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Irish Moss Paste aka Sea Moss
I've been including Sea Moss Paste(Irish Moss Paste) in many of my recipes. Initially, this ingredient was very
intimidating to me whenever I'd see it posted, and as a result, would avoid the recipe. I've decided to do a post on this product to eliminate any anxiety you may have that prohibits you from trying this amazing product. It is really worth looking into and I hope this posting helps.
When I began to research this peculiar looking ingredient, I quickly realized it was more than just a substance to gel my mousse or increase the creaminess of pudding or ice cream. Irish moss does act as an emulsifier that enhances the body of your dish, but it also adds lather to shampoo, soap, and conditioner. It's an emollient that softens your skin, so use it alone or mixed with lotions. Add a small amount to to your favorite shampoo, and see what happens! It's emulsifying properties give you lots of lather! Irish moss also has incredible healing properties, minerals, and other nutrients. (See more information posted below).
Note: My IC friends, you may want to read the notes below as well.
Yes, it's a bit intimidating at first...and pretty ugly...and a bit stinky!
However, once you get past the initial observation of odor and texture....and smell, the transformation is amazing!
How Do I Prepare Irish Moss Paste?
Grab a handful of moss and rinse, rinse rinse. Scrub with a brush and rinse some more. It has an oceanic aroma to it which disappears after soaking, blending and the refrigerating.
After rinsing and scrubbing, place moss in a glass jar, filled with water and let soak in refrigerator 6-12 hours. (Be sure to rinse at least twice, replacing with clean water, checking for any stones, sand, or impurities). When the sea moss is ready to use, it is practically odorless and tasteless.
Remove moss from the jar, and rinse again. Drain and chop into small pieces.
If you don't have enough time you may soak the Irish Moss in lukewarm water for a few hours. However, it will lessen a little of its gelatinous effect and you should use a little more in your recipe. The moss is ready when it has a creamy white color and nearly double size and weight than its dry original state.
Using a high speed blender, add 2 cups of water, per 1 cup soaked, chopped moss, and blend, blend, scrape sides of blender, and blend some more. Stop a few minutes, so it doesn't get heated, and come back to it...and blend some more!!!
Stick a rubber spatula into mixture, scooping out a small amount and rub between your fingers. If there is any grit, continue to blend until the mixture is smooth and silky between your fingers. If you don't have a VitaMix, this can take some time - but it's worth it.
When the consistency is completely smooth, store in a clean, covered, glass container until ready to use. (It's great in smoothies, puddings, salad dressings and mousse).
How Do I Store The Moss?
Dry Sea Moss can stay up to a year in a cool dry place. If you have soaked more than you need, you may keep it in the fridge and change the water every day and it will keep fresh up to 3 weeks. You may store the Irish moss paste in a closed glass jar in the fridge for up to 3 weeks, this is a nice idea when you frequently use Irish moss, and you have the paste ready.
So What Else Can I Do With This Stuff?
It's also a blast to WEAR! That's right! Irish moss paste has an aloe vera gel consistency and I apply it to my face, rough elbows, and feet. Blend it with some fresh, peeled cucumber for a refreshing face mask.
Add some to your favorite shampoo and conditioner. WOOT! Feel how silky your hair is and if you have any scalp irritations or dandruff, this is supposed to help. (Note: don't put inside your shampoo bottle, as I'm not sure how long it will last). I take a plastic container of Iris Moss Paste into the shower, and just put some in my hair and then add shampoo).
It's great for sunburn, irritations, psoriasis, eczema, etc.
Use as is, or add a couple of drops of essential oils too!
I've recently mixed it with lavender scented lotion, and a drop of peppermint essential oils and applied it to our feet for massage, and it was amazing!!!!
Give it a shot. It keeps in the fridge for up to 3 weeks...what you don't eat...you can wear! I usually keep two separate bowls of it, one for food, and one for ...everything else.
Here is a bunch of other information I've pulled from other sites:
"Raw Irish Moss is an excellent source of minerals. This almost-tasteless seaweed is loaded with life-enhancing nutrients such as sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, pectin, B-vitamins and vitamin C. Notably absent from a vegetarian diet, sulphur-containing amino acids, such as taurine, are abundant in Irish moss, more so than in any other type of seaweed!
It has been used to treat peptic and duodenal ulcers when used as a gelatinous substance and to inhibit arteriosclerosis. Irish moss is reported to be effective against, cancer and radiation poisoning (possibly because of the iodine content of Irish moss), it protects from obesity and cholesterol build up. Irish moss has a well documented anticoagulant effect on the blood, and clears up many bladder complaints. Irish Moss gives excellent sources of calcium, magnesium, sodium and iodine (essential to normal thyroid function).
It is used to increase the metabolic rate and give strengthen connective tissues, including the hair, skin and nails."
"Used commercially, it is included in cosmetics as an emollient or skin softener in creams and lotions, because of its moisture absorbing qualities, and as a rinse for dry hair. Irish Moss is a stabilizing agent for the food industry in dairy products, desserts, salad dressings and sauces. It is used in the pharmaceutical industry to stabilize cod liver oil and toothpaste, and has a wide variety of other commercial uses in the textile, leather, brewing, printing (as an ink) and paint industries. Irish Moss provides a high mucilage content, sulphur compounds, protein, iodine, bromine, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, gel-forming polysaccharides (known as carragheenans), pectin, B-vitamins and vitamin C."
"Irish Moss is a demulcent that has a soothing effect on virtually all the mucous membranes throughout the body. This sweet, salty, mucilaginous herb has a softening effect on tissues and helps many respiratory problems including bronchitis and pneumonia. It is especially effective for pulmonary (lung) complaints with its ability to absorb liquid and eliminate it from the body. As an expectorant, it relieves dry, unproductive coughs, and the high mucilage content alleviates catarrh (inflammation) of the nasal passages and eases sore throat.
With regard to good digestion, Irish moss's demulcent properties soothe the mucous membranes of the digestive tract, and the high mucilage content helps to ease gastritis, dyspepsia, nausea, heartburn, indigestion and is also used to prevent vomiting.
Irish moss is rich in iodine content, supplying the nutrient through the intestinal tract, and it is highly important in supporting good thyroid gland health and relieving the many problems associated with poor thyroid function and iodine deficiency (goiter, fatigue, inability to tolerate cold, slow heart rate, low metabolism, poor skin and hair condition, etc.).
Among the many qualities of Irish moss, nutrition is one of them. It is an edible seaweed and a superior nutritive, and like all gifts from the sea, Irish moss carries all the positive qualities and rich elements that the oceans produce and has been used as a healthy and nutritional food that can help restore health in recovering invalids.
Irish moss is a mild and effective laxative by aiding in the formation of the stool and providing fiber that increases fecal bulk. At the same time its demulcent properties soothe inflamed tissues of the intestinal tract, providing help for intestinal disorders. In addition, Irish moss is said to absorb toxins from the bowel and draw radiation poison from the body.
Irish moss is thought to help reduce the appetite by virtue of its ability to absorb moisture, increasing its volume and filling the intestinal tract with a mucilaginous, bulking-type material, increasing the feeling of "fullness" and also aiding in the elimination process of waste through the gastrointestinal tract. The escalated metabolic rate caused by improved thyroid function (resulting from Irish moss's iodine content) helps to increase energy and burn fat and may be helpful in weight-loss regimens.
Because Irish moss contains blood-thinning properties and is considered an anticoagulant, early research has claimed that Irish moss may reduce high blood pressure and the risk of arteriosclerosis.
Irish moss has shown antibacterial activity and may be useful for kidney and bladder infection, and it has also demonstrated antibacterial activity against Streptococcus mutans. There is promising research that claims Irish moss possesses antiviral properties that may be effective against Influenza-B and mumps, among other viruses.
Used externally, Irish moss is a wonderful emollient that softens and soothes the skin and other exposed tissue. It eases sunburn, chapped skin, dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis and rashes. It is used to prevent premature aging when used topically for smoothing wrinkles on the skin, and the herb promotes a bright, healthy glow. "
Over time, the skin loses it’s elasticity. Irish moss contains vitamin K, which has been associated with keeping the skin’s elasticity intact. It can help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and can diminish dark circles and bags under the eyes.
Irish moss not only helps the skin, it can help on the inside of the body as well. The seaweed can help protect against arteriosclerosis, hyper tension, and fat buildup. It can also help prevent the buildup of cholesterol, and protect against obesity. It helps to increase metabolism which can lead to the ability to burn off fat quicker. By helping to prevent these problems, Irish moss can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke.
Irish moss is an expectorant, meaning it can break up mucus and help clear out the lungs of any phlegm that builds up with a common cold. Because of the expectorant qualities, Irish moss helps to prevent a common cold from turning into pneumonia. Irish moss can treat other respiratory problems such as bronchitis.
Irish moss has been found to be very helpful with the recovery of radiation poisoning and cancer. This is due to the plant’s high iodine content. Iodine is difficult to come by, and is found mainly in table salt. People don’t get as much iodine in their diets as they should, so Irish moss is beneficial for that purpose alone. Along with iodine, Irish moss also contains calcium, sulfur, potassium, and vitamin E.
Other issues that Irish moss can help with include the following.
* Varicose veins
* Halitosis (bad breath)
* Problems with the urinary system
* Duodenal and peptic ulcers
* Strengthens connective tissues
* Strengthens hair, skin, and nail
* Swollen joints
* Thyroid conditions
* Glandular problems
* Mumps viruses
The health benefits of Irish moss are plentiful, both for the outside of the body, as well as the inside. This seaweed can help you live a longer life by preventing diseases and warding off illnesses. It can also help you look and feel younger. Irish moss is easy to add into your diet. You can mix a little into your morning or afternoon smoothie and start reaping the rewards."
Irish moss is now thought to contain 15 of the 18 essential elements that make up the human body.