Replace Bacon with Seaweed? Are You Kidding?

Bacon may be a staple in our weekend brunches, but we can't argue that no matter how much we crave this crispy, savory treat, it's probably not the healthiest option out there. Sure there are leaner cuts, but overall this breakfast meat tends to run high in fat and sodium, which makes it less than ideal for those of us watching our waistlines! If you are searching for a more nutritious alternative, we may have found the answer!

red dulse
(Photo: Bakery and Snacks)

According to GQ, researchers at Oregon State University have recently discovered a way to cultivate a plant called dulse, an uncommon form of seaweed that is consumed by the abalone mollusk. These mollusks are known for their carnivorous preferences, and the seaweed is believed to taste exactly like — you guessed it — bacon! Originally, dulse was used to beef up designer abalone, so the growth and production of this plant was fairly expensive. Now, however, researchers are working to manufacture a strain of the seaweed that can be made more widely available to the public.

>> Read more: Glossary of Foods: Seaweed

Alright, so that sounds wonderful and all — a plant that satisfies those greasy, fatty hankerings — but what's the catch? According to experts, there isn't one! Researchers claim that, not only does dulse taste delicious, but it has a multitude of health benefits as well! It contains twice the nutritional value of kale, and is packed with essential minerals like iron and potassium, making it the new must-have superfood on the market. Dulse is also renowned for its high omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids content, two elements that are critical in regulating our blood pressure, blood clotting, and inflammation! It also consists of about 16 percent protein, which makes it the perfect addition to meals for vegans and vegetarians.

pickled dulse
(Photo: Eat This)

>> Read more: Getting Enough Protein as a Vegetarian

Ready to incorporate this miracle veggie into your diet? Chefs around the country have been experimenting with new dishes left and right! Not only can you fry it up as a salty side for your morning eggs, but you can also add it to salads, blend it into your dressings and dips, bake it into chips, dump it in your favorite soups, and even dry it and use it as seasoning! The possibilities are endless, so be sure to keep an eye out when dulse hits the market!

Want to learn more about this scrumptious seaweed superfood? Check out our sources here: Livestrong, Esquire, Brit + Co, GQ.