nut/seed soaking & Irish moss gel

Although, not too exciting, before I go any further, I must share some raw food basics. Not that I’ll cover everything in this post, but I want to explain some necessities that simplify raw food preparation.

The purpose of soaking nuts/seeds is to remove enzyme inhibitors, which hinder their digestion. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how important it is to soak and dehydrate nuts/seeds along the way rather than right before preparing a recipe. Regardless of what I plan for a particular week, when I get back from grocery shopping, I start soaking things that very night. In my home this commonly consists of sunflower seeds, almonds, buckwheat groats, and oat groats. There are no set rules, but I cannot encourage you enough to get in the habit of soaking and dehydrating nuts and seeds on a regular basis. Raw food recipes can seem like too much work if you notice a recipe that calls for 2 cups almonds which need to soak for 8 hours! If things are pre soaked and dehydrated, you can spontaneously make peach cobbler in 5 minutes. I’m not kidding.

To keep it simple, I generally soak everything overnight. However, each nut/seed is different. Some are all set with only a couple of soaking hours, while others need a couple of days. I will specify in my recipes if I don’t soak something overnight. If you are really set on knowing exact times, there are many guides online that tell how long each nut, seed, grain, and bean needs to soak for.

I used to be so overwhelmed by all the raw food you could order online, and with the price and hassle of ordering, I just didn’t. However, eager to get that tiramisu consistency in the desserts I was making, I eventually ordered Irish moss and have been buying it ever since. Irish moss is a sea vegetable, which means it contains loads of minerals that we can’t get  from food grown in mineral depleted soil.

Soak dry Irish moss 12-24 hours in a glass jar. It does “grow”, so loosely fill a 1 quart mason jar and top the jar off with local spring water. After soaking, gently rinse the moss in cool water to remove sand and other ocean “stuff”. Toss the moss (hehe) into a high speed blender with 2-3x as much water and thoroughly blend. The result is a creamy jelly, and refrigerated it will become a firm gel. I use Irish moss gel in many of my recipes, including bread, so it’s pretty important in my opinion. If you need more direction, watch this how-to video.

Next week: Raspberry and Vanilla Ice Cream Sandwiches.

21 Responses to nut/seed soaking & Irish moss gel

  1. I can attest to the lovely “tiramisu consistency” of Irish moss.

    Soaking is definitely on my list of things to get in the habit of. And beautiful photography, dear! Especially the last one — happy sigh. : )

  2. If I’m able to get to it while it’s still summer, then yes. If not, I’ll do something similar with a fall fruit…apple :D

  3. Mmmm… I can’t say I know a ton about raw cooking, but I’ve been scanning through your recent posts and everything looks AMAZING. Total food love. <3

  4. Hi I just found this blog and was wondering, after you soak the nuts how do you dehydrate them? Do you just dry them on a paper towel?

  5. Hy my dear,
    I have to ask something I’ve been thinking about for a couple of month now! What is meant by oat/buckwheat GROATS? (I’m very confused by the translation, you know, in German)
    Is that the whole grain? As I understood it “groat” means it’s already grinded, but it wouldn’t make much sense to soak/dehydrate that, would it? So my guess was to soak the whole grain, then dehydrate it and then grind that!
    Sorry it’s probably a silly question, but I just had to ask in the hope that you can help me.
    Thank you SO SO much,
    Lots of love
    Daniela

  6. Nope, carrageenan is extracted from seaweeds but is not a seaweed on its own. Just like processed white sugar is very unhealthy, but an actual sugar cane is good for you : ) Fresh Irish moss is a whole food like in the above pictures. It even has sand and other seaweed on it before I rinse it for recipes!

  7. Ok so I don’t know if this is a dumb question or not, but to make irish moss gel, could I use irish moss powder instead of the full moss? Is that still raw?

  8. Maddie: I’ve actually never heard of Irish moss powder. I would only trust it if it’s 100% for sure guaranteed raw, but I’ve yet to see that sold from any trust worthy raw company.

  9. I had seen it in my local health food store, they had said people normally buy it to make beer, but yeah I doubt it is raw. So I’ll just be buying the moss online. Thanks!

  10. A couple of comments that relate…I had some irish moss dried and it didn’t work the same at all. And tasted awful.
    And as for the carrageenan, it is present in the whole irish moss, not as concentrated but still there.

  11. Jan: Thanks for sharing! I try and process the Irish moss into a gel as soon as possible, so it doesn’t go bad and have yet to have bad gel. I know there are probably more precise ways of making the gel and storing it.

  12. hi…i love your site…i want to make a key lime avocado pie…soon…and i have no way of getting irish moss for this pie…is there any thing else that would replace this ingredient…i am making pie for gluten free eaters…please help…thanks nancy…

  13. Nancy: Irish moss is gluten free. Is that your concern? The whole pie is actually gluten free :) I haven’t tried using anything other than Irish moss, but there are other thickeners like carrageenan that I’v heard can be used as a substitute.

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