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How to Make an Irish Sea Moss Drink (Healthy Recipe)

How to Make an Irish Sea Moss Drink (Healthy Recipe)
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An Irish Sea Moss drink is a Jamaican style creamy drink that originated during a wave of Irish migrants in the Caribbean Islands. While today it is sold as an unhealthy canned beverage, you can easily make your own healthy, nutritious Irish moss drink at home with this simple recipe!

What is an Irish Moss Drink?

A traditional Irish moss drink is a tasty drink with a thick consistency that, depending on the spices used, can taste a lot like eggnog. It is made by combining the gelatinous properties of certain types of seaweed, creating a creamy sea moss smoothie drink. 

Irish Moss Drink of the Caribbean Islands

The Jamaican Irish moss drink is a classic Jamaican beverage. As Irish immigrants moved to the Islands, they used the seaweed on the Caribbean coasts that were similar to the seaweed type Chondrus Crispus on the coasts of their homeland to make their seaweed recipes. 

They often boiled the seaweed in milk to make a nutritious thick pudding or milk drink.

Over time, Irish and Jamaican flavors combined and created a tropical drink with a unique Jamaican Irish moss recipe. Today, it is a popular commercial beverage with products such as “Big Bamboo Irish Moss Vanilla Drink”. It is marketed as a men’s energy drink that claims to boost energy and male libido.  

Irish Moss in Ireland

Irish moss, also known as sea moss or carrageen moss is a seaweed that has been used throughout history for its health benefits. It was of great value in Ireland during the potato famine of the 19th century, when many people of Ireland were lacking the nutrition they needed from their crops. The Irish consumed Irish moss for the nutritional value, helping them during a time of national starvation. It grew abundantly on the Island’s rocks, where people were free to gather it. This seaweed was then dried, stored, and used in soups and stews, in baking, in beer brewing, and to make puddings and nutritious beverages. 

A traditional Irish moss pudding recipe is a type of Blanc Mange, and is made with boiled Irish moss and milk. When warm, to me this pudding tastes like Cream of Wheat, a light porridge made from ground wheat. In Ireland, a warmed milk and seaweed mixture was given to those with a stomach ache. Once cooled, the pudding resembles a panna cotta (pudding made with gelatin). 

Health Benefits of Irish Moss

Irish moss is high in iodine, sulphur, sodium, copper, and trace minerals. It even has a little protein! This seaweed has historically been helpful in aiding gut health, kidney function, heart health, and has been used for ailments of the lungs. Its mineral matter makes it great for supplementing trace minerals.  

Don’t Have too Much

With its high iodine content, I would be careful how much you consume. Too much iodine can be harmful for health (just like too little iodine can be harmful). It’s also difficult to determine how much contamination is in seaweed, even in organic seaweed. I personally am very careful and limit my seafood intake due to the vast amounts of microplastics, forever chemicals, and other pollutants that are in the oceans. Make sure to buy seaweed from a more reputable source – ensuring it is certified organic, and even then, don’t consume too often. See a USDA certified organic red Irish moss option linked below. Many sea moss brands have a “100% Organic” marking on the package, but are not certified USDA organic.

Carageen Moss – Not Carrageenin 

Carrageenin is a food additive used as a thickener in many processed foods. While it is made from seaweed, it is a highly processed product that is harmful for the gut lining, among other negative health affects. Carageen moss however, another name for Irish moss or sea moss, is a whole food that is not the same highly processed product. 

This Recipe is Different

  • Many of the Irish moss drinks on the internet are vegan, using coconut milk. This one is not, and uses whole milk. This is because this is more traditional, more delicious, and more nutritious in my opinion. Make sure to use pasture raised milk that is non-homogenized and preferably raw for health reasons. 
  • This recipe does not call for isinglass, as some traditional recipes do. Isinglass is a type of gelatin made from fish bladders. I don’t include it because it isn’t something most people nowadays have on hand! It don’t find it necessary to make a thick drink. 
  • This recipe does not call for linseed oil or flaxseeds. This is because I don’t find flax seed as something that should be consumed very often. 
  • Instead of first making a sea moss gel by boiling seaweed in water, we are first making a traditional Irish pudding with milk!

How to Make a Healthy Irish Sea Moss Drink

To begin, we will be making a traditional Blanc Mange Irish pudding to use in our sea moss drink recipe. 

How to Make Blanc Mange

Add dried Irish moss to a large bowl and cover with filtered water. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes. 

​Once soaked, the seaweed will be re-hydrated and expand. Wash well, and rinse with filtered water. 

Place in a small pot and add milk, vanilla extract, salt, and cinnamon sticks. 

Place pot on a burner on medium heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce to low heat for about 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the seaweed will be mostly dissolved. Filter out seaweed chunks and cinnamon sticks by pouring mixture through a mesh sieve.

Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl, and slowly add warm seaweed-milk mixture, a small amount at a time so the eggs yolks don’t get clumpy. Once you have added half of the mixture, combine all together and whisk.

To enjoy as a warm porridge-like dish, add some maple syrup or honey, butter, and some milk on top. 

To enjoy as a cold panna-cotta like pudding, add maple syrup or honey to taste and place in the refrigerator until solidified. Serve with a berry compote on top. 

How to Make a Jamaican Style Sea Moss Drink

To make a sea moss drink, add 1/4 cup of chilled seaweed Blanc Mange mixture to a high-powered blender. 

Add milk (preferably pasture raised and raw), and maple syrup or honey until you reach your desired thickness and sweetness. For me, that’s about 2 cups of milk and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup. 

Blend on high speed until smooth.

Top with freshly grated nutmeg for an eggnog-like flavor. 

​Enjoy!

Sources

www.foodingredientfacts.org/irish-moss-the-history-of-carrageenans-roots/

Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon

This post does not contain Medical advice

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Real red Irish Sea Moss (Chondrus Crispus) certified organic

(* I did not use this product in the blog post or video, the one I used is a Caribbean variety I had on hand that is a lighter color. The one linked seems t0 be of higher quality, as it is certified USDA organic.)

As an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases

How to Make a Jamaican Style Irish Moss Drink (Plus Irish Blanc Mange)

An Irish Sea Moss drink is a Jamaican style creamy drink that originated during a wave of Irish migrants in the Caribbean Islands. While today it is sold as an unhealthy canned beverage, you can easily make your own healthy, nutritious Irish moss drink at home with this simple recipe!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert, Drinks, Snack
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 2 medium sized bowls (for soaking seaweed, and for straining from pot)
  • 1 colander (for washing seaweed)
  • 1 medium sized pot
  • 1 fine mesh sieve
  • 1 spoon
  • 1 high speed blender
  • 1 Grater (for nutmeg)

Ingredients
  

Blanc Mange Pudding

  • Filtered water for soaking and washing seaweed
  • 1 handful dried Irish moss (about 15 grams)
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

Jamaican Style Irish Moss Drink

  • 1/4 cup cooled Blanc Mange pudding
  • 2 cups milk or more, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey or more, to taste
  • Grated nutmeg for garnish

Instructions
 

How to Make Irish Seaweed Blanc Mange

  • Add dried Irish moss to a large bowl and cover with filtered water. Allow to soak for about 15 minutes.
  • ​Once soaked, the seaweed will be re-hydrated and expanded. Wash well, and rinse with filtered water.
  • Place in a small pot, and add milk, vanilla extract, salt and cinnamon sticks.
  • Place pot on a burner on medium heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce to low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, the seaweed will be mostly dissolved. Filter out seaweed chunks and cinnamon sticks by pouring mixture through a mesh sieve.
  • Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl, and slowly add warm seaweed-milk mixture, a small amount at a time so the eggs yolks don’t get clumpy. Once you have added half of the mixture, combine all together and whisk.
  • To enjoy as a warm porridge-like dish, add some maple syrup or honey, some butter, and some milk on top.
  • To enjoy as a cold panna-cotta like pudding, add maple syrup or honey to taste and place in the refrigerator until solidified. Serve with a berry compote on top.
  • To use for an Irish moss drink, let the amount needed cool. Store the rest in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.

How to Make Jamaican Style Irish Moss Drink

  • To make a sea moss drink, add 1/4 cup of chilled seaweed Blanc Mange mixture to a high-powered blender.
  • Add milk (preferably pasture raised and raw), and maple syrup or honey until you reach your desired thickness and sweetness. For me, that's about 2 cups of milk and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup for 2 servings.
  • Blend on high speed until smooth.
  • Top with freshly grated nutmeg for an eggnog-like flavor.
  • ​Enjoy!

Video

Keyword irish moss, irish porridge, irish pudding, jamaican drink

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