Happy Mother’s Day!
The day has arrived again, when everyone lets their mothers know how much they love them and appreciate them. The funny thing is that most mothers already understand how much they are needed and loved on a daily basis because if we didn’t then we wouldn’t do what we do! But it’s nice to be reminded. This is the most unique and powerful relationship one can have in their life…for good or bad 😉 A two-way street that somehow generally only feels like a one-way! And the payoff simply comes from being called Mom.
I like to think of motherhood as a long-term investment. Most days I’m the mom that doesn’t serve bacon, that has weird greens growing the fridge, that didn’t buy the “good” cereal on my shopping trip, and is totally annoying for serving new foods that don’t look familiar! I am that mom. Some days it feels like I am pushing against a brick wall and then other days, like when I see my kids eating greens or when they get excited that the avocados are ripe enough to eat, I think that maybe I am making some progress. It helps me to sleep at night to assume one day they will look back and understand that aside from wanting to nurture their bodies and fuel their brains, that one day they will also understand that I am simply doing the best with what I know. Making a tonne of mistakes along the way.
This week I am stepping out of my comfort zone. Into the unknown. Okay, perhaps a bit dramatic…I am testing out a new ingredient and a new recipe! I have been wanting to try kelp noodles for a very long time since I have read all about the health benefits and how easy they are to use. I am not sure what has held me back but now that I have tried them, nothing could keep me away! I am in love.
The texture is almost unexplainable. Kelp noodles have the familiarity of a rice noodle with a surprise crunch of a lettuce. They soak up which ever sauce you submerge them in without loosing any of the crunch. I am familiar with dried kelp and so I assumed that the noodle would have the same “fishy” flavour but I was wrong…no fishy flavour at all!
There is almost too much information on the benefits of kelp noodles for me to sum up articulately so I did a little digging and found this fantastic summary supplied by www.rawguru.com
What Exactly Are Kelp Noodles?
Kelp is a kind of seaweed, or algae, that grows in the ocean. To create kelp noodles, which are raw and very white, almost clear, in appearance, the clear substance that holds the individual pieces of kelp together are harvested. Though the noodles are not made from the entirety of the algae, they are packed with the same nutrients that have made kelp a popular ingredient among health-conscious individuals.
Although they can be treated much like regular noodles, kelp noodles may need to be marinated before use. They are naturally crisp, and by marinating them in citrus juice or vinegar you can enhance their texture without having to cook them.
Here are some of the great things kelp noodles can supply to your body:
- Over 70 nutrients and minerals, including iron, iodine, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, among others
- Vitamins, including B6
- Over 21 amino acids
- Improved thyroid function from iodine
- Stronger bones from calcium and magnesium
- Alleviation of menstrual cramps and premenstrual symptoms, as well as a few cases of arthritis, through calcium and magnesium
- Folic acid, which protects the circulatory system
- Anti-inflammatory properties, due to the magnesium
- Absorption of radioactive materials and heavy metals through phytochemicals
- Polysaccharides, which provide antifungal and antibacterial properties
- Supported memory health
- Decrease of allergies
So why do we not eat them regularly? Probably because trying something new can be intimidating. Not wanting to waste your money or scare the children 😉 It’s worth the risk, just re-read the list above and realize all of the ways that your body will thank you. You will find this product refrigerated and usually close to the produce section. Of course, the sweet and tangy peanut sauce is the real killer in this dish so substitute which ever noodles you wish, such as rice noodles. If you are keeping it raw then you can bang this recipe out in about 15 mins and on these hot spring days it makes dinnertime more enjoyable for everyone.
If this post does nothing else but make you feel a tiny bit better as a mom (by understanding how much I torture my kids) then that would make be happy. But if it makes you drive to your grocery store and ask the awkward teenager in the produce section where you can find the kelp noodles, then you have made my day!
Tangy Pad Thai
Prep time: approx. 15 mins
Serves: 4 people
Ingredients for the sauce:
1/2 cup crunchy natural peanut butter
1-400ml can of coconut milk
2 tbsp tamarind paste (optional)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp tamari (you can substitute soy sauce or my new fav coconut aminos)
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 shakes of hot sauce (optional)
juice of 1 lime
Ingredients for the pad thai:
1 package (15 oz) kelp noodles
1 red pepper, thinly julienned
1 cup shredded red cabbage
4 green onions, sliced
1/4 fresh chopped cilantro
- In a high-speed blender, blend all sauce ingredients until smooth. If you are heating your sauce then use a saucepan and slowly bring to a low boil and stir regularly.
- In a colander, rinse kelp noodles, shake dry and transfer to a serving bowl. Add in red pepper, cabbage and green onions.
- Add sauce and toss gently to combine. Garnish with cilantro and serve.