Friday, April 30, 2010

Sea Zest Seasoning: Mountain Rose Herbs Blog Contest

Sea Zest seasoning combines three sources of nutritional powerhouses for a tasty herbal seasoning that adds zest to vegetables, meats, sandwiches, and salads.

The basic recipe includes sesame seeds, kelp 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) contains a vast amount of nutrients. 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. In this recipe we'll be using granulated kelp as shown below. You can also use whole kelp fronds and use a blender or food processor to mince them up.

Stinging nettle leaf (Urtica dioica) 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.

The recipe is...

3 cups toasted and ground up sesame seeds

1 cup kelp

1 cup nettle

You can buy organic stinging nettle and sesame seeds from Mountain Rose Herbs:

Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c

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 (like Mountain Rose Herbs).

When making Sea Zest Seasoning in our home we start with three 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 half 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 one 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

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 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. You can buy a large variety of high quality herbs and spices at Mountain Rose Herbs.

We sprinkle this seasoning on practically everything!

This blog post if part of the Mountain Rose Herbs Blog Contest