Irish Moss is awesome!
Not only will it make your sauces, smoothies, dressings and puddings creamy and reduce the fat content of your cakes, it is also nutrient rich and has healing powers for your skin and your whole body.
Irish moss (Chondrus crispus) is known to soothe and aid gastrointestinal issues and inflammation such as ulcers or gastritis.
It also increases your metabolism, helps with respiratory infections, is rich in calcium, folate, iodine, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Irish moss is also richer in sulphur-containing amino acids than any other seaweed. Such amino acids, e.g. taurine are often lacking in vegetarian diets.
It supports healing of joints, inhibits arteriosclerosis and is great for your connective tissue – hair, nails, skin – use it as a mask if you suffer from eczema, sun burns, rashes or psoriasis.
All these benefits only apply though when irish moss is being used unprocessed and whole – once processed and extracted, as in many store-bought soy and nut milks (look for: carrageenan in the list of ingredients), it loses its positive characteristics and can actually increase inflammation.
How to work with Irish Moss:
Whatever you want to use irish moss with, make a gel paste first as this makes everything else much easier and guarantees a smooth and creamy experience – no chunks whatsoever. Once you have made your paste, use
1 TBSP per 100ml of fluid (just under 1/2 cup)
1 TBSP per 200g (just over 1.5 cups) of fruit, e.g. bananas, mango or papaya
Blend the required amount of irish moss with a small amount of liquid before adding the remaining ingredients.
IRISH MOSS GEL RECIPE:
1/2 cup of dry irish moss
1.5 cups of water
Thoroughly clean irish moss, soak for 24 hours.
Drain, then blend with 1.5 cups of water to a creamy paste.
Refrigerate. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.
Extended recipe explanations:
Irish moss is usually being sold in a dried version, still covered in the salt from the ocean it grew in. It is crucial to rinse irish moss thoroughly several times before using it in any way to free it from salt and to inspect it closely for strings of plastic (on which it is being grown) or other sea weeds.
The best way to rinse it is to place the irish moss and water in a container, seal the lid and shake it shake it shake it. Drain off water, refill, shake again and a third time. Check for an ocean-y smell, inspect for plastic etc and remove.
After cleaning it, cover irish moss with water and let it sit for 24-48 hours. It should have usually doubled in size after 1 day, but some brands might take longer. It will also take longer to swell up if placed in the fridge.
Once your irish moss has expanded to twice its size, it is ready to be turned into a paste by blending it with water.
The paste will be quite thick and thicken even further after a few hours.
Store refrigerated for up to two weeks and use liberally in anything you want to be extra creamy.
Irish Moss can be purchased on Amazon.