Spirulina, referred to also as blue-green algae, grows in both fresh and salt water around the world and alongside chlorella, is the most talked about ingredient. It is considered a superfood as it is nutrient packed and is linked to many health benefits. It has a very high content of macro and micronutrients, essential amino acids, proteins, lipids, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants (source 1).
In this table you can see what a single teaspoon or 2 grams of dried powder of spirulina offers. This is based on FoodData Central from the U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE.
Interestingly, the quality of the protein in spirulina is considered excellent as it provides all the essential amino acids that we need, making it a great source of plant-based protein. Spirulina is considered as a complete food supplement to fight against malnutritional deficiencies in developing countries (source 2).
In spite of its nutrient value, it is popular for its therapeutic effects that include:
reduction of cholesterol and weight management. A 2016 study showed that people who were overweight and ate spirulina for 3 months improved body index or BMI, and
enhanced immune system and protection from radiation (source 3).
There are claims that it can boost energy but more studies are needed to prove this.
Spirulina is available in two forms usually, in powder and tablet form. Spirulina tablets are much easier to consume as supplements. The powder form has a distinctive, a very grassy flavour and smell, which makes it harder for some people to consume it.
I had to go through lots of experimentation, friends. So, don’t worry, I will share some great ways you can include this superfood in your diet.
Spirulina in its powder form can be a great ingredient for literally anything you can think of. Example, you can use it as an ingredient in cakes and cupcakes, chia puddings, smoothies, soups, energy balls and raw desserts, even omelettes.
There are other ways too and I am sharing those with you! So, today we are making the following with spirulina:
SPIRULINA SHOT or WELLNESS SHOT
What is a wellness shot? In my opinion, it should be a nutrient dense compact liquid or something in a solid form that you can mix in your water, in your smoothies, in your meals to provide you with additional macro - and micronutrients to support your health and immune system.
Ingredients & Directions
1 tsp of spirulina
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 TBSP of honey
juice from 1 lemon
Combine all the ingredients with an electric hand whisk and use a tsp or a tbsp every day in your warm water, in your smoothies or your porridge.
The reason that I don’t have a dosage is that everyone is so different and we have different levels of what we can stand. So experiment what the dosage works for you.
I usually have a tsp of this shot with warm water. You should focus to find what works for you so you can take advantage of the benefits of this ingredient as much as possible.
SPIRULINA ICE CUBES
These are basically ice cubes that contain a bit of spirulina, lemon juice and water.
Ingredients & Directions
I usually use an ice cube tray that fits 14 cubes.
I mix 1 tsp of spirulina with a juice from 1 lemon and add a bit of water to ensure all cubes have the juice in them.
Then save it in the freezer and once a day, either in the morning or in the afternoon will drink a glass of water with one of the cubes.
Dr Oz's Energy Cube recipe
1 tsp of spirulina mixed with 12 oz or 355 ml of lime juice. Freeze in ice cube tray. He recommends drinking two cubes with your water.
This is a cozy drink, which is great not just as a morning drink but also as a pick me up during the afternoon slump.
You can find the recipe here: Vanilla Spirulina Latte with Maca Powder
These pancakes are gluten free and incredibly soft and fluffy.
You can find the recipe here: Spirulina Pancakes