Oh, Chondrus Crispis. Owner of perhaps the greatest name in the entire plant kingdom, Chondrus Crispis, better known as Irish Moss or Carrageen Moss, is making a comeback in the world of nutrition. Irish Moss had its first climb to fame during the Irish Famine in the 19th century. It was believed that this special seaweed, more specifically red algae, saved many lives from suffering a malnourished death. Due to its astounding vitamin and mineral content, as well as its abundant growth along the Atlantic coasts of Europe, Irish moss was consumed to make up for the lack of nutrition the country was facing.
When you look at the back of Irish Moss’s baseball card, you will see that the stats are quite impressive. It boasts 15 of the 18 essential minerals including a significant source of potassium, calcium, iodine, and sulfur. The vitamins in Irish Moss include K, F, D, E, and A, making it a nutritional support powerhouse. It’s performance is rounded off with crucial B-vitamins, anti-oxidants, and even Omega-3’s.
Due to the micronutrient content of Irish Moss, there are many claims in regards to the health benefits of using Irish Moss. The following are just some of the claims:
- Assists in growth
- Cognitive health support
- Mood booster
- Improved skin health
- Sore throat/mucous relief
- Disease recovery
- Ulcer healing
- Heart health support
- Improved thyroid function
- Radiation recovery
As you can see, the list is quite impressive. The data to support these claims, however, is limited. That is not to say that the benefits are not as claimed, rather that it is not something that is heavily researched and explored at this time.
When you stop and think about it though, it is essentially nature’s multi-vitamin. Simply put, it has things that we need. It may not prevent all or cure all, but the fact that it has vitamins and minerals that we need leads us to believe that consumption of Irish Moss would be beneficial for our health.
How do I consume Irish Moss?
Despite the fact that raw Irish Moss has a crunchy texture, it is not something that should be served up like potato chips. In order to consume Irish Moss, it needs to first be prepared. When prepared (which is quite simple, more on this below), Irish Moss forms a fairly thick gel. Even this is not (usually) consumed on its own. It is added to smoothies, drinks, and soups as a thickening agent. Many food companies use it for ice creams, desserts, and other food items that require thickening, but we don’t recommend using those foods as your way of getting Irish Moss, for obvious reasons.
Our favorite way to consume Irish Moss is to add it to our morning smoothie. We have been using the same morning smoothie recipe for quite some time now and only recently started using Irish Moss. We can honestly say that Irish Moss does nothing to impact the taste of the smoothie, which is great. It does, however, thicken as it claims so in order to combat this we simply reduce the amount of coconut milk or add a little more almond milk. Boom! More nutrients.
How do I make Irish Moss?
Making Irish Moss is a breeze. It it essentially foolproof so long as you can handle boiling water. In order to make Irish Moss, follow the steps below:
- Place 2 oz of Irish Moss into a large bowl and fill with water
- Allow Irish Moss to soak for at least 30 minutes and up to 24-hours. Consider changing the water if it becomes super cloudy/sandy.
- Strain the Irish Moss and run under water to rinse.
- Place the Irish Moss in a medium saucepan filled with water and bring to a boil.
- Once the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
- Strain the Irish Moss, but this time save the boiled water.
- Add the Irish Moss to your blender and add the saved water until you reach the 2-3 cup mark (depending on how thick you want it).
- Blend gently until it becomes completely liquid
- ***Be sure to use a blender that has a release or method to let steam out so excessive pressure is not created.
- Pour the liquid into a mason jar and allow to cool to room temperature. As it cools it will begin to form into a gel.
- Once cooled, put a lid on it and place it in the refrigerator. Irish Moss can be stored for upwards of three weeks.
Irish Moss is on the rise. You will be hearing more and more about it as it continues to become a “hot” word in the health community. You can get ahead of the curve and start adding Irish Moss to your meal plan now and you’ll be the expert by the time it regains fame. The micronutrient content makes it a no-brainer for us and is a great addition to your health toolbox!
Have you ever used Irish Moss? What for? We want to know! Leave a comment below!