Sea moss gel has been gaining popularity as a superfood in recent years, and many are looking forward to its use in different forms for its outstanding results. Its rapid increase in popularity can be partly attributed to many celebrities endorsing it. Alongside this, there are reports from the online community on its effectiveness and benefits in many areas.
In some animal research, sea moss has also shown some anti-obesity effects. The gel form of sea moss is famous for many reasons, from the ease of making to ease of use.
Below, we have enumerated two easy and authentic recipes you can easily follow to make and get all the potential goodness of sea moss gel.
What is Sea Moss?
Sea moss, also known as Irish sea moss or purple sea moss, is an algae species that grows along the Atlantic coastlines. Its scientific name is Chrondus Crispus, a small and frilly seaweed.
While it’s red algae, it comes in various colors from yellow to purple and dark purple. It is considered a superfood because out of the 102 essential minerals in the human body, the sea moss contains 92.
Components of Sea Moss
Sea moss comprises many things, but its main constituent is carrageenan. Carrageenan is a gelatinous substance.
It is widely used in many industries. Prominent among these is the food niche, which is used as a food thickener in dairy produce, meats, and even formula for infants. Other major users are the medical and beauty niche.
Sea moss is a common ingredient in supplements and traditional medicine both in the past and presently. While more research presently infers the exact results its intake will give, there is no doubt about its use and popularity according to history.
Types of Sea Moss
Many types of red seaweed and algae are grouped under sea moss. Of these, the most common are the Chondrus Crispus and Genus Gracilaria. The former is the Irish moss, and while it is a bit harder to source, it is more nutritious. This article will focus on the Irish sea moss.
What is Sea Moss Gel?
Supplements of sea moss come in many and varying forms. There are capsules, gummies, powders, gel, and whole dried sea moss sold as red algae or seaweed.
While you can find the capsules, gummies, and powders in many supplement stores, you can only find the whole dried sea moss in health food stores or online vendors.
Sea moss gel is a convenient way to use and store sea moss. You can buy pre-made in health stores or make homemade sea moss gel very quickly. The homemade is generally preferable as it gives you control over how it is made and exactly what goes in.
Vegan and whole sea moss gel only make use of the whole dried sea moss and the natural thickening compounds of the sea moss to make a gel. No preservatives, enhancers, and the sorts.
However, to enhance some functions, there are some options of other superfoods you can choose to add to it. The most common of these is bladderwrack and the highly nutritious spirulina.
Preparing Sea Moss to Make Homemade Sea Moss Gel
Choosing to make sea moss gel at home is only the first step, and the next is getting the required ingredients. However, as a plus point, this sea moss gel recipe only requires two essential ingredients.; whole dried sea moss and water.
Source Sea Moss
Currently, there are two Irish sea moss sources; farmed sea mosses and natural Irish sea mosses harvested from the wild. We recommend going for wildcrafted sea moss as it is more nutritious. To identify whether the sea moss is real or fake, here are a few things to look out for;
- Real Irish sea mosses are darker in color than the pond mosses. Pool mosses lean towards a lighter yell yellow. In contrast, wild-crafted sea moss is generally darker yellow, redder, and sometimes purple.
Also, the color across them is not uniform. Some items may be darker or lighter than others.
- Sea mosses have drier, more stringy, and thinner stems than pool mosses which are lusher
- Pool-grown sea mosses contain more salt than the sea mosses
- Wildcrafted sea moss usually comes with a bit of sea debris attached
Clean Whole Dried Irish Sea Moss
As a water alga, red seaweed, and part of the sea vegetables, it contains a lot of debris and other particles. This cleaning is essential, provided you do not discard water from the sea moss that may contain valuable nutrients later.
One thing to note while cleaning your Irish moss is the water you use. You want the sea moss to be as natural and clean as possible without adding other compounds that may interfere with its working. Thus, water can act as a contaminant depending on your water source.
Experts recommend only using filtered or spring water for your sea moss. You can also use alkaline fresh water. Of these, fresh spring water is relatively easier to get from stores.
These waters are considered non-contaminated by minerals like chlorine, heavy metals, and other microbes common along water channels.
Therefore, you should avoid tap water and other similar sources.
You should also only use clean hands to handle your sea moss. To ensure it is clean, place the sea moss in a large bowl, cover it with water and massage off the dirt.
Its nature is usually wriggly and may entangle itself. So, while massaging, you can pull it apart and pick off any hidden dirt. Throw away the water and repeat this process at least once more to ensure you get a clean base of sea moss.
The next step in prepping to make sea moss gel is hydrating the raw sea moss.
Soak Sea Moss
To hydrate raw sea moss by soaking, place the cleaned Irish moss in a large bowl, cover it with alkaline, filtered, or spring water and let it soak for at least 12 hours to hydrate properly. You can let it sit on the countertop while it soaks.
It does not require refrigeration or freezing to keep it in good condition. However, it is vital that the water completely covers the rinsed sea moss. You know the Irish moss is ready when it has absorbed water and has buffed up (expanded).
How to and for How Long Should I Soak Sea Moss
To get the best results from soaking, here are a few things to be mindful of;
The water you use for soaking should always be at room temperature and does not require hot water.
The container you use should also have a lid for cover. If not, a plastic wrap should suffice.
As a precaution, do not soak the sea moss for too long as it will begin to deteriorate. The maximum time you should ideally leave your Irish moss soaked on the countertop is 48 hours.
Raw Irish moss expands to about four times the original size.
How to Make Sea Moss Gel
You can make sea moss gel using any of the following methods.
Method 1: Blender (No heat)
First, after prepping your sea moss, remove it from the water. The water used to soak the sea moss contains a lot of its nutrients and should be kept for use to make the gel. However, if it’s cloudy or contains a lot of dirt, then simply discard it and use clean filtered or alkaline water.
Next, put the sea moss into a robust, high-powered blender with water and blend.
Blend until you get a smooth gel of your desired consistency, usually from one to a few minutes.
Lastly, transfer the prepared sea moss gel into a container or mason jar that is airtight and refrigerate.
Method 2: Boiling
First, drain the soaked sea moss from its water and place it into a medium saucepan.
Next, add the drained water to cover the cleaned sea moss in the saucepan. Half an inch above sea moss level is okay.
Introduce heat and bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the sea moss simmer.
While it simmers, stir it continuously for 10 to 15 minutes, so the sea moss breaks down.
It may take a longer time but continue to stir it. Although it breaks down, it may not entirely do so. Thus, small lumps may be present here and there, which is okay.
If you intend to add other superfoods, this is time to put in their powders and incorporate them fully. Experts caution not to boil your sea moss for more than a half hour.
Finally, transfer the prepared sea moss gel into airtight containers or mason jars. Leave it to cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before sealing the container. Keep sea moss gel in the refrigerator.
Tips to Prepare Sea Moss Gel
For both methods, there are a few tips to make the perfect sea moss gel
Add water to the blender or pot in small increments. Do this till you get your desired consistency. Adding too much at once may cause it to be too light and not gel-like. It is preferable to start with just enough water to cover the sea moss
The water quota depends on how much sea moss you use. It is generally about 1-2 cups for 1oz (29g) of dried sea moss
The gel becomes thicker as it solidifies in the refrigerator (it usually takes about 2 hours). Thus, we recommend making it a bit lighter than you intend to use it.
Blending vs. Boiling Sea Moss
Of these two methods, blending has, in recent times, blending has become the more preferred option as opposed to the more traditional method of boiling.
The boiling method is excellent if you don’t have a high-powered blender or choose to use it. It can effectively break down the moss into a gel.
However, the consistency will not be as smooth and uniform as the blended moss gel. There are also concerns about the loss of nutrients during the boiling process from the heat. While this is not certain, many experts lean toward the blending method, which is faster and theoretically better.
How to Store Sea Moss and Sea Moss Gel Properly and How Long Does it Last?
While whole dried sea moss can do fine on the cool and dark countertop for a long time in an airtight container, you need to store its gel in the refrigerator. It can stay in top condition for up to 3 or 4 weeks, depending on the making process.
You can store the get in the freezer for up to 3 months. It is highly perishable and should be treated so and only made in small batches. Do not open or touch it frequently to reduce bacteria.
A common misconception is that freezing reduces the nutritional quality of the gel. The answer at present is no. However, freezing and unfreezing in jars can cause the gel structure to collapse, causing it to break and become choppy.
A simple fix for this is measuring out and freezing in small portions. An ice cube tray works well here. Fill the ice cube tray with the gel liquid, freeze, and transfer to an airtight container. You can now pop out one or more cubes whenever you need. It is also very efficient for making drinks and easy measurement.
The shelf life of sea moss is not very long. If it stays on the countertop for too long, it grows moldy. Also, if it is refrigerated for too long, it can go rancid. There are usually a few telltale signs your raw sea moss or gel is bad or going bad:
- It starts developing a pungent odor. The smell of sea moss gel is not harsh or strong. If the container gives off a strong unpleasant smell, it’s most probably gone bad.
- There are signs of mold growing on it, usually a grayish or dark greenish color. It develops a slight taste as opposed to the neutral taste of nothing.
- There is a color change from the original. A noticeably darker hue is a telling sign the sea moss gel is on its way to going bad.
- The gel becomes extra watery and slimy. Changes in consistency can show the state of the sea moss gel.
Benefits of Sea Moss Gel
Before becoming a regular user of sea moss, it is good to know what it is suitable for. While there is limited research on its potential benefits, there is a consensus on its benefits. It has been around medicinally for a very long time, and for it to still be in good use, there are truths to its claims.
Sea moss is rich in many minerals and fiber. These have great potential to boost and amp up your body’s immune system while aiding your heart and digestive system.
Irish sea moss is famed for its iodine, an essential mineral for good thyroid function and hormone production.
These hormones also, in turn, have a direct effect on the body’s metabolism. A set of people whom this is especially beneficial to are vegans and pregnant women.
For vegans, a dairy-free diet may make it hard to get sufficient iodine. For pregnant women, good thyroid hormone levels support the development of the brain and bones.
It contains carrageenan, which is known to have many excellent properties. A good percentage of it is carrageenan giving it the name carrageen moss.
According to a journal on Carrageenan drug delivery systems and other biomedical applications, it is antibacterial and antiviral. It is also an antitumor, anticoagulant, immunomodulatory, antithrombotic, and anti-hyperlipidemic.
Other benefits are;
- Potentially improving gut health: a constituent of sea moss is fiber. Its type, which is prebiotic mucilage, provides food with good gut microbes that could boost gut health. Some animal studies show that it can also help soothe mucus production.
- Sea moss helps support weight loss: Vivo and Vitro studies have shown positive results of sea moss use on losing weight. Theoretically, it contains fiber which can help reduce appetite when taken.
- Irish moss may help improve the body’s immunity through the antibacterial and antifungal benefits of its carrageenan.
- Irish sea moss can lower the risk of certain tumors(cancers). Scientists have noted that sea moss’ antioxidant properties(also attributed to its carrageenan) may help inhibit some cancer cell growth.
- Irish moss may help improve skin health. This is one of the top reasons for its present popularity. It is becoming a staple in natural skin care beauty products. It contains many nutrients, antioxidants, and sulfur. Sulfur can help beat off acne and yeast infections on the skin for smoother, glowing, and healthy skin. Some researchers also state the presence of an amino acid like arginine is also helpful.
Constituents of Sea Moss
There are many nutritional positives to sea moss; the topmost among these is its percentage of iodine. It is very rich in iodine in addition to other nutrients. It has almost zero calories and contains very minimal fats but a lot of minerals. Some of these are magnesium, potassium, sulfur, vitamin A, B, E, C, and K.
Uses of Sea Moss Gel
Sea moss gel contains all the goodness of the Sea moss in an easy-to-use and easily accessible form. A pro of it is its tastelessness. It has no distinct taste and thus can be added to anything as a thickener for soups and supplements to your drinks like smoothies, teas, coffees, etc. Even jam! You can also incorporate them into your baked goods.
Aside from blending it into foods, you can also use the sea moss gel as a food dip and as dressing. There are many delicious recipes to try.
Still, its use should ideally be regulated to one or two tbsps per day, per person. That is four to eight grams.
An excellent way of using sea moss gel is topical; you can apply it as a face mask or use it as a hair mask.
FAQs About Sea Moss Gel
Is it safe to take sea moss gel daily?
Yes, you can take sea moss gel daily but with caution. At specific amounts, sea moss gel should be considered safe. Still, to be entirely sure, checking with a medical professional is advised.
If you are new to sea moss and sea moss gel, taking one tablespoon should be the maximum for a start. Watch your body and how it responds to it. If satisfied, you can work upwards to 1-2 tablespoons.
Can you eat too much sea moss?
Yes, you can. As with every supplement, too much of it can be detrimental to one’s health. For example, sea moss is a rich source of iodine. While this benefits thyroid function, too much iodine can cause several health complications. More so if you are on other diets, supplements, or medications that provide iodine.
We recommend you stick to the advised dose of experts – at most two tablespoons or eight grams in a day.
Moss gel or powdered sea moss, which is better?
Both work to the same effect. They can be mixed into drinks and foods and sold commercially or homemade. The powdered sea moss is mostly commercially made, as it’s harder to make at home.
The commercially made are also most times not vegan and up to quality. Thus, sea moss gel becomes a better option. Sea moss gel is also a more versatile option, and it can be used directly and does not need other steps before use.
Further, good sea moss gel is fresher than powder sea moss as it has a shorter shelf life. Powdered sea moss in capsules or pure powder form lasts longer than sea moss gel.
Can I eat sea moss gel by itself?
Sea moss gel can be eaten by itself with no issues if you are okay with its texture and taste. In itself, it tastes subtly like seaweed. However, the seaweed taste disappears when you mix the sea moss gel with your desserts, drinks, and food.
Are there other ingredients that I can add to sea moss?
Yes, there are. Common additions are usually similar superfoods. An example is a bladderwrack and spirulina. It has peculiar benefits that are enhanced when combined with sea moss.
To add bladderwrack to your sea moss gel, measure out one tbsp of the bladderwrack powder for every eight ounces of sea moss gel. The same applies to most other superfoods you add.
Can sea moss survive at room temperature?
Whole dried sea moss can survive at room temperature for up to a year. However, it must be in an airtight jar, preferably in a cool and dark place. If it has been cleaned and soaked, it stays for way less.
The soaked sea moss should not be left at room temperature for more than 48 hours. If it exceeds this time, it starts growing mold and going bad.
You should not keep sea moss gel at room temperature at all. If its preparation method is via boiling, you can wait for it to cool for about half an hour at room temperature before sealing and refrigerating.
Where to buy good quality sea moss?
Excellent and real sea moss gives you the best value for your money and effort. To buy good quality sea moss, check for;
Check on the vendor’s reputation and site transparency. What are the customers’ reviews, and how informative is the company?
Learn from where they source their sea moss. It is okay to ask questions and ask for proof of authenticity if any.
Is dried sea moss poisonous?
Good quality sea moss taken in moderation is not poisonous. However, its abuse can pose a health risk to the body and should be avoided.
Depending on the source, some sea moss can also be harmful compounds like lead, mercury, and arsenic which are heavy metals.
While at the dose of 1-2 tbsps at most in a day, researchers stipulate that the health concerns are insignificant. Still, taking above this amount can have adverse effects.
Conclusion: On Preparing A Sea Moss Gel Is Easy?
This article explained two methods of making sea moss gel: the more traditional boiling method and the no-heat blending method. While we recommend the blending method, they both offer the same results: a gel packed with minerals, amino acids, and other nutrients.
It can last up to a month in the fridge and three in the freezer when stored properly. There are many uses of the sea moss gel. It can be used as a dip or dressing for drinks, as a thickener, and for body masks. Its versatility and numerous nutrition benefits cement it as a must-have superfood to add to your diet. Make yours today!