Sea moss is a type of algae. And it has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. It is today touted as a “superfood”. It is usually sold dried and can be found in most health food shops. Or even shops specializing in herbs and spices.
As it grows in the sea, the moss takes on its saltiness. However, it is a very distinct type of saltiness. This is different from the taste of most other kinds of salt. Even standard sea salt. And very different from ordinary table salt.
This is one way of telling real sea moss from fake. Most bunches of real sea moss will not have visible salt on them. And, if the moss tastes like normal salt, then there’s a chance that it might be fake.
What does sea moss taste like?
Sea moss will taste a little salty. But not very salty. It also sometimes has a mild taste similar to seaweed. But this is really only when it’s eaten on its own. When mixed into a smoothie or combined in a dish, the taste will usually be tempered.
Sea moss often absorbs flavor. This is why it is salty. As it has taken on the saltiness of the ocean. But this also means that it can also absorb the flavor of the fruits and vegetables you use in smoothies or juices.
Sea moss can also be used to thicken up soups or desserts. And it cannot be tasted at all in these. So even if the sea moss tastes salty when you first buy it, it will be fine once you mix it into something else.
Why does my sea moss taste salty?
A very faint saltiness is sometimes unavoidable. But if you wash the sea moss thoroughly enough, then it shouldn’t taste salty at all. This is actually a good indicator of when it is ready. You essentially need to wash it until it stops being salty.
When making sea moss gel, it’s a good idea to massage it as you clean it. Place the dried sea moss in a bowl of water. Then thoroughly massage the moss. This will remove the debris and salt trapped in it. If it is still salty after this, you can always wash it again.
Then, place the moss in another bowl of water. Preferably filtered, spring, or alkaline water. And leave it for 12 to 24 hours. The sea moss will absorb the water and expand. It can be used like this. Or it can be made into a gel through blending. Once it has been washed and blended, the salty taste should have disappeared.
How can you tell if sea moss is bad?
Once you have made your sea moss gel, you shouldn’t keep it for longer than 4 weeks. It should be stored in an airtight container. And it can absolutely go bad. After around 4 weeks, the moss will start to go darker than its usual pale gold color. It will also begin to smell. It will take on an almost fishy smell.
Sea moss is dried when sold. So it will be fine until you soak it and turn it into a gel. Just make sure to use it by the date shown on the packaging. Otherwise, it’s only a concern if the gel is left out.
Can you eat expired sea moss gel?
It’s best not to. As with any expired food, it depends on your constitution. And sometimes food past its expiration date is fine to eat.
But this isn’t the case with natural matter, such as sea moss. After a while, sea moss gel will begin to rot. Once sea moss has been harvested, it is essentially dead. Just like with cut flowers or cut herbs. They will be fine for a few weeks. But then begin to disintegrate and rot. As natural matter is supposed to do.
Even if the sea moss gel doesn’t make you ill, it won’t be as effective when expired. It won’t have the same nutrients. And will be a lot less pleasant due to the texture and the smell.
How can you tell fake sea moss?
The best way to spot fake sea moss is by looking for salt grains. If they are very large and visible. Then there’s a good chance that it is fake. “Fake” sea moss is pool grown sea moss. So it is essentially farmed. Rather than wild.
This might not seem like something bad. But it won’t have the same nutritional benefits as wild-crafted sea moss. And it will also very likely have added salt. Which isn’t especially healthy. As sodium is a nutrient which should be consumed in moderation. So it’s worth trying to find the real deal.