Is Samphire healthy?
Samphire, a group of plants that you encounter on beaches and in salt marshes. It is being eaten more and more, but is Samphire healthy? There are a lot of misunderstandings about this plant, which is why we explain it all in this article. Including preparation tips, so tasty!
This is Samphire
It looks like green stems or beans, but it is really Samphire. In many cases, this plant does not grow higher than 30 cm. It grows mainly in the United States and Europe.
Have you ever encountered Samphire? In the Netherlands and Belgium you will find three species: the single-flowered, the short-eared and the long-eared Samphire.
Although it is labeled as a sea vegetable, it is certainly not seaweed and does not belong to the algae. It therefore does not come from the sea but grows on beaches, between mangroves and in salt marshes. Fun fact: Samphire is one of the most salt-tolerant plants. This plant cannot survive without salt.
Is Samphire healthy?
This edible plant is available in the supermarket. These are slightly salty crunchy sea vegetables. Because the plant absorbs salt during growth, it has a salty (slightly salty) taste.
Is eating Samphire healthy?
This plant contains important vitamins and minerals. These are vitamin C, sodium, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains magnesium, iron and zinc. The plant also contains many antioxidants.
To answer the question whether it is healthy: yes, it is very healthy.
A lot of iodine in Samphire?
Because Samphire contains sodium chloride and potassium chloride, it is often thought to be rich in iodine. This is all okay. Samphire does not come into continuous contact with salt water. Farmed Samphire is kept in greenhouses with a cool environment. The horticulturist works with fresh water and an addition of sea salt. This means that Samphire contains much less iodine than algae or seaweed.
Raw or cooked, that’s how you eat it
Samphire is therefore healthy, but do you know how to eat it? In Zeeland, Samphire is simply seen as a vegetable and is also prepared in this way. Cooked or raw, both are possible. Samphire is delicious for stir-frying and also fits well in a salad.
Because this vegetable is salty by itself, you do not need to add extra salt. This is important for people with high blood pressure, as a lot of salt raises blood pressure even further.
Preparing Samphire: useful tips
Samphire is generally available in Zeeland in particular, both in the supermarket and at the greengrocer or fishmonger. This is more difficult to obtain in other provinces.
Albert Heijn has it online in any case, it is not certain whether this is also available in every store. Always ask at the local supermarket if they sell it.
You have to prepare Samphire well. First, make sure that the scent is fresh and salty, and the stems must also have a firm texture. Always buy dark green Samphire and certainly not yellow or brown ones. When this plant is red, it is no longer good for consumption.
Prepare Samphire? Always clean the stems well. Break or cut off hardened parts from the underside and discard.
Cooking, baking and stir-frying
You can eat Samphire raw, for example in a salad. Still, it is better to cook it briefly, so that the salty taste is slightly less.
If you want to cook this vegetable completely, leave it on the fire for 15 to 20 minutes. For baking or stir-frying: over medium heat with a little bit of olive oil or butter.
How do you prepare the tastiest Samphire recipes? This sea vegetable can be combined well with chopped onions or chopped shallot. Also delicious for stir-frying with butter, coriander leaves and nutmeg. Also try preparing it in the microwave, placing Samphire in a bowl with butter and two cloves of garlic.
Do you want to (stir) fry these vegetables? Add chestnut mushrooms, various spices and feta. What a delicious and healthy Samphire stir-fry!