Sea vegetables are incredibly healthy for us. They’re full of nutrients and have a rich history in medicine and cooking. Also called carrageen moss and Irish moss, sea moss is a type of red algae that grows on the rocky coasts of the Atlantic in both Europe and North America. In terms of nutrition, sea moss is a good source of iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. It is most likely best known through carrageenan, an ingredient that is used as a thickener or stabilizer in commercially sold non-dairy milk and vegan ice creams.
When dry, sea moss is stringy, light brown, or taupe, and covered with salt. A light brown color indicates that it has been harvested in the wild, while a lighter color means that it is farm-grown. Historically, Irish moss has been used in Ireland and Scotland to make a pannacotta-like dessert made from vanilla, cinnamon, and brandy, and it has also been used to make jelly desserts in East Asian cuisine. In Jamaica and Trinidad, Irish moss is boiled and combined with cinnamon and milk to make sea moss, a drink that is believed to be an aphrodisiac.