Irish moss may not sound very appealing, but what it lacks in name, it makes up for in super food power. Perhaps, it should be nicknamed the Clark Kent of the raw food world! Have you ever enjoyed a raw, vegan food dessert and wondered what they used to get it so creamy without resorting to non-vegan ingredients? Well, the secret is IRISH MOSS! It will thicken any vegan dessert with the correct preparation.
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Irish moss has a long and proud history. It is shrouded in Irish folklore, once thought to be a good luck charm. The Irish often took the moss on long journeys, or placed under rugs in homes to bring good fortune and money to the family. When the Irish went through the ‘Great Famine’ in the 19th century, however, it became more than just a luck charm to the Irish. It became one of their main sources of food and nutrition. The success of Irish moss during this time helped generate popularity, and was one of the major reasons why we have begun to use it so much today!
Not only is Irish moss a useful tool in the vegan and raw kitchen, but it is also incredibly good for you. Some companies actually sell it in capsule form for those who want to get a little mossy super boost! It packs a punch and can make any raw dessert a good source of nutrients.
Irish moss hosts a variety of essential vitamins and minerals including iodine, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc, bromine, iron, and protein. Plus, it contains vitamins A, C, D, E, K, B1, B2, and B12. I wasn’t kidding when I said Irish moss was a super food, now was I? Because of its abundance of essential nutrients, both the Irish and health food advocates consider it to be a cure for everything from bad breath to intestinal disorders.
Cafe Gratitude offers directions on how to use Irish moss as well as some awesome recipes in their cookbook. Organic Soul reviews Cafe Gratitude’s Cookbook in our Book Review section. It requires being soaked in water and then blended before being used as a thickener. Throughout the world, Irish moss is used due to its high level of carrageenan, which is what makes it such a great thickener and stabilizer. It is also eaten on its own. In Jamaica, for example, they convert Irish moss into a popular beverage by boiling the moss for about an hour then flavoring it and adding milk, rum and spices. You can even buy it by the can! In parts of Scotland and Ireland, they cook it and add flavorings and/or alcohol to make it into a pudding that is similar in texture to tapioca.
Irish moss is a nutritious and delicious way to thicken any vegan/raw dessert, and it is a great treat just to eat it on its own. Don’t let its appearance fool you. The benefits it offers make this seaweed truly a SUPER food.