Fish and seafood is delicious with so many varieties to enjoy and so many different ways to enjoy it. But did you know how healthy it is too?
We are so lucky to live on the coast here in Sunny Southport. The next time you are lucky enough to have a sea view, look out and imagine the omega-3, iron and protein waiting beneath the waves for an opportunity to do you good.
As an island nation, we are surrounded by a glinting blue health-food resource, and there is plenty of goodness on those shifting natural shelves for any cook who likes to keep nutrition and flavour in mind. Midweek suppers from Peets Plaice, prepared in a flash, are the natural home of stealth health ingredients; to maximise their benefits, just add fish.
Among the top of the nutritional class for fatty acids, mackerel is one of the richest marine sources of omega-3, which helps to both keep our heart functioning normally and maintain normal blood pressure. Get things pumping by marinating mackerel fillets in chermoula paste, before baking and serving with chargrilled courgettes and salad leaves. If you’re also looking for protein, vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium, you’ve landed the right catch.
Mussels for iron
Monkfish for whole body health
Look one in the eye and you might not feel quite right for a while. But once the famously ugly monkfish has given up its chunky, succulent tail it’s easer to appreciate its richness in protein, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. B12 is involved in releasing energy from food, making red blood cells and helping to keep the nervous system functionally normally, meaning that monkfish for supper is always a good idea. Follow your instinct with a tamarind-sharpened curry or simply roast with plump in-season tomatoes, garlic and a good splash of oil.
Rainbow trout for healthy skin
This freshwater fish gives its sea-dwelling cousins a run for their money. Under that gorgeous shimmering skin rainbow trout is high in protein, vitamin D, niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. Also known as vitamin B3, niacin helps release energy from food and supports the skin and nervous system. If you want to start with your tastebuds but feel good all over, try rainbow trout crisped in a pan or baked under breadcrumbs, served with a Scandi-influenced salad of sliced cucumber and cooked beetroot wedges dressed with yoghurt and dill.
Hake for healthier bones and teeth
As well as packing that lean, piscine protein punch, hake is a source of phosphorus, a mineral that helps to maintain healthier bones and teeth. Hake steaks cook quickly and are hugely versatile, so are easily paired with lots of different calcium-rich foods for something really bone-building: for example, try it in a light soy broth with mushrooms and steamed fresh spinach or, for a deliciously warming option, grilled under a mornay sauce with a wedge of charred courgette.
Herring for vitamin D
Crab for a little bit of everything
See a brown crab, think brown meat; chefs love using the darker stuff to add baseline oomph to white crab dishes. Doing the same at home brings the brown meat’s high levels of protein, riboflavin, vitamins E and B12, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, iodine and selenium to the party, while both brown and white crabmeat contain the essential vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid. It’s a nutrient cocktail, but if an actual crab cocktail feels like overkill, try topping grainy toast with white and brown crab meat warmed gently with spring onion, chilli and garlic, and plenty of olive oil to bring the good fats. Top with finely sliced radish for a fresh, peppery crunch.
Ready to dive in?
There is a fantastic variety of fish and seafood available from our waters. See more on our Peets Plaice website where we will publish all the latest news and new products, with many of our catch – including our famous Southport potted shrimps – caught right off our coast here in Southport.
For more great seafood ideas, head to fishisthedish.co.uk and “sea for yourself” – there are details of where you can buy online, plus cooking tips, recipes and loads of useful nutritional information.