I was never a fan of seafood as a child. It wasn’t until my teens that I started to warm up to the idea of eating it; ordering the odd tuna salad sandwich over my school lunch hour. From there, I began to enjoy eating certain types of white fish (sole, cod, haddock, etc.). Then in my early twenties, at a family function, I was plated a piece of fire grilled salmon and my love for fish grew to a whole other level. I couldn’t believe how good the salmon tasted and what I had been missing out on my entire life!
From then on, I started incorporating seafood into my meals at least 2-3 times a week. Around this period in my life I was also starting to become more mindful of what I was eating and where it was coming from.
I was also doing a heck of a lot more food research, including digging deep into the health benefits of fish and the types to consume versus avoid. I felt like my brain was exploding from all the new information; seafood being a topic area I was not familiar with at all. It was exciting and very eye opening at the same time.
After learning a few interesting things about the fish and seafood world, I made the decision that if I was going to stick to a seafood rich diet then I was going to avoid farmed seafood and only buy “wild” and/or “fresh open water”. You may be asking why? Here are a few reasons that top the list…
Why I Avoid Farmed Fish
- Farmed fish are regularly treated with antibiotics. Due to crowding, farmed fish are more likely to become ill and spread viruses hence the use of regular antibiotics, which are then found in its meat.
- Farmed fish live and grow in their own poop. This isn’t only gross, it actually makes an impact on surrounding waters, causing more algae to grow and destroying water habitats similar to coral reefs.
- Farmed fish are more likely to contain high levels of Omega 6 and lower levels of Omega 3 causing inflammation.
- Fish farms are not sustainable. It takes triple the amount of fish chow (composed of smaller fish) to raise farmed fish.
- Farmed fish contain lower protein levels.
- Fish farms are negatively impacting our ecosystems. All those antibiotics, toxins, etc.-where are they going? Right back into our streams, lakes, and oceans.
The list above is not to scare you off from consuming fish, rather I’ve shared it in hopes to educate you on why it’s important to buy wild open water options -you have the power to advocate with the purchases you make. There are also so many great health benefits wild seafood options offer. In particular, here are a few health benefits of wild salmon that top the list…
Top Health Benefits of Wild Salmon
- Rich in Omega 3 (EPA & DHA) – A 4oz piece of wild salmon contains approximately 3 grams of Omega 3. This helps reduce inflammation and risk of disease.
- Good source of Protein. A 4oz piece of wild salmon contains approximately 25-30 grams of protein.
- High in Potassium. Approximate 20% of your daily intake is in a 4oz piece of wild salmon (more than a banana). This helps with blood circulation and reducing risk of stroke.
- High in B Vitamins including B1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9, and 12! This helps support energy, reduces inflammation and heart disease.
- Great antioxidant. That rich pink colour is formed from the antioxidant Astaxanthin, helping to reduce bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol; supporting overall heart health and reducing heart disease.
Wow, talk about health benefits, and those were only a few! Now who’s up for a tasty baked wild salmon recipe?! You’ll love how easy and flavourful it is. Great for lunch, dinner, meal prep, left overs …you get the point! Here we go…
Wild Baked Salmon Recipe
- 3 4oz wild salmon steaks approx. 0.25lbs each
- 1 tsp fine Himalayan salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- ¼ tsp ginger powder optional
- 1 tbsp organic light tamari
- 1 tsp organic avocado oil
- 1 tsp high grade Canadian maple syrup
- ½ tsp organic toasted sesame oil
Optional for garnish:
- Lemon slices
- Toasted black or white sesame seeds
- Preheat oven to 375F degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, add all sauce ingredients. With a fork or whisk stir ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
- Wash salmon steaks and pat dry with a paper towel. As you dry each one, place it into the large bowl with the sauce mixture.
- Once all pieces are in the bowl, gently lather each with the sauce. Turning over a few times to make sure each salmon steak is fully coated.
- Place on baking sheet. Bake at 375F for 16-18 minutes depending on thickens of salmon steaks.
- Remove salmon from oven and let cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring to plates.
- Sauce mixture should cote 3-4 small-medium salmon steaks or two large fillets.
- Sauce should not be pasty, it should be more of a thick saucy consistency.
- If you find the sauce too thick/pasty, add in 1 tsp more tamari and avocado oil. Do not add more sesame oil as this oil is very strong and will overpower the flavour.
- When baking, the salmon may form a dark ring around the bottom edges. Don’t worry, this does not mean it’s burnt, it’s just access sauce that has dripped down.
- I typically cook the salmon for 16-17 minutes, leaving it slightly tender on the inside. You can cook up to 20 minutes if you prefer it a bit tougher but I would not exceed 20 minutes for these size salmon steaks.
This is such a simple and tasty way to make wild salmon. Packed with flavour and healthy fats it’s sure to become a staple recipe for all the salmon lovers out there. Give this recipe a try and let me know if you enjoy it as much as I do! I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below or on social media!
Helping you put Wellness 1st,