Foods high in nutrients, vitamins and minerals: For your Cooking Pleasure

Agar-Agar: This is a product made from seaweed that is dried and powdered and sold as a thickening or gelling agent. It is tasteless and comes in blocks, powder, or strands. It is available in Asian markets and health food stores. It is vegan, a good source of calcium and iron. So use it to make some gravies- or add it to some recipes to thicken it up.

Tahini: A paste of ground seame seeds with a creamy texture and fresh, nutty taste.  It is used in many Middle Eastern dishes such as hummus and can be added to salad dressings, dips and sauces. High in protein, it contains fat-soluble vitamins, calcium, and fiber. There are several types of Tahini. Toasted sesame seed tahini is preferred as it has a deep smoky flavor.

Tempeh: Fermented whole soy food, A very nourishing vegetarian food.

Miso: Fermented soy bean paste. Used to make soups, dressings and sauces. There are many types of misos, from white to dark, and from light to a strong taste.

Balsalmic Vinegar: This is an Italian Vinegar that is made from white Trebbiano grape that gets its dark color and pungent flavor from the barrels as it ages. For those people who are sensitive to sulfites, be aware that Balsamic vinegars contain sulfites to inhibit the growth of bacteria.

Basmati Rice: This is a long grained rice with a fine texture that has a nut-like flavor and aroma.

Cold Pressed: This term refers to the process used to extract culinary oils such as olve oil. Cold pressed is healtier than the common chemical extraction process. Heat make oils become rancid so the fat soluble vitamins are lost in the extraction process if the machine heats up.  If cold pressed is used on an oil label, it means care was taken to keep the process cold, thus preserving the natural nutrients in the oil.

More on seaweeds!

Dulse: a course textured red seaweed with a pungent flavor. It grows around the British Isles and has a rubbery texture. Some Irish  use it as chewing tobacco. Dulse is primarily used in soups and as a condiment on salads and grains. It is available dried, granulated, powered and on sheets. It is rich in minerals,  magnesium,  fiber and rich in Vitamin C and beta-carotene, potassium, calcium an high in trace minerals and is used as a treatment for thyroid disorders.

Hijiki: a seaweed vegetable that is flavorful for soups, stews, dressings and dips. High in minerals and 10 times more calcium by volume than milk, cheese, or other dairy products.  It is also high in iron, protein, beta-carotene, B1 and B12.  Available dried, this black seaweed has a slight anise character and nutty aroma.


Spirulina: This Algae has been shown to protect the immune system and lower serum cholesterol. This algae is also an excellent sournce of B vitamins, iron and trace minerals.

Wakame: an olive-colored algae. Wakame is high in calcuim, iron, beta-carotene, niacin and protein.


Taken in part from: Haas, E. (2004) The New Detox Diet. Berkley, California. Celestial Arts