Sugar Kelp Leaves are simply a variety of the kelp family from the Northern Hemisphere. It is deep-water sea vegetable from the Brown Seaweed Group, also called Sweet Kombu or Kombu Royale.
They grow on rocks in shallow sub-tidal zone as a single blade (leaf) with a wavy, crinkly surface, giving it the appearance of a frilly tongue. The olive leaves can reach 2-4 meters in length and are thin and pliable.
Like other varieties of kelp, Sugar Kelp Leaves are a great source of natural umami that will deepen the flavour of a dish. In addition, Sugar Kelp contains mannitol, a natural sugar that lends a slight sweetness to the seaweed. Both umami & mannitol can be seen as a fine white powder on the dried leaves as they age. It is also a great ingredient for people wanting to maintain healthy iodine levels naturally.
Our Sugar Kelp Leaves are sustainably harvested by hand from the wild in Ireland, organically produced, dried naturally and often cut when the leaves are very large. It is also tested for contaminants.
How to cook with sugar kelp
Download your Sugar Kelp Recipe Brochure.
Uses for Sugar Kelp are similar to Kelp/Kombu, but the sweetness makes it appealing in deserts. Add to biscuits, cakes, tarts. Eat sugar kelp raw, roasted, smoked, simmered, steamed or stir-fried. Soaked & reconstituted, it is delicious cut into salads. Toast it into crisps (for a healthy snack) or crumble and use as a seasoning/garnish. Large pieces are wonderful to wrap vegetables, meat & fish cooked in a steamer or the oven. You can also pickle or ferment sugar kelp with sauerkraut. In Japan, Sugar Kelp is also used to make a sweeter broth. Simmer on it's own or add to any stock introduce seaweed in your diet, top up your mineral intact and maintain healthy iodine levels naturally.
Generally, less salt is required in a dish using any type of Kelp, because the abundance of minerals released provides a 'salty' taste, with a lot less sodium whilst providing a better balance of other minerals we need.
Health & Nutrition
Sugar Kelp has many of the same nutritional & therapeutic characteristics of other kelps. Kelps are recognised as having high iodine levels (the highest of all sea vegetables), but they are also a great source of calcium & magnesium. Sugar Kelp is an excellent source of 'hard to get' trace minerals, vitamins (especially Bs) and detoxifying fibres. Kelps contain special compounds that are said to have a positive effect on degenerative diseases: Algins, Fucoidan, Laminarin, lignans and many anti-oxidants.
Introduce kelp to your diet and reduce salt. Kelp is a positive alternative to salt, because it has a salty taste, with less sodium chloride and more of the other minerals we need. Hailed to be the best source of natural iodine in nature, it nourishes the thyroid and optimises the metabolism.
Kelp/Kombu also contains exceptional pre-biotic fibre , essential to good digestion. Sugar Kelp contains Mannitol - a natural sugar molecule with a very low glycemic index - which gives it a slight sweetness to the plant.
Label & Warnings
Being kelp, Sugar Kelp is very high in iodine. In NZ the RDI is 150mcg. Consume in small quantities to stay within the RDI for iodine. There is controversy over how much iodine one should consume, seek the help of a qualified health professional for personalised advice.