Step aside kale, flax, and chia seeds. The party doesn’t start until you know what dulse brings to the table. This secret little superfood may not be as shiny and fun as your popular açai bowls, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important. You might be asking, “but what the heck is dusle?” and “is it actually good for me?” If answering these questions are some of the reasons you’ve begun to read this article, then hold on for the ride because this seaweed variety has a lot up its sleeve.

A Little History Lesson

Dulse is a wild seaweed variety grown on the northern Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Over 1,400 years ago, the first record of ‘dulsing’ (the act of harvesting dulse from the sea) was by the Irish monks of Saint Columba’s era. In the 19th and 20th centuries, coastal communities in Scotland and Northern Ireland used dulse as a dietary supplement for the impoverished or as nourishment during famine. While those who traditionally sought after dulse may not have known the exact reasons why the miraculous food had these benefits, they sure did see the wealth of improvements in the livelihood of those who ate it.

On to the Good Stuff: The Health Benefits

For one, dulse is a heartier variety of seaweed with more fiber and protein than the typical seaweed found on your sushi roll. If you live a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle, this is a good chance to get in your plant based protein.

#spoon tip: chop up Maine Coast Sea Vegetables Dulse and throw it on your salads or in smoothies, sprinkle kelp granules over rice, and enjoy activated dulse & vinegar almonds as a delicious snack. 

The fibrous aspects of dulse is also responsible for reducing inflammation and improving digestion and heart health (who doesn’t want that?). This variety of seaweed is ALSO packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and iron which promotes bone growth and repair;  potassium which lowers your blood pressure; vitamin C which reduces free radicals in the body (cancer causing properties); and iodine which regulates hormone interactions in the body. And that’s just naming some of the benefits! Are you feeling overwhelmed with the amazing-ness of this stuff? Don’t worry, I got you covered.

So, Where Do I Get This Stuff?

Dulse is slowly growing in popularity but companies such as Maine Coast Sea Vegetables have been supplying sustainable sourced dulse since 1973. Health food stores such as Whole Foods or international groceries are also a good place to check. Online grocery stores such as Amazon, Thrive Market, and iHerb are following the trend as well and making it easy to access this superfood from almost anywhere. 

What Do I Do With Dulse Once I Buy It?

soup, broth, vegetable, miso soup, cream
Shannon Hansen

1. Prepare dashi, an umami packed Japanese soup stock, to build flavor for miso soup. If that sparked your interested, here's a delicious vegan miso recipe

2. Make a DLT (dulse, lettuce, and tomato) sandwich by pan-frying dried dulse in oil over medium-high heat until crisp. 

3. Flatbread with butternut squash and smoked dulse... sounds simple enough, right? 

It may not look appealing, but give it a try and enjoy the health benefits of this not so average seaweed variety.