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Irish Moss Gel (paste)

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irish-moss14Irish Moss is unprocessed, raw seaweed, which can be used as a gelling agent without cooking. It’s an amazing thickener and emulsifier (able to bind fat and water-based ingredients) and can help cut down on the quantity of nuts needed in many recipes.

It is also known as pearl moss, carrageen moss, seamuisin, curly moss, curly gristle moss, Dorset weed, jelly moss, sea moss, white wrack, and ragglus fragglus.

In its fresh condition it is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown.  I have only used the yellow tinted one.

It is easy to use, but can be difficult to find in health food stores.  The best bet is to purchase it online.

Over the years I have tested several different brands and my all time favorite is Whole Leaf Irish Moss.  I don’t use the powder form, so I don’t have any experience in how it works in recipes.

There is a lot of controversy about Irish moss.  There have been health concerns with the food additive “carrageenan gum” which is derived from Irish moss.  This additive is found in many commercially, highly processed foods.  Everyone stopped right there with the headlines that they read and touted Irish Moss as “harmful” to use in raw foods recipes. But from all the reading that I had have done… It is not the same as consuming pure Irish moss.  Carageenan is a heated and concentrated form of Irish Moss that is has been highly processed into chemical form.  Carageenan has lost the nutritional value of Irish Moss and makes it a health hazard.

There are a few sites out there that speak strongly against it and others who don’t.  To read all points of view, please click (here), (here). If you are in doubt, then please do keep it out. I only ask that you always do your own thorough research, read the papers yourself and make your own decisions.

I do believe however, that if you eat any one particular food in excessive amounts, it can cause harm.  I rarely use Irish moss but it has been a fun ingredient to play around with from time to time.  I am not here to debate its pro’s and con’s.  Please do your homework if you are concerned about it.


Yields roughly 2 cups paste


  1. Rinse the Irish moss in cold water until all tiny bits of debris have been removed.  Continue rinsing until the water runs clear.
  2. Allow the Irish moss to soak in cold water for 6-12 hours. (I prefer over night, rinsing it whenever I think about it)
  3. Don’t worry about the odor, when the Irish moss is ready to use, it is practically odorless and tasteless.
  4. After the soaking process is complete, drain, discard and give the Irish moss one last rinse.
  5. In a high-speed blender, add the Irish moss and about 1/4 cup of water, process till well blended into a paste.
    • You may need up to 1 cup of water total.  The goal is to make the paste with the least amount of water.
    • If you have a Vitamix with the plunger, use it… it is a key to success.  If you don’t have a plunger, you will have to spot the machine several times to scrape down the sides.
    • Rub some of the paste between your fingers, it should be smooth.  If you feel any lumps / grains continue blending.  I learned that if you don’t blend it enough, it won’t set up.
    • The moss is ready when it has a creamy white color and nearly double size and weight than its dry original state.
  6. Store the gel in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks (the cautious approach I’ve had it last way longer).
  7. To use in a recipe, use 1-5 Tbsp of Irish moss gel to 1 cup of product.  Quantity depends on the recipe you are making and the thickness desired.


Starting the soaking process.


Just after 6 hours of soaking, you can how much it has started to swell.


It is starting to get slippery…


I am stopping the soaking/rinsing process at the 18 hour mark

because it is starting to break-down on its own.  Just for fun,

I weighted the dry and soaked Irish Moss.  We started with

2 oz of dried moss, after soaking it came in at 12 oz.


After blending for about 30 seconds, using my Vitamix tamper,

and adding 1/4 cup of water… a beautiful gel has been created.


irish-moss13Uses for Irish Moss:

The gel is used in different recipes or you can simply add it to a salad dressing, a mayonnaise, smoothie or any other dish that requires thickening. Use 2-3 tablespoons of gel for 1 cup of dough or liquid. It works very well also to keep nut milks from separating while in the fridge and to make them thicker (one teaspoon will suffice here).

Irish Moss will make any liquid fluffy and is a substitute for gelatin and other thickeners. You may use it for sweet deserts, ice-creams, shakes, parfait, mousse, pies, as well as savory dishes, nut cheese and nut “yogurt “.  This product can thicken your recipes and give a gel like texture that you would get from adding a bunch of fat and nuts.  So you really can make guilt free raw desserts and dressings!

  • Add a smooth consistency to smoothies and juices.
  • Create a mousse like texture in some desserts
  • Create a firm texture in other desserts
  • Reduce the amount of oil in a salad dressing
  • Thicken a sauce
  • Reduce the amount of nuts used in a cheese.

Health Benefits:

  • Has a soothing effect on the mucous membranes throughout the body.  It has a softening effect on the tissues and helps many respiratory problems including bronchitis and pneumonia.
  • Soothes the mucous membranes of the digestive tract and also has a mild laxative effect.
  • Contains antioxidants to help fight free radicals
  • Has a large array of ionic minerals.  Iodine being one mineral that supports your thyroid and many problems associated with poor thyroid function including fatigue, inability to tolerate cold, slow heart rate, low metabolism, poor skin and hair, etc.
  • Used externally, it softens and soothes the skin.  Put it on your wrinkles and any dark circles under your eyes!  It also eases sunburn, chapped skin, eczema, psoriasis, and other rashes.

67 thoughts on “Irish Moss Gel (paste)

  1. Susan Wilson says:

    I would like to try using Irish moss in dessert recipes. Which website can I purchase it at cheaper prices?

  2. Robyn says:

    Oh the advertures i am having in the raw kitchen! Aimee-Sue, i am wondering why your irish moss is so white and mine is quite brown. Are there different kinds?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Robyn!
      I am so glad that you are having fun adventures in the kitchen! They say that the kitchen is the heart of the home… seems only right that we serve the best tasting, nutritious foods from the heart. :) Regarding the Irish moss, the picture of my Irish moss is AFTER the soaking process. When you are referring to yours being a brownish color, is that before or after soaking? Can you send me the brand name of the one you are using? I have learned over the years to buy a good quality one. I always look for one that is closest to being a whitish/tan color. So, let’s start with the brand you are using and if your coloring is when it is dry or soaked. That will be a good starting point for me to help answer this.

      Have a blessed evening! amie sue

  3. Chris says:

    Is the Irish Mossmeasurement (2 ounces) prior to or after soaking?

  4. Suzanne says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,
    thanks for posting this info on Irish moss – I just made up a large batch of gel and want to try your freezing technique on it. Have you used the frozen gels successfully? Does the gel strength stay the same after freezing?

    Thanks for your help!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Suzanna,
      Personally, my frozen Irish moss seemed to work just fine. I don’t do it very often but so far when I have, it worked.

  5. Mici says:

    What can you use if you can’t find or don’t have on hand Irish moss? Or is there no substitute?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Mici,

      It all depends on the recipe and what you are making. Sometimes you can get away without using it, or one could use ground flax, chia seeds or psyllium…. again it just depends. If you find a recipe that you have in mind, let me know and I can give a better answer. :)

  6. Learn Ways to Free Electric Power says:

    You really make it seem really easy with your presentation however I in finding this topic to be really something that I feel I would by no means understand. It kind of feels too complicated and very huge for me. I am taking a look forward in your subsequent submit, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

    • amie-sue says:

      I would be happy to help you further on this topic. Please let me know what questiona you might have that I can clarify. amie sue

    • Amy says:

      I have irish moss powder that I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs. How do I convert this in the recipes? I Have tried it a couple times and seems that maybe I should use a lot less than I am using. So far I have tried half. Seems I can taste it a little too much. I am afraid that if I use too little I will not get the texture that the recipes are going for. Have you experimented with this? Do you think the paste “works” better? Would you recommend making a paste from the powder before using in recipes? I have just been throwing it in dry.

      • amie-sue says:

        Good morning Amy,
        I don’t have any experience with dealing with irish moss powder, just the in the whole form, so I can’t really be of any help. A few months back I wanted to try the powder version but Mountain Rose Herbs was out of it. I should order some now and check it out. It sounds like you have done quite a bit of testing with it and I encourage you to continue. Keep a log of measurements and outcomes and soon you will find the right quantity to use and how it words best. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  7. Josh SM says:

    I just read in Matthew Kenney’s dessert book not to soak Irish Moss more than 3-4 hours, or it starts to lose some of its gelling properties.

    • amie-sue says:

      I can’t say that I have lost any gelling properties with the length of time that I soak mine. My main goal to make sure that I get ride of that smell and taste of any seaweed. :)

  8. Jenn says:

    Hi there, I LOVE Your site and I so happy I found it! I have a question about the irish moss. I don’t own a commercial blender (blendtec or vitamix). Will I still be able to blend irish moss into a gel form without a high powered blender? Thanks and I look forward to hearing from you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Jenn,

      You should be able to achieve the Irish moss paste with a high powered blender with no problem. I recommend that you stop the blending process now and then and test the consistency. Put a little of it on your forefinger and rub it with your thumb. You don’t wan’t any lumps or granular feeling. Keep processing until it is smooth.

  9. Debbie says:

    Can you use xanthan gum instead of the Irish moss?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Debbie,

      I don’t have any real experience with xanthan gum so I can’t give an honest answer to your question. Sorry. amie sue

  10. Vanessa says:

    Hello Amie,

    I am amazed at the amount of work you must put into this website, and that these delicious looking recipes and advice are available free is fantastic!

    I have been considering making some of the cheesecake recipes, in particular the Pumpkin Spice. I am hesitant to use lecithin because I try to avoid processed foods. I was hoping your food techniques section might have a lecithin section and shed some light on the matter. I’d appreciate any opinions/info regarding lecithin.

    Also, I was wondering if Irish moss might work as a replacement for lecithin in the cheesecake recipes. If not, do you have another whole food, alternative suggestion?

    Thank you for all your hard work.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Vanessa,

      Thank you very much for your kind words. It is a labor of love and passion.

      The Pumpkin Spice cheesecake is truly amazing and I really hope that you make it. They do make a raw lecithin, called sunflower lecithin made from…sunflowers. That is the one that I use now because I have to avoid soy. I highly recommend trying it. Here is a link to the one I buy. I do however have to order it because I have yet to find it locally, but well worth it.


      Irish moss should work as well. Here is a link about it incase you haven’t seen it. http://nouveauraw.com/raw-techniques/irish-moss-gel/ I personally haven’t tried in this recipe but I would use about 1 cup of Irish moss gel. Be sure to really go through the soak and rinsing process to omit as much of the seaweed smell and taste.

      One last suggestion… You could just omit the thought of using lecithin or Irish moss and make this “pie” in individual serving cups. I tend to do this more and more because it is such a sweet way to present it for parties. I use plastic or glass 3-5 ounce cups. It makes it easy for people to eat as they tend to nibble on it as they walk around and mingle, plus it helps with portion control. If you go this route you don’t have to worry about the pie holding shape. It is almost more like a custard. Just an option to keep in the back of your mind.

      I hope this was helpful. If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask. I will do my best to help. amie sue

  11. Paul Fischer says:

    Thanks for all your wonderful experimentation and discovery. The irish moss I use is from Transition Nutrition and it seems to be the cleanest and finest I’ve come across. I understand they supply Living Light Culinary Institute, Cafe Gratitude and some of the other companies mentioned in this stream. Its available from some Whole Foods and their company website, transitionnutrition.com.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Paul for your kind words and for sharing that resource. I have never seen Irish moss in a store so that is great that WF is picking it up. Have a great weekend!

  12. Natalia says:

    Aloha from Hawaii:)
    I am looking into trying the nut free pie because my husband is allergic to lots of nuts and was wondering if i could use irish moss powder if it has the same power?!
    Thank you so much
    P.S. i’m so enjoying your website,loving it!!!

  13. Marlene says:

    I was wondering about irish moss. Another website claims that it causes inflammation. They claim that irish moss should be avoided. Is that true? If it is, what can be used in its’ place in your recipes?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Marlene,

      There is a bit of controversy floating around regarding the use of Irish moss. Personally, I will continue to use every now and again for certain recipes. This is not an ingredient that I consume very often so I don’t believe that the small amount I will ingest is enough to hurt me. The properties that Irish moss in some recipes can’t be replaced so it will be a case by case situation. If you have a particular recipe that you have in question please let me know and I will do my best to help.

      Here is an article from Elaina Love… after reading it and doing further research you will need to decide for yourself how you feel about it. http://elainalove.com/2012/10/13/the-buzz-about-irish-moss/

    • Cyndi says:

      here is a youtube link to Markus Rothkranz, I buy my Irish Moss from him.
      He and Cara use it every day – it is the best thing for you! I just love it.


  14. lalita says:

    Just scanning thru your site. I could tell almost instantly that you really have a passion for what you are doing. This is the best w.s I have come across for raw food information. I have spent alot of time searching.

    Your followup is praiseworthy. Great customer service… cept we arn’t customers, so well done. I for one really appreciate your time and effort.

    Your site has really helped me understand what all the different ingredients are, what they do and how to use them.

    Thanks very much :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Lalita, this site is a true passion of mine and I work on it daily. I do my best to help when needed. Have a blessed holiday. amie sue

  15. psoriasis says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added”
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added
    I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    • amie-sue says:

      We are trying to figure out why this would happen psoriasis… in the meantime, if it does it again, please let me know. The mysteries of web-sites! aaah hehe Have a great day, amie sue

  16. Lyndsey says:

    Hi I love your site is has so many wonderful recipes thank you for offering them to us. I am new to making raw desserts/foods. I made your mudslide pie several days ago it was delicious!! My next venture is going to be tiramisu. I had some questions about substitutions for the Irish moss. I saw you had posted an alternate recipe using Agar Agar was there any feedback on how that worked? Also are there any other substitutions you could use such as lecithin? Or coconut oil to help thicken? If so how much would you use in place of the Irish moss/Agar Agar?


    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Lyndsey… no one has responded as to whether or not they tried the agar agar, so not sure on that. I am hoping to find the time to make it this weekend with the agar so I can give a for sure recommendation on using it or not. I am also messing around with blending raw kelp noodles to a paste to use instead. The experimenting just takes me time.

      The lecithin is pretty important and really recommend using it. It a great emulsifier to bring the fats and other liquids together. If you can find it in yourself to try it, you will find it to be a great ingredient for so many wonderful recipes in the raw world.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed the Mud Slide pie… scrumptious! I will post back here once I make this pie again with the agar. Have a blessed evening. amie sue

  17. Lyndsey says:

    Amie thanks for the quick reply! I used the lecithin and have no problems with it I agree it is a great emulsifier. What i meant to ask was if you could use more lecithin in the recipe to thicken it instead of using the irish moss/agar agar? I can’t wait to try this recipe and can’t wait to hear your feed back on how the agar agar/ kelp noodles work.. Have a great day!! Lyndsey

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Lyndsey… to answer your question… No, the lecithin and irish moss play different roles in this recipe. The lecithin is an emulsifier and the irish moss helps make the a dessert firm, gives it the body. I hope to play around in the kitchen this weekend. :)

  18. Lyndsey says:

    Ok thanks!!

  19. srushti says:

    hello mam.I am a student. I want to use Irish moss for DNA isolation. can i use as a gel?
    thank you………….

  20. karen says:

    What do you mean at the end of your recipe by “To use in a recipe, use 1-5 Tbsp of Irish moss gel to 1 cup of product” – what is the ‘product’? I have been using agar in some recipes because I could buy that locally without having to order. Have you used it at all and what’s the comparison between the two? Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Karen,

      This recipe for Irish moss gel can be used in recipes that you create on your own. So the measurement amount to use is a suggestion based on what your recipe is and what texture is desired. So, for example… if you are making a pudding and want structure but don’t want it stiff, you can add 1 or 2 Tbsp of gel to 1 cup of your pudding volume. Does that make sense? If you want a really stiff pudding you can add 4-5 Tbsp of gel to the 1 cup of pudding volume. Or if you have 2 cups of pudding, you then can add 8-10 Tbsp. 3 cups of pudding = 16-20 Tbsp and on and on. I hope this helped. If not please let me know. Have a wonderful evening Karen. amie sue

  21. Diane says:

    Hi Amie-Sue, did you get around to trialling agar/agar?

  22. Andrew says:

    So I got around to getting my Irish Moss. I wish I read the comments here before purchasing, the one I got was on the cheaper side from what I have found on the market. It seems okay so far but I can tell there is a lot of sand and stuff in it, and it is darker but when I soaked it turned much lighter. It took me forever to rinse! I seriously think I rinsed it 20 times but it still seems to “drain” some debris, and I can’t tell if it’s dirt, or just smaller broken up irish moss from all the pressure applied.

    It seems no matter what I do I can’t completely get rid of that “ocean” smell from the irish moss, no matter how many times I rinse this.

    • amie-sue says:

      Sorry to hear this Andrew… I can’t really speak for whatever brand you bought but I haven’t had this experience so far. I mean, I have seen some sand and the smell is there in the beginning but after going through the process as instructed I end up with a beautiful Irish moss paste. Perhaps try a different brand? Have a great weekend Andrew… amie sue

  23. terese says:

    Hi Ami Sue:)
    Thank you for all the work you put in. It is a pleasure to read
    I love your *Veggie Bouquet eBook*

  24. julie says:

    Good morning Amie !
    First of all, I want to thank you for all your wonderful recipes. Since I started the raw food journey, anytime that my husband sees me on the computer (every night or so) I am on your website !
    Just wanted to share this link with you about the irish moss :(

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Julie… I am happy to hear that you are enjoying my site. I put a lot of love, passion and work into it. :)

      I am aware of the article that you posted here and have addressed below. (back in March of 2013) You can read my stance on it there if you wish to. I only use Irish moss maybe once a year and only have but a handful of recipes that use it. If you thoroughly Google Irish moss, you will find those who have been in the raw food movement for it and against it. It can be quite frustrating but in the end we all have to make decisions based on what we feel is right for ourselves. Have a blessed and wonderful weekend. amie sue

    • amie-sue says:

      I am very aware of this Nelli, this has been talked within the comments. If any one is in doubt of using it, don’t. If you are not sure… read read and read, there is a lot of information on the web that supports its use and other sites that argue against it.

  25. kim says:

    do you have a telephone number?

  26. Matthew says:

    I’m trying to make a panna cotta but without gelatin. I understand that irish moss might be a suitable substitution. I’ve come across several different techniques and I’m a little overwhelmed. I’ve seen the paste version but also cooking the soaked moss with the liquid for about 10 min and then discard. How would you suggest using the irish moss?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Matthew,

      Personally, I use the technique that I shared here. I haven’t ever cooked it or with it. The whole soaking process is to reduce the smell and taste of the ocean, which you really don’t want to detect in the panna cotta. Are you making the whole recipe raw? You can also use agar (which isn’t raw), and other ingredients can give the dessert that creamy mouth feel such as blended young Thai coconut meat or/and coconut oil.

      Good luck and let me know if you have any further questions, amie sue

  27. Brenda morris says:

    I made carrageen moss yesterday, but it did not set, I soaked it, then boiled it n water. It is very dark brown in colour. What can I do for it to set..

  28. Drew says:

    Hi – love your website and so impressed with your generosity of sharing!! Am just making my first bread!! I have made my Irish Moss paste and have it labelled for 3 weeks time but you said you have had it last longer. My question is how do you know when it is “off”?

    Drew (New Zealand)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Drew,

      Thank you for the kind words. I am guided by my love and passion for eating healthy and helping others as I can. :)

      Irish moss once blended into a past won’t have an exact expiration date. There are many variables that might shorten or extend its shelf life. It’s always best to use as soon as possible rather than skating the fine line of it being questionable… But I have had a jar get lost in the back of the fridge from time to time. When in doubt — I throw it out. Otherwise you just need to relay on your sense of site (do you see any fuzzy creatures growing, has the consistency radical shifted, does the coloring look off?) Open the jar and smell it. It will naturally have a bit of aroma of the ocean breeze, but if you sense any other odd odors, toss it.

      When you make the paste, right away take note of how it looks, smells and feels. Use that as your guideline. I hope this helps some. Blessings and enjoy your weekend. amie sue

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