Caribbean Spiced Sea Moss
Sea Moss is a species of the red algae family with hues ranges from browns to greens. As a kid, I just thought it was a yummy holiday drink my mom made. When I got older, I realized what a gem it truly was.
Full of amino acids, B vitamins, calcium, zinc, iodine and other nutrients, sea moss has a wealth of health benefits including the promotion of bone, thyroid, and digestive functions. And while there are no studies, it is promised to be quite the love potion!
If you want to use sea moss on a regular basis, I’d recommend letting your doctor know first. The health benefits are great but the micronutrients in this algae are nothing to moss around with!
1 cup Jamaican Irish Moss/Sea Moss
6 cups water
1 cup fortified almond, rice or diluted 2% evaporated canned milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sweetened condensed milk to taste
1 ounce spiced rum, optional
For the Sea Moss Gel
Rinse the moss several times in a large bowl of lukewarm water, using your hands to loosen dirt and excess salt from the moss.
Place the Sea Moss and 6 cups water in a large pot. Heat on low, not allowing the heat to rise above 30ºC (86ºF). Heat for 30 minutes then leave to cool for at least 4 hours or until the Sea Moss roughly doubles in size and becomes translucent and slightly slippery to touch.
Place the Sea Moss in a blender and puree with enough of the water it was soaking it to form a smooth consistency.
Place in a container (preferably light-resistant), cover tightly, and place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to thicken.
For the Spiced Sea Moss Drink
Blend 6 tablespoons Sea Moss gel, your choice milk, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla extract on high for a few seconds until smooth and creamy. Add the condensed milk 1 – 2 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition, until the desired sweetness. Add the rum if using and serve immediately.
Although the Sea Moss gel may look thin at first, will thicken the longer you leave it
There’s a debate whether it’s better to soak the moss overnight with no heat or to heat for a short time. No heat is considered to preserve the nutrients better but may not soften the sea moss as thoroughly, while heating softens the moss nicely but destroys more of the nutrients. B vitamins and water-soluble and most are very heat-sensitive. There is no way to 100% preserve all the nutrients in the Sea Moss and still have the moss soften sufficiently. Either the heat will affect the vitamins or oxidation and light will. The method I came up with is the best method I can think of so far to preserve the nutrients and soften the moss.
Moss can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. So if you’re not serving a large crowd, I suggest making a smaller batch.