Dr Prannie Rhatigan's Seaweed Workshop, November, Bandon

Archive - all the best places to eat, shop and stay in Ireland. A local guide to local places.

Prannie Rhatigan's "Irish Seaweed Kitchen" is more than just a selection of recipes, it's a book of health, written by someone who seeks to cure. Likewise, her workshop on cooking with seaweed was given by a cook who constantly describes herself as a Medic. This was more than just a demo of recipes with a magical ingredient, it was a close look at how people can use food to keep themselves healthy and active. Prannie herself, is her greatest advertisement, energised, motivated and enthusiastic, the large crowd left with a good understanding of how to put this magic food into everyday things.

Some things we learned from Prannie:

You wouldn't pull up a whole parsley plant, root and all, so why would you pull a clump of seaweed. Always cut it.

Phycology is the study of seaweeds.

Many seaweeds start to seed around the winter solstice.

There is firm evidence to say that Carrageen is an expectorant and antiviral.

Sea lettuce, despite its name and appearance is one of the strongest flavoured seaweeds. It pairs well with beetroot.

Nori is best eaten just after the first frosts of the New Year.

Be wary of the kelps, they are very high in iodine, which can be harmful if eaten in large amounts. But otherwise there is no such thing as a poisonous seaweed.

Animals store toxins in fat, so it's always important to buy organic or good quality butter.

Kenwood 2Go is a great smoothie maker.

Use the soaking water if you soak seaweed overnight. It stores a lot of the goodness.