Irish moss or carrageenan is harvested on the Irish coast and then dried in the sun, which is why it retains its beautiful colours, unlike other white Irish moss varieties. Sea moss is considered as super algaes.
Rich in minerals
This red seaweed is rich in nutrients, especially minerals, like all sea vegetables, as well as antioxidants. According to some sources, this tasteless seaweed is rich in health-giving nutrients such as protein, sulphur compounds, iodine, bromine, beta carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, pectin, vitamins B and C. The amino acid taurine, which contains sulphur, is absent from any vegetarian diet but is abundant in Irish moss.
A natural and nourishing gelling agent
Its particularity is that it contains a powerful gelling agent which makes it a valuable emulsifier in the preparation of raw dishes, especially desserts. It can replace nuts in many recipes, while reducing calories (less fat) and increasing nutritional content: a real miracle! Unlike gelatine derived from animal proteins, Irish Mousse contains a polysaccharide (a natural form of sugar) which, when properly emulsified, disperses in the liquid to create a semi-solid structure.
The health benefits of Irish Moss would be numerous. These include its calming properties for all mucous membranes, making it a valuable aid for gastritis, nausea, indigestion, constipation and ulcers. Irish Moss has antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral and anticoagulant properties! When applied externally, it can be used to treat eczema, psoriasis, dermatosis and burns. It is especially known for its ability to alleviate cold and flu symptoms, dissolve severe coughs and soothe bronchitis and pneumonia with its antitussive properties.
Finally, to add to this long list of qualities, Irish Moss has a very alkalizing effect and is said to have the ability to reduce the symptoms of excessive alcohol consumption by replacing the ions destroyed by dehydration. Studies would also be carried out on the beneficial effects of this algae in the treatment of conditions such as STDs, inflammation of the mucous membranes, multiple viruses and infections, and even AIDS!
How to consume it
There are many recipes using Irish Mousse: mousses and other flanks, meringue, salad dressings, mayonnaise, jellies, ice creams, smoothies etc. The best way to prepare it and keep it for several days is to prepare a gel as follows.
Irish Mousse Gel
Use half a sachet, i.e. 25g of dry seaweed. Soak in 2 cups of cold water for a few minutes to slightly rehydrate the foam and allow it to re-inflate. Then clean it well by hand to remove any debris, sand or tiny crustaceans attached to the plant. Cut the hard pieces with scissors and clean well, then throw away the rinsing water.
Then soak the clean seaweed in 2 cups of warm or slightly hot water for at least half an hour to allow the gelling agent to take effect. Some recommend soaking the seaweed for several hours (up to 24 hours) at this stage, but this is not absolutely necessary. The algae will then be well swollen and become gelatinous. Then mix the seaweed with the soaking water (otherwise you will lose the gelling agent!) in a strong blender for a good minute to make a gel. This gel can be kept in the refrigerator for a week, about 7 to 10 days.Irish moss gel
The photo opposite, found on a blog, gives you an idea of what the gel looks like, which here seems very clear. Ours will be a little darker because of the color of the algae, but without affecting the color of the dish. The Irish moss found in the USA is often bleached.
The gel is used in different recipes or as is in a salad dressing, mayonnaise, smoothie or any other preparation that needs to be thickened. Use 2-3 tablespoons of gel for one cup of thickening material. Excellent for example to prevent oilseed milks from separating during storage and to make them a little thicker (here a small spoonful of gel is enough).