Preparing sea moss for either long-term storage or for use in different recipes is not at all a complicated process. However, with the news circulating about how easy it is to mess up sea moss – I can see why people would be hesitant to do this. Without a little helping hand, that is! Turning sea moss into a gel or a powder is going to require some preparation. You’ll need to make sure you end up with the finest product possible. It would be a shame to put in so much effort only to have a mediocre return on your time investment. Without further ado, here’s how to prepare sea moss – whether it’s powder or liquid form!
Table of Contents
- What Is Sea Moss?
- Harvesting Sea Moss
- Cleaning Sea Moss
- Making Sea Moss Gel/Sea Moss Powder
- Storing Sea Moss
- Should You Make Sea Moss Into A Gel/Powder Or No?
- FAQs On How to Prepare Sea Moss
What Is Sea Moss?
Sea moss is an increasingly popular superfood that has been on the rise in attention and fame recently. Thanks to the advocation for its health benefits by food lovers on platforms such as TikTok and Twitter, sea moss is getting more love than ever.
More specifically, sea moss is an aquatic vegetation that thrives and grows on shorelines and near beaches. There are different colors of sea moss that vary in color and nutrients due to the environment they have grown in. Other than the change in color and a slight difference in one or two compounds within them, the sea moss is not fundamentally different from other types of sea moss.
There are many steps involved that lead to the consumption and retailing of sea moss to a global market. Yet it is not incredibly complex. And for the most part, there is no heavy processing that needs to be undergone. Unless you are making a sea moss powder or a sea moss gel.
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Harvesting Sea Moss
There are many ways for sea moss to be harvested. And some of these ways also can cause a fair bit of controversy among environmentalists.
The main way to harvest sea moss is to wait until there is a low tide. This way, the sea moss can be seen above the water. All that is left is to go over to it and start collecting your bounty. It is typically collected with shears or a sharp knife and can all be thrown into a large durable bag.
When there is no low tide, the sea moss must still be harvested. Farmers can be seen getting into diving clothes and swimming under water to harvest the moss instead.
The controversy mentioned is to do with how much of the naturally-occurring sea moss is harvested. Like all natural food sources, farming can pose environmental risks. These then can lead to the damage and destruction of entire ecosystems.
A lot of educated and environmentally-friendly farmers will typically cut off little bits from each clump of sea moss. This ensures that they leave the roots well intact and undisturbed. This allows for the sea moss to grow back and regenerate with enough time. This regenerative farming practice can lead to a healthier ecosystem that is more likely to thrive.
However, other farmers that are more worried about quantity over quality will uproot the plant. They’ll tend to take the entire lot with them. This will not only ruin and disturb the ecosystem that the sea moss is found in, but shall also cost the harvesting company more time and money. After all, they have to then process the sea moss in order to cut off any remaining roots or unusable pieces.
While it is easier to uproot entire plants such as sea moss, it leads to a lack of biodiversity in the ecosystem that it is found in. It also yields results that are only slightly better. If you take your time when harvesting sea moss and only cut off strips or small segments, it’s neater and easier to process immediately. It will also allow the ecosystem to continue thriving while the sea moss grows back. There are very important bacteria covering the sea moss and microbial lifeforms that live there, no matter how small. Every single part of an ecosystem is essential to balance and overall wellness.
Wildcrafted Vs Pool-Grown Vs Farmed
There are three main types of sea moss that you can buy online when you are shopping for raw sea moss that is fresh and unprocessed. These are wildcrafted, pool-grown, and farmed. Each of these three methods has its own pros and cons although they are too lengthy to be discussed in detail.
- Wildcrafted sea moss is the real deal, the genuine stuff that you will find out in the wild just waiting to be picked. This is considered the prime choice of sea moss as it is naturally occurring and untampered. It is found on a lot of beaches and shorelines either at the bottom of the water or on rocks. Wildcrafted is untouched by any efficient farming methods or any additional chemicals and is as natural as it can possibly be.
- Farmed sea moss is exactly what it sounds like. Just like Wildcrafted sea moss – it is 100% authentic and is not ruined by chemicals. However, it is tainted slightly by humans as it has been specifically placed in that area and has received help in growing and staying alive. Farmers will plant the sea moss in more efficient areas that are also easier to travel to and explore. It is essentially just taking wildcrafted sea moss and changing where it grows. There is not a huge difference although it does lose the title of being ‘100% authentic/natural’ and the nutrients inside the plant will also change slightly.
- Pool-grown sea moss is the third and final type of sea moss that you can buy and is either loved or hated for many different reasons. Pool-grown sea moss is loved by companies as it can be duplicated and grown in very controlled environments that can lead to an efficient yield and quick growth. However, it is disliked by the consumer as it is not natural and does not contain as many nutrients as the Wildcrafted alternatives. Basically, pool-grown sea moss is biologically engineered sea moss that has been grown in a pool or a tank with nutrients and chemicals being pumped into the water. It is very controlled and everything has been measured – for better or for worse.
Cleaning Sea Moss
After being harvested, sea moss has to be cleaned to remove any harmful bacteria from its surface. Not only is this process undertaken in order to get rid of bacteria, but due to the structure of sea moss, it can be quite easy for dirt and debris to get stuck in the moss too.
Cleaning the sea moss at an industrial level will vary from company to company. Yet sea moss can also be easily cleaned at home following these basic steps;
- Firstly, it is important to use fresh, clean water. Anything with added chemicals might damage the nutrients in the sea moss. Tap water is fine, depending on the quality of your tap water but ultimately anything filtered and free of bacteria will be good enough.
- The cleaning process is similar to sushi rice as the water will be introduced and drained multiple times until the goal has been achieved.
- Get a bowl that has room to accommodate your sea moss and fill it with enough water that the sea moss will be fully submerged. Place your sea moss in the water and gently massage it for a minute to help get rid of all the dirt and debris that may be stuck.
- After this step has been completed, drain the water and take extra care to make sure that the dirt and debris are not left in the bowl and that it goes out with the water.
- You will now want to introduce more water to the bowl and massage the sea moss for a second time for around 30 seconds. It is important to gently massage the sea moss as you do not want to rip it or damage it in any way. After the 30 seconds are up, drain the water and let the sea moss drip dry for a couple of minutes.
- Once a couple of minutes have passed, fill the bowl up with water for a final time and cover the bowl with something similar to saran wrap. This will help keep all of the bacteria in the environment out of your bowl as we are about to soak the sea moss for a long time.
- Place the bowl on the counter or in the fridge and allow the sea moss to soak for 12-24 hours. After it has soaked for this long, your Irish sea moss will be considered clean and ready to use in any way you want.
Making Sea Moss Gel/Sea Moss Powder
After the preparation and cleaning processes have been completed – your sea moss is ready to eat if you want to. While it is not for everyone, raw sea moss is loved by some.
It is important to note that you can boil sea moss to make it easier to digest. Yet this will destroy a fair amount of the nutrients that are in the sea moss.
If you are going to eat it on its own then this may be acceptable. But if you are wanting to follow a sea moss gel recipe – it is a terrible idea to boil the sea moss beforehand. This will destroy a lot of the nutrients…rendering the gel a bit unnecessary.
Sea Moss Gel
Sea moss gel has a lot of different uses. It can be added to hot drinks and meals as a way to bolster their nutritional value. Health professionals suggest that you only need around 8 grams per day of sea moss gel before you get diminishing returns. So it is best to only take this dosage.
The best thing about the gel is that when added to hot liquids such as tea or coffee, it will dissolve into the liquid. If you have 3 cups of coffee a day, you can add a few grams to each cup. This way, you are getting all of the nutrition. Yet you are dealing with none of the bad flavors or smells that sea moss gel is known to possess.
If you want to make sea moss gel, you will be pleasantly surprised to know that it is so simple.
- All you need to do to prepare sea moss gel is follow the above steps to clean your sea moss and soak it.
- Once this is done, place the sea moss in a blender and start to gently blend it. It is important to keep the water that the sea moss was soaking in as it has a lot of nutrients floating around in it.
- After blending your moss for a little, you can start slowly introducing the water to your blender until there is a smooth and consistent consistency that you are happy with.
- Pour this mixture into a glass jar with a lid and allow it to set in the fridge overnight.
This gel can then be used in small doses to add to hot beverages, soups, stews, and more.
Planning to freeze your sea moss gel? It is good to take into account that your gel will expand when it freezes. So it is best to leave some room around it.
Sea Moss Powder
Similar to sea moss gel, sea moss powder can also be added to certain foods and drinks. This can help bring you more nutrition in your diet. While a powder may seem like something impossible to make at home by yourself, it is super simple. It is even almost as easy as making sea moss gel.
- Firstly, you are going to want some dried sea moss. If you do not have any dry Irish sea moss, then you can make some yourself. All you have to do is lower the moisture content in your sea moss until it is between 5-10%. This can be done with either a dehydrator or by using the old tried and tested method of sun drying.
- Once you have some dried sea moss that is ready to be used, you will want to break it into the smallest pieces possible. This can be done by using your hands to rip it, a knife to cut it, or a grater to grate it.
- Once it is as small as you can get it, you will want to place your dried sea moss into a mortar and pestle or into a food processor. Break up the sea moss as much as you can until it is a white powder that is consistent without lumps. The finer the powder, the more reliably it will be absorbed into the liquids you add it to.
Want to make your own supplement pills? You can mix this sea moss powder with other powdered ingredients. This can be protein, collagen, vitamins. Anything you think would be helpful for your diet.
It can be difficult to find a pill press that will condense it all into a tiny pill for you. So your best bet may be to either put it into pill capsules that you can swallow. Or to mix it all up and just scoop a teaspoon at a time into a coffee or tea.
It is best to check with health professionals for proper doses and what ingredients you should be consuming.
Storing Sea Moss
While sea moss is not necessarily an expensive ingredient, everyone should do their best to try and make sure that ingredients last as long as possible. This helps fight the crisis to do with food waste.
There are different forms of sea moss that you can buy or make. It can be extremely helpful to learn how to store all of these to increase their shelf lives.
Fresh Sea Moss
Fresh sea moss can be stored in the fridge for up to a week in an airtight container.
If the roots are still attached, then it will be beneficial to store them in cold water. This way, they can survive a few more days than usual.
Dried Sea Moss
Dried sea moss has an incredibly low moisture content which helps with storage and longevity. A lot of food items expire because of the water content in them.
Dried sea moss can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container and will last up to 6 months. Irish moss, or red sea moss, will be fine for a long time. As long as it is kept in a condition where there is no direct sunlight or any heat sources nearby.
Sea Moss Gel
Sea moss gel can either be stored in the fridge or in the freezer. This’ll depend on how long you are wanting to keep it. T
he fridge will allow you to store the gel for up to 3 weeks. This will be without any issues or signs of spoilage. Whereas, the freezer will let you store the gel for up to 6 months.
The only caveat is that the gel will expand when frozen. So make sure you have a bit of space in the container to account for this. Otherwise, the container might break as the gel freezes.
Powdered Sea Moss
Powdered sea moss is by far the easiest to store.
Similar to dry moss, powder has no moisture content which helps it thrive in any condition. As long as you pour your powder into an airtight container – it will remain fresh and ready to use for up to a year.
Just make sure there is no moisture introduced to the storage container as this will ruin it.
Should You Make Sea Moss Into A Gel/Powder Or No?
Whether you turn your sea moss into a gel or a powder is up to you. Although, there are benefits to this transition as they are so much easier to consume when they are changed.
Alongside the ease of consumption, the Irish moss also has a less pungent smell and flavor when it is in a gel or powder form.
Hope this helps you with fine tuning your method for how to prepare sea moss yourself!
FAQs On How to Prepare Sea Moss
How do you prepare and eat sea moss?
To prepare sea moss you are going to want to rinse it multiple times in fresh, clean water and allow it to soak overnight before eating it. It can be eaten raw but if you are not too bothered about the nutrients in the moss then you can also boil it to make sure it has a nicer texture than it standardly does.
How long should sea moss be soaked?
Sea moss is very similar to sushi rice when it comes to being washed/soaked. By this, I mean that it needs to be washed and drained multiple times before it is considered done. You should be submerging your sea moss in fresh, clean water and massage it (gently) for a minute before draining the water, along with any dirt/debris, and refilling the bowl. Once refilled, repeat these steps and only massage the sea moss for half a minute this time. Once done, drain and refill your bowl for a final time and allow the sea moss to soak for 12-24 hours. It does not need to be refrigerated while soaking, just make sure the bowl is covered so that no bacteria can get in and contaminate the sea moss.
Should I boil my sea moss?
Boiling sea moss is usually met with screams of grief and anger as it supposedly ruins the ingredient. However, this is not entirely true. Boiling sea moss will destroy most (not all) of the nutrients found within. This is a bad thing if you are eating sea moss purely for nutrients. However, if you are just eating sea moss with no regard for how healthy it is then there is no reason not to boil it.
How to prepare sea moss gel?
Preparing sea moss gel is so easy and not at all as complicated as some people would have you believe. It can be done in 2 steps, the first step is the cleaning and soaking the sea moss so that it is more pliable and the second step is blending the sea moss with the water it was soaked in until it has a smooth consistency. After all of this – simply pour it all into a mason jar and screw on the lid. Let this set overnight and in the morning you will be greeted by a perfect mass of gel.
How do you consume sea moss?
Consuming sea moss can be done in many different ways. Some people do not mind eating normal sea moss although other people can find the taste and smell a bit too much. To counter this, you can either dry the sea moss to suppress the smell and flavor or you can turn it into a gel/powder and dissolve it into liquids so that you can drink it instead.
Do you need to boil sea moss?
Sea moss can be boiled, although this destroys a lot of the nutrients inside the moss. If you are not eating the moss for the health benefits it possesses then this is not an issue, however, if you intend to turn the sea moss into a gel and use it for the nutrients then it is a lot better to not boil it.