As some of you may know (or not know), gelatin, which is a common binder in many foods, is most certainly NOT vegan. It comes from the collagen inside animals’ skin and bones. I for one, would prefer the natural geling agents that come from the sea, thank you very much. 🙂 If you agree, please read on…
First, the nerdy educational stuff…Irish Moss is not actually a moss, but a seaweed that grows abundantly off the Irish coasts in the Atlantic ocean. It is comprised of 10% plant protein, and 15% minerals! Some of the most noteable life enhancing minerals are iodine (which we need for proper thyroid functioning) and sulphur (which is useful for decreasing joint pain such as arthritis). Irish Moss also contains calcium, potassium, as well as the vitamins A, D, E, F and K.
Vegetarians and vegans historically lack certain vitamins, minerals and nutrients; especially sulphur-containing amino acids such as taurine, and Irish Moss helps to supply us herbivores with healthy doses of what’s needed to function properly.
So, how do you use Irish Moss? This part gets a little tricky, but for all this nutritional benefit, it’s way worth it! 😉 Take a handful of your Irish Moss, which can be found typically at health food stores (I got mine from this amazing farmer’s market here in Coconut Grove, FL) and rinse it well 3-4 times. Soak it in a tall container (as it will expand in size) for about 6 hours in the fridge, changing the water twice daily. If you are, however, short on time, you can soak it in luke warm water for just a few hours. You will know it’s ready when it looks creamy and has doubled in size. Then, you will blend the Irish Moss with the water it has soaked in until it is broken down, soft and smooth.
You can then blend this into your raw desserts as it acts as a pretty powerful and nutrient dense binder. To follow, I will list a recipe for Raw Vanilla Ice cream which uses Irish Moss. Mmmm! Mossy goodness!
Vanilla Ice Cream: 2 cups soaked raw almonds 3 cups filtered water 1 cup coconut oil 1 cup soaked Irish Moss 1 cup agave nectar Seeds from 2 vanilla beans 1 tsp vanilla powder 3 pinches Himalayan Pink Crystal salt
Blend almonds and water until it becomes almond milk, strain and keep the pulp for using in other recipes if desired. Blend 1 cup of almond milk with the Irish Moss until completely smooth. Add all other ingredients, last add coconut oil slowly. Pour into a freezable container and freeze overnight. When ready, scoop and enjoy with fruit, cacao nibs or raw chocolate sauce.
Variations of the ice cream:
For CHOCOLATE ORANGE ice cream: add 1 cup cacao powder, orange zest and 1 cup agave nectar
For MINT ice cream: add 1 cup of minced mint leaves with 1/4 cup cacao nibs after blending
For TROPICAL ice cream: add 1 cup of banana & mango pulp, lower the water by 1 cup
For TOFFEE flavored ice cream: add 2 tbsp maca powder and replace agave nectar with 100% Grade A maple syrup