Inspiration from Meghan

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Bull Kelp Adventures In Tofino


Most people, when they travel, like to shop. They like to check out the local goods, bring home a souvenir or maybe some hot new threads.

I bring home seaweed. When I was in Ireland last May, I brought back a local harvest of dillisk (similar to what we know of as dulse).  From St. Lucia, I smuggled back a garbage bag full of sea moss.

I have just returned from two beautiful weeks on the western most point of the western most coast of this beautiful Canadian country. Two weeks in Tofino eating an aquariums worth of seafood, giving great big love to 1,000 year old trees and debating about leaving my clothes in Tofino and filling my suitcase with seaweed.

Bull Kelp Painting by Mark Hobson of TofinoOn our first morning, Josh and I hopped on some bicycles and rode through the fog of Chesterman beach at low tide and found heaps and heaps of seaweed washed ashore. All were attached to this giant bulb like think with a long, long tail.

We came home and did our Super Nerd nutrition research and discovered this is a type of seaweed was called bull kelp.  It grows up from the ocean floor, and the bulb like thing on top known a a 'Mermaid Bladder" is filled in part with carbon monoxide which enables it to float so well. The kelp grows out from the top and stays close to the water's surface. This means it gets all the goodness from the sea and from the sun!

Have I bored you already with this nerrrdyness? Well, the J-man and I were nutritiously excited about this and were even more excited when we learned that there are peeps doing work right now on how this plant can be used as a form of renewable/sustainable energy. Yep. You can get oil from kelp. GMO corn can go back to where you came from.

One of the greatest challenges we have when it comes to sea veggies and what we eat is that we don't eat sea veggies. We just don't really know what to do with them and when we do eat them, we think they taste like the sea. Imagine that?

If you are at all familiar with the idea behind pH and alakalinizing our body's pH as a means of cancer prevention and promoting health, than you know about sea veggies. There is nothing more mineral power packed than this and that is all there is to it.

Additionally sea veggies are awesome sources of:

  • Iron
  • Iodine
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Antioxidants
  • Protein!!!

I love to incorporate these goodies into my everyday diet! Here are some of my favourite ways:

  • Add to salads
  • Use kombu when cooking beans/lentil dishes and leave the seaweed in.
  • Increases mineral content and reduces gassiness of the beans
  • Soak and blend into a nutrient rich milk substitute
  • Dulse and apple makes a satisfying sweet and salty snack
  • Roll veggies wraps in sheets of nori
  • Add wakame or arame to salads and soups
  • Learn to enjoy as a snack
  • Toast dulse or nori in the oven as a delicious chip alternative

Josh eating Bull Kelp

Bull Kelp Painting by Mark Hobson of Tofino

Question Of The Day: What is the best food you discovered while travelling?

Scroll down for a few more pics from our BC adventure. More to come next week!


Adventures in Tofino #1Adventures in Tofino #2Starfish in ToffinoTree Hugging in TofinoMeghan and Josh in TofinoAdventures in Tofino #3Adventures in Tofino #4

Adventures in Tofino #5Adventures in Tofino #6

18 Responses to “Bull Kelp Adventures In Tofino”

  1. Cherie said…
    Hi Meghan, I'm one of those who love all the nerdy info. My nickname around here is "did you know", ha.....keep it coming!! I've been trying to add more sea veggies into soups, can't wait to try them now with the beans. Oh, and what beautiful pictures....makes me want to run away for about a month! Thanks!
  2. Meghan, your pictures are gorgeous!! Did eating the kelp straight from the sea taste any good?
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Nope. It didn't taste good at all. Eating washed up sea weed is not ideal. Best to harvest fresh from the sea.
  3. Susheela said…
    That bull kelp looks awesome! How did it taste straight from the ocean? ;D
  4. Melissa said…
    Gorgeous pictures! I live in BC and have never been to tofino..sad I know! Very cool seaweed info!! Thank you for sharing! So, did you harvest that seaweed to take home?
  5. Michelle S. said…
    fond memories... my hubby and I went to Tofino 5 years ago. Our last trip before having kids. I can't wait to do a family holiday there, it is soooo beautiful! You guys seem to be loving it too!
  6. Jennifer R. said…
    good reminder for the sea veggies -- I think I'll make a carrot and hijiki salad for dinner tonight -- we've had it before and loved it. All's good for my thyroid and body pH :) Hope you'll consider a pH tutorial next!! don't I wish I could have a getaway vacation like yours with my hubby!! It's hard when you have 3 kids to get much couple time. We are getting 5 days together next month... to the same place where we met, so I can't complain.
  7. Barbara said…
    It would be a good idea to credit the image of the painting; the underwater forest painted by Mark Hobson of Tofino.
  8. Judy said…
    Fantastic photos! It looks like you had a great trip, and I think it's so nutritionally hilarious that you bring home sea veg. I love nori and kelp, dulse is ok - I use seaweeds to make some of my salad dressings, sandwiches, hummus, and soups pleasantly fishy/oceany tasting. I remember when I was a kid and first heard of seaweed being edible, and I could not understand why anyone would eat that!! Oh how times have changed :) I haven't traveled much but I usually like to eat whatever is local and in season - can't go wrong!
  9. Wow, those pictures are beautiful!! I love the nerdy info. I have a problem though. I am totally grossed out by seaweed. As in, the texture and everything about it makes me kind of sick. I have always hated seafood and seaweed to me is just an extension of that. To get my sea minerals in, I can tolerate some dulse granules here and there, the occasional veggie roll with nori, and beans that have been cooked with kombu, but not the actual kombu. I have irish moss sitting in my fridge, but I have yet to venture into that territory. I want the sea goodness, I need help! Eating raw cacao from the pod in Hawaii was one of my best food moments! My friend thought my excitement was hilarious, but I was in heaven! My avatar is me with the cacao tree. :)
  10. Alex said…
    Cool! Adding kombu while cooking beans to reduce gassiness works like a charm! Love those BC pics!

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