is a nutritious snack, providing health benefits too. In this blog post, we'll discuss what nori is and why you should be eating it!
What is Nori exactly?
Nori is a type of edible seaweed that grows in the Pacific and North Atlantic Oceans. It's been around for centuries, and it was traditionally used as a wrap to keep food fresh and safe from bacteria.
Nowadays, nori is probably most commonly used to make sushi rolls. You know that green wrap around sushi? That's nori!😄
"Sushi nori", as it's technically referred to, is dried and roasted seaweed.
Nori has a mild flavour and can be found in many different colours and shapes.
Where can you purchase Nori?
You can buy nori at most major grocery stores or health food stores. It's also sold in many Asian markets and online retailers, like Amazon.
Even Cost-Co has their own brand! Yep, you can get snack packs of Kirkland Signature Organic Roasted Seaweed at the big box store. It's perfect for snacking and pre-portioned.
You can buy nori in sheets (the "sushi nori" that's dried and roasted), flakes, powder, or strips.
What are the Health Benefits of eating Nori?
Nori is packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and Vitamin B12.
It's low in calories and high in fiber which makes it a great choice for weight management.
Nori is also high in antioxidants which can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy skin.
Is Nori Gluten-Free?
Yes, nori is naturally gluten-free. As well as dairy-free and vegan.
Unless you purchase a product that has something added to the nori, it's really just vegetables (ie, seaweed)😉
Be sure to check the ingredient list of any dried nori "snack packs" if you have other allergies. For example, the Kirkland brand of this seaweed snack is roasted with sunflower oil, sesame oil and salt to give that satisfying crunch and a great flavour. If you're allergic to sesame, you'd be naturally avoiding this brand.
Why Should You Be Eating Nori?
Nori is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy.
Nori is a good source of the following vitamins (providing 20% of the Daily Value per 100 gram serving):
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Dried seaweed is also very high in iodine. Iodine is a trace element and essential for our thyroid hormones.
It's also provides dietary fiber, which helps with digestion and can help lower cholesterol levels. Nori also contains several essential minerals such as iron, zinc, calcium, and magnesium.
All of these nutrients can help make sure you're meeting your nutritional needs to maintain good overall health including strong bones and a healthy gut.
In addition to its nutritional benefits, nori is low in calories, fat, and carbohydrates. This makes it an excellent choice for those trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
And since it's so easy to prepare, nori can make a great addition to any meal or snack.
Why You'll Love Nori
Nori is a delicious and nutritious way to add some variety to your snacks and meals. It has a mild flavor that pairs well with many different dishes, and its texture can add an interesting crunch. Plus, it's incredibly easy to prepare.
All you need to do is toast it for a few minutes until it becomes crisp and then you can use it in any recipe you like.
Or if you buy the dried nori sheets or little snack packs of the roasted sheets, no toasting necessary! It's crisp and ready to eat as is.
Another reason to love nori? I think it's a neat thing to introduce your kids to if they're not familiar with it.
- Teach them about a food ingredient common to Japanese culture
- Have some fun with the whole "seaweed" idea ("we're eating seaweed?!" My kids got a kick out of that idea when they we're young😆)
- Open up their taste buds and palates to something maybe a little different for them
For me, I like doing those things with my kids when I can.
And now, they'll even try sushi with my husband and I order it! Which is totally fun for us as a family.
How do you cook Nori?
Nori is super easy to prepare. The most common way to cook nori (the raw stuff) is by lightly toasting it for a few minutes until it becomes crisp.
This can be done in a skillet over medium-high heat, or in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 5 minutes.
Once cooked, you can use nori in any recipe you like, from sushi rolls and salads to soups and smoothies.
If you pick up the "sushi nori" sheets or the nori in those snack packs, it's already dried and roasted and ready to go.
For best results, it's important to store nori properly. Nori should be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year. If you want to freeze it, just make sure to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil before putting it in the freezer. This will help make sure it keeps it's flavour and texture as long as possible.
What are some common dishes using Nori?
Nori is a super versatile ingredient that can be used in so many different dishes. The sushi roll and rice balls (onigiri) are two of the most popular dishes that uses nori.
Other more traditional dishes that use nori are:
- Miso soup
- Rice ball
- Maki roll
But even if you're not a fan of sushi, you can use nori sheets as a wrap-around for vegetables with proteins like fish or chicken or keep it vegan and add toasted tofu or tempeh.
Dried nori can also be added to salads, soups, and smoothies for an extra crunch or texture.
It can also be used as a crunchy topping for stir-fries and rice dishes.
And don't forget sandwiches and even pizza, yes PIZZA🍕 with nori!
Because nori is naturally vegan, it fits in with any vegan or vegetarian recipes you're making.
Does Nori go bad?
Nori won't go bad - if you store it right. When kept in an airtight container at room temperature, nori can last up to one year.
If you want to extend its shelf life, you can store it in the freezer by wrapping it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This will help preserve its flavour and texture for longer.
But know that nori can become rancid over time if not stored correctly (ew).
If you see any discolouration, changes in texture, or an off smell, it's best to throw out the suspect nori and buy a fresh batch.
Bottom Line on Nori
If you're looking for a healthy, gluten-free and delicious way to change up your meals, then why not give nori a try!
Add the dried and roasted nori sheets to a salad, smoothie, soup - or try making your own sushi at home with the kids😄🍣
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