Irish Moss: a Plant-Based Secret Weapon

Chances are, you have encountered Irish Moss before. You may even consume it daily! But what is Irish Moss? Sea moss, also known as Irish moss, red algae, Chondrus crispus is a type of seaweed that grows in the oceans all over the world.  It is used as a thickening and binding agent in food products such as Pudding, Cream Pie, Meringue, and smoothies, as well as skin creams, gels, shampoos, and as a skin softener. Irish Moss is also revered for its numerous health benefits and it’s excellent source of nutrients.

Health Benefits

Irish Moss provides benefit to a wide range of your body’s needs, from thyroid support to digestive health.

Thyroid Support

irish moss 2

DI-Iodothyronine (DIT), what T3 breaks down into, is found in abundance in brown sea moss and for this reason, it has been used as a treatment for thyroid disorders. Thyroxin (T4) and Tri-iodothyronine (T3) have been found as the main organically bound iodine compounds in several seaweeds.

Irish Moss has a high concentration of iodine and selenium: both crucial factors in thyroid hormone production.

Immune Support

Irish Moss is a source of potassium chloride, a nutrient which helps to dissolve catarrhs (inflammation and phlegm in the mucous membranes), which cause congestion. It contains compounds which act as a natural antimicrobial and antiviral agents, helping to boost immunity and get rid of infections.

Irish Moss also has an abundance of antioxidants, Vitamin C, and amino acids, which boosts your immune health and prevents cellular damage.

Mental Health

Irish Moss packs a ton of potassium, which is a vital nutrient for mental and emotional health. High-potassium foods are proven to be helpful for fibromyalgia, moodiness, agitation, depression and anxiety disorders, and can improve behaviour and mental functioning.

Vitamin B vitamins are also found in Irish Moss, which are known for reducing stress and aiding the nervous system.

Digestive and Skin Health

Irish Moss  has a mucilaginous consistency, meaning it can help act as a soothing and healing agent to all mucous membranes (great for external skin health and for boosting collagen and internal digestive tract health).

How to Use Irish Moss

Irish Moss can be used in many different recipes, especially as a Vegan stand-in for recipes requiring eggs or gelatin. It has a strong sea-flavour, so use it in small amounts while you get the hang of using it! Here are some standard uses:

  • Ice Cream
  • Pudding
  • Cream pie
  • Meringue
  • Whipped cream
  • Salad dressing
  • Smoothies
  • Sauces
  • Blended soups
  • Nut cheeses

Where to Purchase Irish Moss

You can purchase our wild harvested Irish Moss directly from Upaya Naturals in 8oz or 5lb!


Picnic Fare

Picnic Fare!
Matt Amsden’s fabulous book entitled Rawvolution contains any
number of
terrific recipes that we’ve gone back to time and time again over the
last decade ….soups, pates, burgers, condiments , pizza, chili,
desserts and more…

Matt includes menu ideas for various
special occasions including
picnics. The following recipes are among our favorites. I hope you
enjoy them as much as we do!

A hearty
sunflower pâté with diced celery, scallions, dried dill, and dulse in a
creamy nut-based mayo.
For the salad:
– 3 cups of pre-soaked (2 to 4 hours) sunflower seeds, ground
– 3 to 4 celery stalks, diced ½ bunch green onions, diced
– 2 tablespoons dulse flakes
– 4 tablespoons dried dill
For the
– 1 ½ cups Thai coconut water
– 6 garlic cloves
– 1 cup fresh lemon juice
– 1 tablespoon sea salt
– 2 ½ cups raw macadamia nuts, cashews, pine nuts, or
– ½ cup stone ground mustard
1. In a large
mixing bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and toss to
thoroughly mix.
2. In a high-speed blender, combine all of
the dressing ingredients and thoroughly blend. Pour the dressing over
the salad, toss to mix well, and serve. Serving suggestions: Serve as
is, on a green salad, between 2 pieces of Onion Bread with stone-ground
mustard, or in a collard green or romaine lettuce leaf as a wrap.
Variations: For Mock Chicken
Salad, replace the dulse flakes and dried dill with 2
tablespoons each of dried thyme, oregano and sage.


1/2 TRAYS A delicious, soft flat bread that you won’t believe is made
using only five ingredients.
– 1 large
yellow onion
– 2 cups ground flax
– 2 cups ground sunflower seeds
– 3/4 cup wheat-free tamari
– 3/4 cups olive oil
1. Peel and halve the
onions. In a food processor, cut the onions using the slicing blade.
Transfer the cut onions to a
mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients, and mix until the
ingredients are thoroughly combined.
2. Evenly
spread 1 ½ cup of the mixture on a dehydrator tray with a Teflex sheet.
Dehydrateat 115° for 36 hours, removing the Teflex sheet after the
first 24 hours. Once dehydrated, cut into 9 equal pieces (2 cuts
horizontally; 2 cuts vertically).

A vibrant
yellow macadamia cream salad with diced celery, scallions and red bell
– ½ cup pure water ½ cup fresh lemon juice
– ½ tablespoon turmeric
– 2 cloves garlic, peeled
– ½ tablespoon sea salt
– 1 ½ cups raw cashews
– ⅓ cup chopped green onions
– ⅓ cup chopped celery
– ⅓ cup chopped red bell pepper
1. In a blender,
combine the water, lemon juice, turmeric, garlic, sea salt, and
macadamia nuts and blend until smooth.
2. In a mixing
bowl, combine the contents of the blender with the green onions, celery
and bell peppers, mix well and serve.

Kernels of
fresh summer sweet corn cut from the cob and tossed with diced celery
and scallions in a creamy sauce.
For the salad:
– 3 cups fresh corn, cut from the cob – 1 cup roughly chopped celery
– 1 cups green onion
– 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
For the
– 1/2 cup Thai coconut water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
– 3 Tablespoons olive oil
– 1/2 Tablespoon salt
– 1 Tablespoon curry powder
– 1/4 cup raw cashews
1. In a mixing
bowl, combine all of the salad ingredients and toss to mix thoroughly.
2. In a blender, combine all of the dressing ingredients
and blend until smooth. Pour over the salad, toss well to mix the
dressing with the greens, and serve.

Visit us at Upaya Naturals for more recipe books,
organic spices, nuts, seeds and other ingredients to make your healthy

Zucchini Rolls – Recipe Week!

Zucchini Rolls


10 Medium zucchinis make 25 rolls. Cut 30 slices of zucchini with a mandolin, rub with salt to draw out the water, pat dry and set aside.  Lay 3 strips of zucchini side by side and overlapping, place a scoop of garden pate, roll and top with red pepper sauce.


Blend (smooth) or place in food processor (crunchy)

– 1 ½ cups Almonds or cashews

– ½ cup Sunflower Seeds

– ¼ cup Lemon Juice

– ¼ cup Olive Oil

Fold in:

– 1 bunch Fresh Basil

– 2 cups Mixed Vegetables (small chunks) like broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, jicama, red bell pepper etc… (Fold into the mix).

– 3 Tbsp Fresh Dill

– 1 tsp Salt (Either: Sea,Pink,Himalayan,Raw,Grey)

– ½ tsp Pepper


PEPPER SAUCE: Blend all ingredients in a blender until sauce like consistency is achieved.

-2 Red, Orange or Yellow Bell Peppers

-½ cup Lemon Juice

-2 cups Coconut Flakes

-1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika

-¼ tsp Cayenne

-1 tsp White Pepper

-1 tsp Salt

Stevia (optional for sweeter sauce)

-¼ cup Olive Oil

-Enough water to create sauce like consistency. Approx:  ½ a cup.

Source: Tree of Live Rejuvenation Center

Cilantro Pesto for Natural Mercury Detox

How to make cilantro pesto for a natural mercury detox

Almost everyone has been exposed to mercury and other heavy metals. Just some of the sources of exposure include air pollution, nonstick cookware, cosmetics, vaccines, dental
amalgam fillings, cigarette smoke, conventional household cleaning products, and contaminated food products.Cilantro (aka coriander or Chinese parsley) has been shown to bond with mercury and other metals and help remove them from the body. Even better effects have been shown when cilantro is used in conjunction with chlorella.

Here is a safe, tasty, DIY pesto recipe which can help eliminate heavy metals from your body.

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup Brazil nuts*
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds*
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds*
  • 2 cups packed, fresh, organic cilantro (aka coriander, Chinese parsley)
  • 2/3 cup flaxseed oil*
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tsp chlorella powder* or dulse powder* (optional)
  • High quality salt to taste (i.e. Himalayan or sea salt*)
  1. Process the cilantro and flaxseed oil in a blender* until the coriander is chopped.
  2. Add the garlic, nuts, seeds, dulse or chlorella powder, and lemon juice and mix until the mixture is finely blended into a paste.
  3. Add a pinch to sea salt to taste and blend again.
  4. Store in dark glass jars if possible. Keep refrigerated
  5. Hint: Cilantro freezes well, so it can purchased when in season and frozen until needed.
Recommended usage:
For detoxification purposes, use 2 teaspoons of cilantro pesto daily for three weeks. Pesto is delicious on grilled or steamed vegetables, pasta, sandwiches, salads, and more.
*available at Upaya Naturals

Raw Vegan Biscotti -Recipe Week!


It’s recipe week here at Upaya Naturals and being the food lovers we are, here is a delicious (and nutritious) recipe for Biscotti – raw vegan style! The recipe here is separated into phases of glycemic-index with Phase 1 being the lowest glycemic level.

  • 3 cups of nut/seed pulp
  • 1/2 cup Chia* Porridge
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil*
  • 1/4 cup Sweet-E Powder*
  • 1/2 cup walnuts* or pecans*, chopped
  • 8 drops Vanilla Stevia*
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon*
  • pinch of sea salt* or pink salt*

Roll into a flattened loaf and slice 1-inch thick. Dehydrate* at 115° F for 24 hours or until totally dry.

Optional: Chocolate Dip

  • 1 cup melted coconut oil*
  • 2-3 Tbsp Cacao* (or to taste)
  • 1 dropper Stevia* (or to taste)

*available at Upaya Naturals

~Recipe courtesy of The Tree of Life Café in AZ

Apple Pear Crumble

This wonderfully delicious treat is a special recipe from Cynthia, a Cafe apprentice from the Tree Of Life, Arizona. She has mastered the right balance of texture and sweetness that will satisfy anyone’s taste buds. A few ingredients and easy preparation make this recipe a keeper!



  • 2 cups soaked raisins
  • 3 cups soaked, dehydrated almonds
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon Pumpkin Spice to taste
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • Dash of salt

Add above ingredients to food processor and blend. Press half of mixture into a 8 x 11 pan.

Optional: To created varied texture, chop 1 cup soaked, dehydrated pecans and add to remaining nut/spice mixture.

Cut 5 apples and 5 pear into slices (soak in lemon water to retain color if using the next day).  Layer fruit and nut/spice mixture. Continue until all layers are finished. Top with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

  • 2 peeled zucchini
  • 3 cups cashews
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 dropper vanilla stevia

Blend above ingredients in food processor and add to top of dessert when serving.

Save Money by Making Your Own Dehydrated Food

Whether the economy is on an upswing, a downswing, or a steady side-to-side swing, there is never a good time to waste money.Yet the average American family wastes thousands of dollars a year on food they toss, because they let it sit on a shelf, in a freezer or a refrigerator for too long.

How much is lost? Recent studies say that the average American wastes 20 pounds of food a month, amounting to $1,350 to $2,275 annually for a family of four, according to CNN by way of the National Resources Defense Council.What could you do with that money? Take a vacation? Add it to a college fund? Save it for retirement? Anything would be better than throwing that money away.

You could head to the market every day, and only buy what you will use in 24 hours. But that sort of plan requires a lot of time and planning — and takes a toll on your gas budget. It also prevents you from taking advantages of sales and buying in bulk to save money.

This is why many people turn to food dehydrators. You can buy as much produce or meat as you’d like, and preserve it for months or even years to come. This means fewer trips to the market, and the ability to stock up on items when they are on sale, while consuming them at your own convenience.

You might think it would be easier to buy food that is already dehydrated and simply store it yourself. However, what did that food look like before it was dehydrated? How fresh was it? What kind of quality are you buying? Also, how was the food stored? What was done to ensure that it stays free from bacteria and away from sunlight, to reduce contamination and nutrient leakage?

When you make dehydrated food yourself, you know what sort of food you are getting and preserving. You know if it’s been kept free of moisture, oxygen and sunlight — probably because you sealed it in a high-quality mylar bag yourself. More importantly, you know you aren’t using any sort or preservatives that would affect the nutrition of the food and your overall well-being.

You also save a ton of money. When you buy already dehydrated food, you are paying for the fact that someone else bought food, used a dehydrator and paid workers — who probably have health insurance and other benefits. After all, every business needs to make a profit, and this every bag of dehydrated food you buy comes with a percentage of these costs as well as someone else’s profit.

When you do it yourself, when you cut out the middleman, you control the cost and your savings increase with each use. If you truly want to cut down on wasted food and save money, you can’t not have dehydrator in your kitchen.

Excalibur Food Dehydrators are available at

Blog By Excalibur Food Dehydrators

Easy Holiday Raw Vegan Recipes!

‘Tis the season to get creative in the kitchen! Some people have a hard time trying to find a way to incorporate their vegan lifestyle with holiday baking… Well, we have taken a look and some really amazing Raw, Vegan, Holiday recipes and we have chosen a few of our favorites to share with you! Take a look at some of these really great holiday recipes that are so simple for you to try at home!

Hot Chocolate Mix!


Who doesn’t love a cup of hot chocolate after a day out in the snow or after doing some holiday shopping? This hot chocolate mix is so incredibly simple and is so much fun to make! Make a couple jars for you and your family and even share some as gifts!


2 cups raw cacao powder

1 3/4 cup vegan coconut sugar

Seeds of 1 vanilla bean

1/4 teaspoon sea salt or Himalayan pink salt


  1. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. For gifting, scoop mixture into individual jars and store for up to three weeks in a cool, dry place.
  2. Serving instructions: Add 2 tablespoons of hot chocolate mix to a cup of raw almond milk, whisk together, and heat till warm. You can add a little extra mix to make the hot cocoa more intense. Enjoy! Makes 3 3/4 cups.

Easy, Raw Apple Crumble

Here’s a treat your family and friends will LOVE! You can always go RIGHT with healthy fruit crumble!

Raw Crumble Topping
1 cup walnuts
1/2 cup pitted, packed dates
1/3 cup ground raw oat groats
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla bean powder
Pinch of sea salt
In a food processor, grind all ingredients together into a crumbly, yet moist texture.
If you want the mixture to press together a bit better, add 1-2 teaspoons of water.
Evenly spread the crumble over the filling.
 Apple Filling
6 large apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Splash of lemon juice
Pinch of sea salt
In a food processor pulse 4 of the apples into small chunks and transfer to a mixing bowl.
Process the remaining 2 apples with the dates, cinnamon and salt, until smooth (like applesauce).
Mix both together and spread into the bottom of a 9×9″ pan. Sprinkle the crumble on top.
*For a parfait like the photo above, simply layer the filing and crumble.
Raw Vegan Spinach Manicotti


There are ways to mimic spaghetti, lasagna, ravioli, pizza, you name it—all using veggies, nuts and seeds.  This manicotti is an impressive gluten-free and vegan dish that is a great way to introduce newbies to raw food.  This makes quite a bit, so share the raw food love with family & friends!
For the Noodles:
4 medium zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
For the Spinach & Sunflower Cheese Filling:
2 cups of sunflower seeds
½ cup water
½ cup lemon juice
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
8 cups spinach
½ cup parsley
1½ tablespoons Italian Seasoning
For the Herb Tomato Sauce:
3 cups of sundried tomatoes, measured after soaking (3-4 hours)
1 cup water
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ cup cold-pressed olive oil
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon basil
2 teaspoons rosemary
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon fennel seed
½-1 teaspoon salt, only if your sun-dried tomatoes are unsalted
2 tablespoons hemp seed, for garnish, if desired


Advanced Prep

  1. Soak 2 cups of sunflower seeds in pure water for 4-6 hours.  Drain and rinse.
  2. In a separate bowl, soak 2 cups of sundried tomatoes in pure water for 4 hours or longer.  Drain

For the Noodles

  1. Cut off both ends of each zucchini.  Using a mandoline, slice the zucchini the long way so that you have long, wide noodles.  If a mandoline is not available, use a knife, cutting as thinly as possible.
  2. Place in a bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss very gently.

For the Spinach & Sunflower Cheese Filling

  1. In a high-speed blender, combine sunflower seeds, water, lemon, garlic and salt.
  2. Blend well until smooth.  Scrape into a large bowl.
  3. In a food processor, process the spinach and parsley in batches until chopped but not puréed.  Alternately, chop finely by hand.  Pour into the bowl with the sunflower cheese.
  4. Add Italian seasoning and mix well.

For the Herby Tomato Sauce

  1. To assemble, arrange 4 zucchini noodles horizontally on a cutting board, slightly overlapping one over the next by about ½”.
  2. Place ¼ cup of the spinach & sunflower cheese filling in the center and spread so that it covers the front to the back and about 1” in width.
  3. Roll the zucchini from left to right to create a filled manicotti.
  4. Place two manicotti on a plate and top with ¼ cup of tomato sauce.
  5. Garnish with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of hemp seeds and/or Italian seasoning.

Now… after looking at all these wonderful creations, ask yourself “Is being vegan really that hard?” It actually looks pretty simple…and delicious! Common’, apple crumble… manicotti…YUM! Give it a try…. we want to see what Raw, Vegan Holiday creations that you come up with! Whip up your favorite holiday treats, take a photo and then tweet them using the hash tag #upayaveganholidaytreats. We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Holiday Nog – an absolute favourite for family and friends.

Holiday Nog

Perfect for the holidays, this rich and frothy blend of nuts will be an absolute favorite for family and friends.



2 C. Almonds*

1 C. Pine Nuts*

3 Medjool Dates*

1/2 tsp Cinnamon*

1/2 tsp Nutmeg*

1 Tbsp Vanilla*


First you will need to make your two separate batches of nut milk.

Combine 2 cups of almonds with 2 cups of water, blend and strain through a nut bag.

Next combine 1 cup of pine nuts with 1 cup water, blend and strain through a nut bag.

Combine both nut milks in a blender, add 3 Medjool Dates, 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, 1/2 tsp Nutmeg, and 1 Tbsp Vanilla.

Blend and serve!

Note: This is a thicker and richer  recipe than our regular nut milk, you can use stevia  in place of the dates if you want a sugar free recipe.

*ingredients available at

Thanks to the Kitchen Crew at Hippocrates Health Institute for this fabulous recipe.