Now that you have heard of spirulina and its plethora of health benefits, how do you actually use it? Considering that it’s a powerhouse of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, you’re probably thinking about integrating it into your diet.
Before getting started, here are a few things about this superfood that you should know so that you can get the most out of its amazing health benefits.
What Is Spirulina?
Considered a superfood, spirulina is a freshwater plant-based protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s a blue-green microalgae that’s harvested, dried and processed into a vibrant green dietary powder.
Higher in protein than most meat, poultry and seafood, spirulina is considered a powerhouse of a supplement because of its full spectrum of nutrients.
How Do I Use Spirulina?
Among its myriad health benefits, spirulina is also an easy powder to utilize in many recipes. A great way to get started using spirulina is to incorporate it in some simple food items that you already enjoy.
Smoothies and smoothie bowls are an easy place to start. If you’re already a fan of green smoothies, spirulina is just one more ingredient to add, but one that turbochargers your already healthy beverage.
However, there are a few things to consider before dumping a scoop of this nutrient dense powder in your smoothie.
What Does It Taste Like?
Because it’s grown and harvested from water sources like lakes, ponds, and rivers, there’s a definite aroma and taste to spirulina that will alert you to that fact. To say that it’s an acquired taste would be accurate. That’s why smoothies are a great starting place to introduce your taste buds to this nutritional powerhouse of a powder.
The delicious ingredients included in this spirulina smoothie recipe help to obscure the taste of the blue-green algae. In fact, you probably won’t even notice that it’s there. The only give away will be its vibrant green color.
If the taste of the classic blue-green spirulina seems like it might be too off-putting, you may want to consider blue spirulina powder, which has had the odor and taste removed, as well as the extraction of the algae’s green pigment. This has no effect on the nutrient quality. The only difference will be that your smoothie will be a shockingly blue color.
How Much Do I Use?
With most new ingredients, moderation is suggested, and with spirulina, it’s highly recommended. You’ll want to go easy on your digestive system, as well as your taste buds when you first try spirulina, so no more than a teaspoon of it is recommended. If you’re unsure, use even less and work up to a teaspoon.
How To Make A Spirulina Smoothie
Here’s an easy and delicious spirulina smoothie recipe that you can blend in just a few minutes. It’s perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or pre- and post-workout boosts.
- 3/4 cup coconut or almond milk
- 1 frozen banana, in chunks
- 1/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon spirulina powder
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend until desired consistency is reached. For a thicker smoothie, add more frozen banana or ice. If too thick, add more coconut or almond milk.
How To Make A Spirulina Smoothie Bowl
Use the same recipe as above but add 1/2 cup yogurt for added thickness. You can also add more frozen bananas for thickness. Blend until your desired consistency is achieved. Pour into a bowl.
The fun comes with the toppings. Add and arrange any of the following on top of your spirulina smoothie for an appetizing delight.
- Sliced banana
- Sliced strawberries
- Fresh blueberries
- Unsweetened coconut flakes
- Chia seeds
Enjoy experimenting with spirulina in your smoothies. It’s a nutrient dense way to inject energy and protein in your beverage or smoothie bowl.
You can also try stirring 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina into cooked oatmeal, in yogurt, or even adding it to your homemade salad dressing. Green goddess, anyone?