Hiya guys! Today a post about a super special superfood that will change your life. Especially if you aim to eat a more raw and/or vegan diet, Irish Moss is an ingredient that deserves some cupboard lovin’ !
Irish Moss also sometimes goes by the names Magic Moss (which you’ll totally understand after reading this post…) or Carrageenan (Dutch: carrageen). It is a seaweed with unexpected yet fabulous properties and a truly impressive nutritional profile. Though maybe not (yet) as famous and intensively used in the raw food kitchen as, say, raw cacao, Irish Moss is fast becoming the new word on everybodies’ lips.This funky (smelling…) little sea weed is notorious for it’s thickening properties, much like agar agar and -ew- gelatin. Irish Moss is easy to use, all natural and vegan. The great thing about Irish Mosh is that you can make a paste/gel from it which can replace heavy nuts in raw recipes and things like cream for vegan recipes, for creamy, smooth textures. Traditionally, the raw and vegan kitchen here relies on things such as nuts, avocados, bananas or coconut meat. Nuts can be quite heavy and hard to digest, making nut-based raw desserts notoriously ‘rich’. Avocados make a recipe very perishable and don’t firm up. Bananas give a very overpowering taste, and coconut meat can be expensive and hard to come by. Enter: The Moss. Irish Moss, after gelling and adding to a recipe, is completely taste, color and odorless. It’s light, fluffy, easy on the tummy and super duper healthy. In some countries it is still a rare product but with online shopping not hard to get by. It is quite expensive but a little goes a looong way! Oh, and it’s totally fun too. I can’t wait to let people ‘guess the secret ingredient’ of a fancy schmancy dessert only to reveal it’s SEA WEED BABY. Mohahaha (= evil laugh). Don’t tell me that’s not funny.
Here are some common uses for Irish Moss gel:
* Gives a creamy, light texture to desserts
* Can also be used to firm up raw desserts
* Replaces some of the fat in dressings and sauces
* Makes smoothies extra thick and creamy
* Replaces some of the nuts in raw ice-cream and cheese
The many health benefits of Irish Moss include:
* Alkaline forming
* Cuts calories in rich desserts and sauces (the gel is virtually calorie-less)
* Has a soothing effect on the bodies’ mucous membranes, including the digestive tract, and so helps alleviating constipation,indigestion, nausea, ulcers, and so on
* Due to its antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial and anticoagulant activities (much like coconut oil) it can be used topically (like a skin moisturizer) to alleviate rash, eczema, pimples and sunburn. It is also said to give the skin back elasticity and hereby reducing wrinkles and varicose veins
* Thanks to these same properties it is said to be very helpful with the flu, congestion and coughs
* Irish Moss, like other sea weeds, is an excellent source of the essential mineral iodine. If you don’t eat much (iodine-fortified) bread, adding a good source of iodine to your diet is vital for good thyroid function
* Irish Moss is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, pectin, vitamins A, B, C, E and K and essential amino acid taurine, which can be scarce in the vegan diet
How To Make and Store Irish Moss Gel:
* Grab a good handful of dry moss and rinse for a few minutes under running water. You want all the salt and debris washed away
* Place in a bowl, cover with water, soak overnight. Turn once or twice so that all the moss gets soaked
* Blend the soaked moss with about 1-1.5 cups of water. Preferably the soak water, which will contain some of the minerals.(Add moss to your blender, holding the soak water, measure out the soak water to 1 cup. Add another half a cup later if you think it needs a bit more water)
* Blend on low speed for a minute or two. Increase the speed and blend for another minute or so. Run your finger through the gel, if it is not completely smooth (without a grainy feeling), add a little more water and blend until smooth
* Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Add to desserts, puddings, smoothies (tons of recipes out there!) and/or use as a skin moisturizer.
I haven’t had the time/courage yet to experiment with Irish Moss, but here are some cool recipes I’ve come across (click on the picture to go to the recipes)
This one I tried myself, from sweetlyraw :
Here is where I purchased my Irish Moss (dutch shop & webshop). When purchasing Irish Moss make sure it’s fresh, not powdered.
Have you ever worked with Irish Moss before? If so, what did you make??