You may have heard about the health benefits of seaweed, but have you heard about sea moss? It's also called Irish moss and it's gaining popularity as a superfood. Most often, you'll see it as a sea moss drink or as a sea moss gel. We're always interested in learning more about healthy foods, especially those that have a DIY component, so let's take a look at sea moss.
What is sea moss and how is it used?
Sea moss is a red algae that grows around the rocky parts of the Atlantic Ocean coastline. It's known as Irish moss, Irish sea moss, and Chondrus Crispus. It's well-known and much-used in the Caribbean, where it may also be called Jamaican Irish moss.
Unless you're going to harvest your own, you can find good quality dried sea moss for sale at health food stores, Amazon and Etsy.
The sea moss drink is made from whole sea moss, but it's worth a mention of something else for which Irish moss is used. The food additive carrageenan is made from sea moss and used in foods as a thickening agent. It's particularly used in vegetarian and vegan products, replacing gelatin which is derived from animals. There's some concern that carrageenan causes problems in the human digestive system, including inflammation and bloating.
However, although carrageenan is made from sea moss, using whole sea moss isn't the same thing as using carrageenan. Sea moss in its natural form is actually supposed to help heal the digestive system and improve thyroid health, plus its low calorie, high protein and high in many minerals and nutrients we need to function, including potassium, iodine, and vitamins K and D.
The drink has gained popularity through naturalist Dr. Sebi's alkaline diet for its health benefits, but in the Caribbean, it's long been used as a health drink specifically for men. A love potion, if you will. These days you can actually buy canned versions of a Jamaican Irish moss drink mixed with spices and flavored syrups, and everybody, men and women, drink it.
You can turn the moss into a gel (because of the thickening properties) and mix it into different healthy recipes like smoothies or nut milks, or you can go ahead and make a batch of sea moss drink. We've lined up a few recipes below to get you started.
Irish Moss Gel
This particular Irish moss gel recipe has several benefits. It's vegan (unlike some gels that are made using isinglass, which is a gelatin derived from fish), keeps all the nutrients of the sea moss and it works as a thickener for DIY almond milk, smoothies or ice cream. It's super easy to make, too, although apparently you have to be prepared for something of a smell. Get the recipe here.
Caribbean Irish Moss Drink
This Caribbean recipe is a ride. Like, there's no way this list of ingredients that includes a sea vegetable can come together and make something tasty, but then it does and you get why it's such a popular regional drink. I'm not sure it's actually an aphrodisiac, but I do think you should believe what people tell you about their local foods. Get the recipe here.
Sea Moss Drink
This sea moss drink is creamy and spicy, made with coconut milk, nutmeg, vanilla and cinnamon. It's also healthy, with the sea moss and linseed or flaxseed. You can add oats, or you can add rum or even a good stout beer. Rum is an important part of any health drink, right? Get the recipe here.
Sea Moss Drink
This version comes by way of Trinidad, where you soak the sea moss in lime juice. Add condensed and evaporated milk, Angosturna bitters and a sweetener like sugar or honey and blend the mixture at high speed, then serve over ice cubes. Sounds amazing. Get the recipe here.
Alkaline Electric Apple Pie Smoothie
For a straight up health drink that will wake you up in the morning, try this apple juice, ginger and sea moss gel smoothie. Get the recipe here.
The Best Green Smoothie Recipe
As the name says, this is a power-packed, nutrient-rich, best green smoothie in the world recipe. Get the recipe here.