Luxurious Nutrition with Wild Irish Seaweed

We delved deeper into the wonders of the Burren on the most recent Irish at Heart podcast, and as always it was a pleasure sharing my Irish memories and experiences with the delightful Conor Reid.

As you will know from our previous explorations of this fascinating corner of Co. Clare, the desolate yet beautiful karst landscape is home to a plethora of fascinating florae; with Arctic and Mediterranean plants flowering side by side in harmony like nowhere else on the planet. Among these species is the humble yet valuable seaweed – which is stuffed full of beneficial vitamins and properties - and features prominently in our Irish at Heart Burren box.

 

 

There are between 200 and 300 different types of seaweed which can be discovered along the west coast of Ireland – each with its own signature appearance, aroma, and attributes -but according to the Managing Director of Wild Irish Seaweed, only 14 of these make the cut when he is scouring the seashores for algae.

 

Evan Talty was invited onto the show as a distinguished guest to share a little bit about two of the very special items that were delivered to your door last month, and the processes that brought them from beach to box!

Wild Irish Seaweed hand harvests marine vegetation off the West Coast of Clare using carefully honed techniques that have been passed down through four generations - processed with just a dash of modernity to ensure the highest possible quality in all of their products. Over the past 15 years Evan and his colleagues have reinvigorated the traditions that have faithfully supported this family run business over the last 100 years, preserving past passions so they can flourish in a 21st century market.

 

The organisation is still very much a family affair, and while Evan might be running the show these days, his eighty-something grandfather still casts a keen eye over the day-to-day procedures. Despite the innovations here and there – some traditions should never be tampered with, and the team still carefully comb through the beaches at low-tide by hand, sourcing the finest strands to be lovingly incorporated into products that will proudly bear the Wild Irish Seaweed name.

 

 

One such product, the Sea Salad Sprinkles, brought a little taste of the wild Atlantic Ocean to the plates of our subscribers – infusing each and every dish with the rich flavours of the Burren. Apart from the undeniable taste benefits, Evan talked us through the aromatic blend of five different seaweeds that are involved in this beautiful (and sustainable!) little package.

 

Every single grain is packed full of nutritional minerals, including iron, B12, calcium and magnesium – which all play their own vital part in keeping our bodies happy and healthy. Brown, red and green seaweeds combine to deliver a unique flavour, as well as promoting both physical and mental well-being in each and every sprinkle.

One credit card-sized slice of seaweed can really swipe up your nutritional stats, containing as much iron as a slab of steak and a serving of calcium equalling that of six pints of milk. As you can imagine, this makes the delicious sea plants rather popular with the vegetarian and vegan communities – but they can add just as much value to the meat eaters amongst us, resulting in a truly magical seasoning to have tucked away in your pantry.

While of course true beauty lies within, seaweed is just as adept at sprucing up your outer shell as it is at strengthening your insides – and it certainly can’t hurt to have both! Which is where our next wonderful Wild Irish Seaweed product comes in.

The Face and Body Oil is one of my personal favourite skin treats right now, and just a couple of sprays is enough to carry my mind back to the wild beauty of the Burren. The soft scent is a luxuriously reminiscent of the Irish Sea coast – with a warm waft of tropicality to be gleaned from the coconut oil.

 

I learned from Evan that this coconut oil is completely organic, and is infused for up to eight weeks along the shoreline, where it imbues the essence of its Irish surroundings in a way that is raw, natural and authentic. You won’t finding any sickly perfumes or irritating chemicals in this glorious little bottle of luxury!

The oil features a unique blend of kelp, which provides an intense hydration that will aid your circulation and detoxify your skin – drawing out unwelcome pollutants and leaving nutritious minerals and vitamins in their place. I sometimes find that these kind of products are a little heavy for my face, and can leave my skin feeling slightly greasy to the touch. However, this miraculous little mist is light and airy, giving a subtle Irish glow that will last all day.

 

I find it remarkable that a plant that we so often take for granted in this world can be such a rich and varied source of goodness, and I’m so grateful that these timeworn practices of seaweed harvesting have weathered through into the modern day. Next time I climbing across the sea sprayed rocks and feel a slippery strand slick underfoot, or my hand brushes a gentle frond underwater as I swim back to shore – I’ll pause to reflect on just how extraordinary this piece of Ireland’s landscape truly is.

So which is your own preferred method of benefitting from all of the wonderful nutrients of seaweed? Through the soft and glowing face and body oil? Or the tasty tang of the Salad Sea Sprinkles? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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