The crondo crispo, also known as Irish moss, is a red alga that grows in the Atlantic waters, it is found along the coasts of Ireland, Portugal but also Canada and the United States. It has dense reddish branches and grows on the rocks where there is low water. Irish moss is appreciated in the kitchen for its thickening properties, a bit like agar agar but the result is a softer cream, perfect therefore to be added to soups and sauces. But the properties of this alga certainly do not stop here, in fact, as proven by scientific studies, Irish moss is also beneficial for health. Let's look at this healthy action on the basis of scientific studies.
Irish moss seaweed, properties
Studies (Liu et al, BMC Complement Altern Med., 2015) have observed that Irish moss seaweed helps modulate the immune system. Not only that, it also performs a prebiotic action by promoting the growth of the good bacteria that make up the so-called microbiota, namely the intestinal bacterial flora. A healthy microbiota reflects on the general state of health of the body with a lower risk of infections, but also more energy, less allergies and less overweight. Moreover, the seaweed has also shown an anticancer and antiviral action (Liu et al, Appl Environ Microbiol, 2013). Irish moss also provides mineral salts, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese, but it is also a source of iodine, useful for the functioning of the thyroid and metabolism, it contains proteins and fibers (Circuncisao et al, Mar Drugs, 2018 - Andersen et al, J Med Food, 2019). Finally, extracts of this seaweed have also shown a neuroprotective effect with a possible, although still to be studied, action aimed to contrasting neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson (Liu et al, Mar Drugs, 2015).
Irish moss seaweed, how to take it
You can find seaweed powder, to be added to smoothies, sauces or soups. The seaweed should be added to the liquid to be thickened and heated on the fire for a few minutes. Once the pan is removed from the heat, the contents will thicken gradually during the cooling phase. A pinch of powder can also be added to a cup of milk to be heated on the fire and drunk as healthy drink, perhaps sweetened with a teaspoon of honey.
Irish moss pudding is a recipe that comes from afar. In an old American recipe book dated back 1903, the indications for preparing this pudding appear. In a saucepan, pour 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 liter of milk. Add 5 grams of seaweed powder and let it simmer until it starts to thicken, continue stirring. Pour into bowls, serve both hot and cold.