How to Prepare Irish Moss & How to Use Irish Moss | #irishmoss #recipe

How to Prepare Irish Moss

How to Prepare Irish Moss & How to Use Irish Moss | #irishmoss #recipe

For the last few years, Irish moss (or sea moss) is something that’s occasionally come up on my radar but that I quickly dismissed because it wasn’t clear to me why I should pay it more than a moment’s attention. It’s certainly not the nicest thing to look at, and the posts I had read didn’t ever go into why I should consume it. Until the CNE program, that is.

Meghan Telpner gets excited about a lot of things, but she gets really excited about Irish moss (how to prepare Irish moss, how to use Irish moss, Irish moss recipes) and it was mentioned in some form in most of our workshops. Of course, her enthusiasm eventually sparked my intrigue and I had to see what this stuff is all about.

As far as why we should eat it, here’s a very high level overview of what I learned: Irish moss is great for thyroid health, it helps us to detox from radiation in our everyday environments (as well as for those healing from cancer radiation treatment), and it can be especially beneficial in healing the digestive lining, like in inflammatory bowel diseases, because of its mucilaginous quality. Mucilaginous was not a word in my regular repertiore until the CNE program and now I find myself using it quite often when I’m talking about things like chia and flax seeds. It’s charming, no?

As far as what it does as an ingredient, Irish moss is a thickening agent, so it can be used to replace things like cornstarch. I’ve heard some people refer to it as “vegan gelatin”, although I’ve yet to try it in a similar application. I personally love adding a bit to nut milks and smoothies because of that mucilaginous quality. It makes an extra thick and creamy beverage and the flavor, once made into a gel and blended into a drink, is not at all detectable to me.

I think it’s important to understand why Irish moss is good for you and why you would want to use it because the smell…oh, the smell! When I first opened the bag, it was like Home Depot’s garden section on steroids. Such a weird thing to say, but I had instant smell memory and not in a good way. It’s earthy and sea-y with a hint of plastic? I’m not sure. If you’ve been in a Home Depot you will know what I’m talking about. This smell lasts throughout the cooking process (which is the method I’m sharing below), but almost completely dissipates once the moss is blended and chilled. Thankfully, I can only smell it faintly when I stick my nose in the jar. Your home though, that will smell like Irish moss for a couple of hours. We were showing our apartment to prospective tenants and I made sure not to make or photograph Irish moss until after they saw our place.

How to Prepare Irish Moss & How to Use Irish Moss | #irishmoss #recipe

When it came time to take photos for this post, I warned Aaron that this stuff was super stinky and not photogenic and gently recommended that maybe our best bet was to try to make it look beachy? I’m not sure he fully heard me on the smelly part, but he got the message loud and clear when it was time to take overhead shots with his face a few feet above the moss. I noted his reactions because they were so entertaining and said with slight panic in his voice:

“Why is this in my house?”

“It feels disgusting.”

“It smells like the plague.”

Now yelling: “Seriously, Amanda! Why is this in my house?!”

(Barley comes running and thinks it’s the best smell ever. He tries to hurl himself on the floor and roll in it.)

Takeaways: It’s hard to make Irish moss look good. It will make your house absolutely stink while you prepare it. Your dogs will love it and your partner will hate it. Once it’s in the jar and chilled, you will (mostly) forget the assault on your nose. You will love what it does to the texture of smoothies, and you will feel badass healthy drinking it. Mucilaginous is fun to say!

Update: Be sure to check out my super creamy Plain and Chocolate Nut Milk recipes using Irish moss gel.

How to Prepare Irish Moss & How to Use Irish Moss | #irishmoss #recipe


How to Prepare Irish Moss

How to Prepare Irish Moss & How to Use Irish Moss | #irishmoss #recipe

How to Prepare Irish Moss

Gluten Free, Vegan,

Serves: 2-3 cups of gel

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 15 mins

Total Time: 25 mins

There are a couple of methods of preparing Irish moss gel, but I like this one because it's quick (no soaking for 24 hours, for instance) and makes the Irish moss really easy to use on a daily basis.

How to Prepare Irish Moss & How to Use Irish Moss | #irishmoss #recipe

How to Prepare Irish Moss



  • 1 cup raw, organic Irish sea moss
  • lots of filtered water
  • 1 glass jar with a lid for storage

Cuisine: Gluten Free, Vegan Servings: 2-3 cups of gel

Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 15 mins Total Time: 25 mins

There are a couple of methods of preparing Irish moss gel, but I like this one because it's quick (no soaking for 24 hours, for instance) and makes the Irish moss really easy to use on a daily basis.


  • Add 1 cup of Irish moss to a large mixing bowl full of water. Allow it to soak for 10 minutes, then lift it out of the water so that the sand stays at the bottom of the bowl. You will likely need to change the water a few times to remove all of the sand.
  • Transfer the rinsed Irish moss to a medium saucepan filled with water. Bring it to a low boil over medium heat, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 12-15 minutes or until soft. Remove it from the heat and strain out the water, reserving the water for blending.
  • Transfer the Irish moss to a blender and add enough of the now-thickened water from the saucepan to reach the 2-3 cup measurement in your blender (depending on how thick you want the gel). Blend it on high until smooth to make a gel. Make sure you allow steam to escape to avoid a blender mishap.
  • Pour the gel into a glass jar and let it cool on the counter until room temperature, then cover it and store it in the fridge. It will continue to thicken as it gets colder.


Irish moss gel can be stored for 2-3 weeks in a sealed container in the fridge.

Copyright © 2021 Amanda Maguire for Pickles & Honey

Leave a Comment

  1. erinwyso says

    Interesting! I bought a bag of this stuff a couple of years ago and never could get it to gel. I could only get it to puree into crumbly bits, which were not gelatinous at all. And I agree with you on the smell — it stunk our house up for days! But your post made me want to try it out again. Our stove is near a window, so the stinky factor should be less of an issue …

    1. Amanda says

      Having a window nearby is key! haha I’d definitely try again, because it does lend a really nice texture to nut milks and smoothies. And given your fancy kitchen skills, I’m betting you can do a whole lot more with it.

      1. Andrea says

        How much of the gel should you put in the smoothie?

      2. Amanda says

        Assuming you’re making a smoothie for one person, I would add about a teaspoon. 🙂

      3. Farah says

        I buy dried sea moss, soak in water, wash with lime juice, then boil until it becomes soft

  2. i have never heard of this…im curious now.

  3. Marianne says

    I use it in smoothies and sometimes in homemade nut milks. I learned about it from Meghan too. Mine actually doesn’t smell too bad. I love it and want to find some more ways to use it.

    1. Amanda says

      Meghan’s putting Irish moss on the map! 😉 I’m also curious to find other uses for it. I have a couple in mind that I need to test out, and if they work, I’ll share them!

      1. Amy says

        I have a bag of powdered Irish Moss. Do you have any experience with creating gel from the powder? I’m looking for a good recipe. Thank you!

      2. Hi Amy, I’ve only ever used the type of Irish Moss shown in the recipe photos.

    2. ana says

      won’t it loose it’s nutrients by boiling it ?

      1. Amanda says

        Hi Ana, I’ve never heard of it losing nutrients from boiling. Did you read this somewhere?

  4. J. says

    Hahahahaha, mucilaginous is indeed a charming word and IM does in fact look like something that might smell plague-y.

    1. Amanda says

      Mucilaginous is fun to say, right?! I love dropping it into random conversation. I crack myself up.

  5. You know, I have been wanting to try Irish moss ever since I discovered Meghan Telpner’s blog since I suffer from a lot of inflammatory and digestive problems. I still haven;t though, mostly because of the price tag. Now I really want to! Except I just moved into a basement apartment….maybe not ideal for the smell? Haha hope my roommate can handle it!

    1. Amanda says

      Yeah, the price is steep, but I’m thinking my 1 pound bag will last a really long time. Maybe make your roommate a yummy (Irish moss gel) smoothie as a thank you for tolerating the smell? 😉

  6. Tomi says

    If you want to find some great vegan and raw recipes, you should look at the first cookbook from Cafe Gratitude. They use irish moss in quite a few of their recipes. Their food is amazing, and I have been eating there for years. The names of their dishes alone are worth a look. You can find the book on their website, or on Amazon. I do not work for them and get no compensation.

    1. Amanda says

      Thanks for the recommendation! I ate at Cafe Gratitude while I was living in San Francisco–loved it!

  7. Stan says


    I am Polish and I would like to buy Irish moss.
    Please rate and leads, eventually links.
    I would be grateful for addresses to manufacturers.

    Regards Stan.

    1. Amanda says

      Hi Stan, I purchased the Irish Moss on Amazon, but you might try asking at your local health food stores.

  8. Stan says

    Thank you for the information.
    Will definitely visit Amazon.
    Thanks again and good luck in discovering the next natural wonders.

  9. Debi Herron says

    My son’s friend is very health conscious and told me about Irish Moss. It’s in my house now as a staple. I use it in smoothies, soups, egg whites and anything I can think of as a thickening agent. I find it in a Chinese or Caribean grocery store for only $1.79 for a 2 oz bag. Really inexpensive. Just thought I’d share the cost as your post says its expensive.

    1. Thanks for sharing, Debi! That’s helpful to know. I’ve only ever bought Irish moss on Amazon, and it was rather pricey (although a little goes a long way).

      1. Susan Milici says

        I ordered mine from a business called Miami Fruit based in FL. They also sell interesting tropical fruits. I don’t know if I’m supposed to put this information on your site. If not, I apologize. (I’m not a big supporter of Amazon.)

      2. Amanda says

        Thank you, Susan! That’s helpful to know. (Amazon takes more than enough of our money.)

  10. Cheryl says

    Hi, just thought I’d let you know I use Irish Moss for my dog with heart failure and for my cats to help them bring up mucus when anyone has the flu. It works wonders and is very gentle on their systems.

    1. Thanks for leaving a comment, Cheryl! That’s really cool that you’re able to use Irish moss for your dog and cats. I love knowing that there are natural alternatives for our furry friends (as well as us). 🙂

  11. TL says

    I just purchased a one pound bag of raw wild harvested Irish Moss. I soaked all of it! The instructions told me to do so. I wish I had googled this first. So now I have a HUGE bowl of soaked, clean moss and am not sure what to do with it all. How should I prepare it so it will last? Have I ruined it by soaking all of it? Can I dehydrate it after it’s been soaked? Is it ok to eat raw on salads? Can I use it in soups unblended kind of how tripe is in pho? The bag says Enjoy by 11/2019. Is that only if I had left it unsoaked? Please advise.

    1. Malikah says

      U can prep and freeze portion of your gel.

    2. Dee says

      You can also use the gel on your skin and on your hair as a leave in conditioner it’s amazing

  12. Elisa says


    I was recently diagnosed with dysphagia and I’m looking at different food thickeners. Irish sea moss sounds like it would be really great. I’m also a big coffee drinker and I’d like to know if anyone has used this to thicken coffee.

    1. Glen says

      Hi Elisa,
      I have been using sea moss in my coffee and can tell you it works great for flavour and consistency,

  13. Malikah says

    I use in my hair snd skin from head to toe.

  14. AhmeD says

    I just disregard the smell. Medicine might be bitter but the sooner ingested, the better.

  15. Hi! I really like your healthy recipes! Never heard about it before but never too late to learn something new right 😉 So I can’t wait to try it

  16. Diane Knox says

    If someone could help me..
    First time trying to make the sea moss gel if not turning gel like, only separate water and bits sink to the bottom. I used a ninga bullet blender.
    Two days later still not gel.

    1. Amanda says

      Hmmm, I haven’t had this happen, and I use a Vitamix blender but I would think a Ninja Bullet blender should work. Are you following the recipe exactly (rinsing, bringing to a boil, then simmering until very soft?)? It sounds like you may need to simmer it for longer because it should blend pretty seamlessly. I would also check the expiration on your sea moss…perhaps it’s old?

  17. MARY LOPEZ says

    Can I just take a teaspoon of it? Or do I have to mix it

    1. Amanda says

      Do you mean consume a teaspoon straight? I suppose you could do that…

  18. Ahmad says

    It is a great and helpful Article.

  19. Rashida Edwards says

    When soaking it, add lime slices to eliminate the smell. Remove them before blending.

    1. Amanda says

      Thank you for the pro tip, Rashida! I’ll have to give that a try.

  20. Barbara says

    Wash the sand off cold water,then soak it in lots of lime juice over nite, then boil it slowly till it becomes soft 15to 205 mins. Where did you get the moss it dose not smell stink. Wash again before boiling

  21. Trina Harwell says

    Can you buy it already prepared somewhere?

  22. Alisha Palmer says

    So it only needs to soak for 10min? Will it swell in that short of a time?

    1. Amanda says

      Yes, soak for 10 minutes and rinse the water a few times to remove any sand/grit, then boil to soften and make the gel. I’ve detailed step-by-step instructions in the recipe.

  23. Barbara says

    So Chondrus crispus is common and widespread along all the coasts of the north Atlantic along North America, northern Europe to the Baltic plus California and Japan. Does everybody always buy their Irish Moss from Amazon or has anyone had any experience gathering and preparing it fresh? As one writer has already said, Amazon gets enough of my money. I just wonder how complicated it is. (I’ll take any excuse to go to the beach.) Is the outcome different if you use the wild stuff? Is it prepared differently?


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