Can you believe the holidays are here once again? I find that every year, around this time, it hits me all at one that the holiday season is back again.
Along with being excited about the prospect of quality time with friends and family, I am also reminded about how indulgent this time can be. In addition to being a chef, I’m also a DJ, so this time of year marks the beginning of a very frenetic time.
December generally means a great deal of catering and DJ-ing events, where I have been known to eat and drink my fair share of yuletide favorites. So much so, that by the dawn of the New Year my waistline is always little larger.
This year I have devised a plan that will hopefully keep my body feeling good, while still allowing for a little bit of indulgence here and there – this is after all a festive time, and I like celebrating.
I’ve decided that every morning I will start the day with a smoothie; this, however, is not what is going to keep me feeling healthy – oh no. It’s the Irish Moss that these smoothies contain that will do that.
Irish Moss, aka carrageen moss or chondrus crispus, is a species of red algae that grows abundantly along the rocky parts of the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America, and it provides smoothies, soups, homemade nut milks and the like with a creamy texture.
In addition to providing a lovely mouth feel, it’s brimming with protein, iodine, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, B vitamins, pectin and vitamin C. Due to the abundance of sulphur compounds, Irish Moss is an excellent food for detoxification.
This season is notoriously renowned for backing people up when it comes to washroom department – blame all the rich food but not with this stuff – Irish Moss helps the intestines by releasing excess mucous buildup and therefore easing digestion.
Now Irish Moss tastes very much like the ocean, naturally…so there is a little bit of preparation required to make it suitable for use in food, and especially in smoothies.
Rinse. First rinse it under cold water to remove excess sand and debris.
Rinse Again. Then transfer to a bowl, cover with water and rinse with your hands. Drain the water and repeat this process at least three times to ensure it is absolutely clean.
Cover. Place the drained Irish Moss in a container and cover with water, place in the fridge for 24 hours, at which point it will be expanded and gelatinous – this means it’s ready to use. I plan on using 2 tbsp to a ¼ cup for each smoothie, but you’ll find an amount that is best suited to your tastes.
Supercharge your winter smoothies and revitalize your holiday party weary body with Irish Moss!