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Substitute for Irish Moss – Kelp Noodle Paste

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Irish moss has been the go-to ingredient to create a fluffy, gelatinous-like consistency in raw recipes.  But it has been put under the microscope and there is much discussion whether or not it is safe to eat.   I have read equal amounts of information arguing both sides of this controversy .  So, when in doubt… fade-it-out  or at least come up with an equal alternative.  Raw kelp noodles!

Raw Kelp Noodles are a sea vegetable in the form of a raw noodle.  Made of only kelp (a sea vegetable), sodium alginate (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed), and water. They are fat-free, gluten-free, and very low in carbohydrates and calories.  They contain a trace mineral and essential nutrient, iodine, which plays a key role in metabolism and thyroid function.  Inadequate iodine intake can lead to thyroid problems, such as hypothyroidism.

Creating kelp paste is not going to be an exact science.  When you blend the noodles to create the paste, the amount of water you use during that process will affect the gelling effect that the end product will produce.  The measurement that I listed below creates the perfect consistency for thickening puddings and smoothies for example.  The less water that you can get by with, the thicker and more set-up it will become, making it great for breads, cakes and cheesecakes.  It gives a recipe body, acts as a thickener, and adds great nutrients.

With the soaking process and the length that it was soaked, I couldn’t detect any smell or taste from the paste, which was very exciting.  I am going to share a little funny, freak out moment that I had while creating this recipe.  Whenever I create recipes, my laptop comes into the kitchen with me.  I learned years ago to ALWAYS write a recipe down as I go, even if it is going to be “haphazard” one because those usually always turn out to be the best.  Anyway,  I was fussing with the noodles, going back and forth between the counter, blender, computer, blender, computer and so forth.  Well, a few hours later when I sat down with my computer…. I jumped, yipped and covered my eyes.  There was a WORM on my computer screen!!! A WORM!!!  Shiver-me-timbers… Without my husband home to save the day, I had to deal with the worm myself.  I got up and grabbed a paper towel.  Feeling that I was safe enough to where the darn thing wouldn’t jump on me (hey you never know, they might jump hehe), I inched my nose in closer to check it out.  Closer, closer, closer…  kelp noodle!  lol  Not a worm, but a translucent kelp noodle clinging for its very life on my computer screen.  It gave me a good chuckle, that’s for sure.

Ingredients: yields 2 1/4 cups

  • 1 bag raw kelp noodles
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice, for soaking
  • Soak water
  • 3/4 cup water – blending

Preparation:

  1. Remove the noodles from the bag, rinse them and place in a large bowl with 1/4 cup lemon juice and enough water to cover them and about an inch extra.  Cover and leave on the counter top.
  2. Soak over night or at least 8 hours.  This will help to remove the smell of seaweed.
  3. Rinse the noodles and place them in a high-speed blender (Vitamin or Blendtec).  Add enough water to get the blades moving.
  4. Stop the blender occasionally and test for a grainy feel and to scrape the sides of the blender jar down.  If you feel little bits, keep blending till creamy and smooth.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.
  6. Have fun experimenting :)

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45 thoughts on “Substitute for Irish Moss – Kelp Noodle Paste

  1. Elizabeth says:

    You are brilliant!…simple as that ;D

  2. Michele says:

    This is FABULOUS!!! I have been so afraid to work with Irish Moss! This I can do!!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      YOU can DO it Michele! I have complete faith in you, even with the Irish moss :) Have a blessed nights sleep. amie sue

  3. Barb says:

    Great post, just an FYI..the controversy with Irish Moss is the same for kelp. Carageenan is made from different kinds of seaweed, kelp being one of them..so the controversy covers both kelp and moss. I am on the fence too..and I don’t use it often..but there is nothing like it out there….and I”m sure there are other things we eat that are much worse..so I’m not letting it scare me..i will still use it for certain things..whether it be kelp or irish moss.

    • amie-sue says:

      I am right there with you Barb. Thanks for sharing that. I don’t use either on a regular basis but it is nice to have options. Have a great evening, amie sue

  4. Mamabird says:

    OMG! This is exciting. The only place I could ever gt it was Cafe Gratitude inhe bay area. I have heard about the controversy. Now ordering it on line and with the shipping prices, it doubles the price. And in comes Amy Sue to save the day. Wanted to try some special goodies or a cheesecake for my son when he comes for his every 3 month visit! I’m a happy mama.

    • amie-sue says:

      When Mamabird is happy, I am happy. hehe I just love the fact that kelp noodles are much easier to obtain. Your son is a lucky boy to have a moma like you to spoil him. :) Many blessings, amie sue

  5. kate says:

    what a GREAT tip. i was just thinking that i had better get some Irish moss, to do desserts with, but not wanting to deal with it, and plus, not knowing if it was really that great for us. Then I saw this! Perfect timing, and i had a bag of the noodles in my fridge, to boot!! Can you beat that? And I haven’t bought kelp noodles in a long time, and they just happened to be in my fridge! Thanks so much. K.

    • amie-sue says:

      I always have a bag of kelp noodles floating in my fridge. Even when I think I don’t, I do. hehe Enjoy! amie sue

  6. Wayne says:

    Hello Amie!

    Do you have the cookbook titled Sweet Gratitude A New World of Raw Desserts (Cafe Gratitude)? If so, do you think many of those desserts, particularly cheesecakes, could be easily prepared with kelp noodle paste instead of Irish Moss? Have you tried some of those recipes using kelp noodle paste. I am assuming that the amount needed for a certain recipe would be the same as if you were using Irish Moss. Right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you,

    Wayne

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Wayne,

      I haven’t tried it yet. It’s on my list. :) But like you said, use the same measurement that a recipe calls for. Sorry that it took the better half of the afternoon to respond. Have a great day! amie sue

  7. Lana says:

    Great idea! I hadn’t yet thought about this & have also read conflicting information on the Irish moss I had been using. Thanks & Big hugs!

    • amie-sue says:

      Just nice to have options. Hard to know sometimes as to what is what these days in the health movement. Have a great night Lana :)

  8. Anna Simon says:

    Dear Amie Sue,

    Greetings. As usual, you do an outstanding job. Question: What size bag of kelp noodles did you use in the kelp noodle paste recipe?

    Also, have you seen this short YouTube video on kelp noodles by John Kohler?:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOkFyVYtGTw

    I didn’t know that Irish Moss’ safety was being questioned. I wonder if another sea vegetable like wakame would work as a paste (though it would impart a distinct brown color)?

    Thank you for your zeal, gusto, and sweetness, as exemplified thru your website!

    Sincerely,

    Anna

    • amie-sue says:

      Good evening Anna,

      It is a 12 oz bag. The link in the ingredient list will take you to the one that I used. :)

      I haven’t see the video but I will watch it tomorrow. Getting ready for bed right now. Thanks for sharing the link.

      I am not familiar with wakame but if it adds a color to a recipe, that could be a problem for some of the desserts. I will have to Google wakame. So much to learn, so little time. hehe Night Anna! amie sue

  9. Kendra says:

    Hi Amie-sue, This is great! Hope you will share some simple dessert recipes using the Kelp noodle paste.
    Thanks for all you share-love, love, love your site!
    Kendra

    • amie-sue says:

      I have some in the works Kendra. :) Just been so busy that I haven’t had as much time in the kitchen to experiment! What a shame, hehe

  10. Bernadette says:

    Thank you so much Aime-Sue. I’ve not been successful in obtaining irish Moss in Australia but do use kelp noodles. Just wondering if the kelp noodle paste could substitute for coconut oil in recipes as I really don’t like the flavour and after taste the oil leaves in my mouth? This has stopped me making a lot of recipes. Thanks in advance.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Bernadette,

      No, I don’t think that kelp paste would be a good option for coconut oil replacement. They are totally different ingredients that play different roles in recipes. Coconut oil does help to firm up certain recipes as Irish moss or kelp paste would but coconut oil is also a fat emulsifier which brings recipes together, gives a nice mouth feel, etc. I mentioned before about trying a coconut oil that is more refined as they don’t have the coconut flavor. Have you tried that? Have a great day Bernadette. :) amie sue

  11. Lynda says:

    I was just looking at a package of these in the store the other day wondering what I would do with it. :-) Well now I know.

  12. Holly says:

    Hi there- I want to make your French Garden Bread. Have you given measurements any where to sub the irish moss for the kelp noodle paste? Will that work in all recipes to sub kelp paste for irish moss?
    Your site is wonderful, btw. Thank you :-)!

    • amie-sue says:

      HI Holly,

      You can use the same amount of kelp paste as what is called for with the Irish moss in this recipe. I haven’t tried the kelp in all of my recipes where I have used the Irish moss but I am hoping that we can! Thank you for your sweet words, many blessings. night :)

  13. Holly says:

    Hi Amie Sue,

    I will let you know the results. I will experiment with the bread recipes ( after this juice fast, lol) . Thank you for your response.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good luck on your juice fast Holly. I don’t know about you but when I do cleanses/fasts, I tend to dream up recipes and create them on paper during that time. Not sure why. hehe Many blessings! amie sue

  14. Georgette says:

    Amie Sue, You are GENIUS!!! I have not ordered Irish Moss since all of this bad press. I have the same philosophy that you put so eloquently, “When in doubt, leave it out.” Who would have thought kelp noodles?? You!! I can’t wait to try this. You are simply the best. Thanks for this awesome website. You set the bar very high my dear friend.:) Miss you both.

    • amie-sue says:

      Awe, Georgette, you are always so darn sweet. hehe I am so thankful that our paths crossed. If you ever end up near OR… please let me know. Talk to you soon, amie sue

  15. Great post! I was just looking for substitutes as I am hosting a dinner soon and cannot get irish moss anywhere it seems. It makes total sense to simply use a similar algae and work it the same way as one would with the moss. Thanks so much for writing this up and giving me the lightbulb moment :)

  16. Enoch says:

    In terms of Irish Moss issues, isn’t the tested ingredient the extracted, heated form of Irish Moss?

    • amie-sue says:

      Raw Kelp Noodles:
      Raw kelp noodles are made from kelp that has been stripped of its outer skin leaving a clear, thin interior. Then preserved in sodium alginate, a natural salt (sodium salt extracted from a brown seaweed).

      Irish Moss:
      Chondrus crispus — commonly called Irish moss or carrageen moss (Irish carraigín, “little rock”) — is a species of red algae which grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coast of Europe and North America. In its fresh condition this protist is soft and cartilaginous, varying in color from a greenish-yellow, through red, to a dark purple or purplish-brown.

      From what I have read so far, they differ. There is a lot of controversy on the web regarding Irish moss… there are those that stand by and those that oppose it. Hard to make heads or tales of it. In the meantime if either of these product concern you…I encourage you to do your own research on these ingredients. I wish I had better answers… but I can’t find solid info to make any claims.

      Have a great evening, amie sue

  17. Jan says:

    You website is so educational and fun! I like kelp noodles because it contains iodine and now learning it’s a thickener is so exciting. Does soaking them to remove any odor remove the iodine too?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Jan,

      Yes, I find that soaking them helps to neutralize the “sea” smell. :) I am thrilled that you are enjoying my site. Have a wonderful day, amie sue

  18. Linda St Angelo says:

    Amie Sue,

    First off, so excited by the kelp noodle paste. Sounds easier than dealing with Irish moss anyway. I about split my gut laughing at your worm story~~AAAGH invasion of the kelp noodle worms~~how dare they! And to boot getting on the computer. Must have been a nice warm place for the noodle to hang out. I am still chuckling.

    • amie-sue says:

      I still giggle about it myself to this very day… but at the time… eeeew, not so funny! well until I figured out what it was. lol

  19. Jet says:

    Thank you for the post. I guess in addition to the health research, a great part about this is the cost. A 16 oz bag of Irish Moss can cost about $17 and higher while a bag of Kelp Noodles can run you about $6 for the same amount (here in the Midwest).

    As mentioned, in addition to the healthy part, that’s like gold for me.

  20. Gayle says:

    I used Kelp noodles in “Sweet Gratitude’s” coconut meringue instead of the Irish Moss and it worked really well. Thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Awesome Gayle. Thank you for letting me know! Comments like these really help “us”… :) Your amazing. Have a gloriously, wonderful and spectacular day! amie sue

  21. mayeli says:

    I can use agar agar?

  22. Anna says:

    Excited to try your bread recipe replacing Irish moss with kelp noodles/ paste. ThIs might be a dumb question but while I await the noodles to arrive via mail, could I soak kelp granules to make paste instead of the noodles?

    Thanks!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Anna,
      No such thing as a dumb question in my book. :) Kelp granules are a powder and won’t create a gel-like texture such as kelp noodles or Irish moss. Have a wonderful weekend! amie sue

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