Spirulina is having a moment.
With this green algae poised to grow even more popular in 2018 and beyond, it’s worth it to take a moment and analyze why it’s such an amazing superfood.
A blue-green algae that grows in salt water and sub-tropical climates, spirulina was used a supplement by the Aztecs of Mexico — which was around the 14th century. Since then, spirulina has remained a potent supplement, used for everything from weight loss, to diabetes, to stress, to anxiety, to even ADHD.
While more research needs to be done into the natural healing properties of spirulina, what’s for certain is that this algae is rich in calcium, magnesium, iron, amino acids, and even protein.
What makes spirulina a great ingredient for smoothies is its relatively mild taste. When you blend it with sweet fruits and leafy greens, you can’t even tell it’s in there!
(One caveat, even though they’re both algae, spirulina is not the same thing as chlorella. While each have amazing health properties, spirulina is usually cheaper (because it’s easier to process), and for some people, easier to digest.)
Smoothie Recipes With Spirulina
Like most of these recipes explain, start with 1 tsp of spirulina in your smoothie, and then slowly work up to 2 tsps or even 1 tbsp. Just know that the more you add – the stronger it will taste!
Spirulina is an algae that grows in the salty waters of subtropical climates and has significant amounts of calcium, iron and magnesium per serving. It’s also been shown to help lower cholesterol. Flaxseed is a great vegan source of Omega-3s and fiber, which is a great combination for athletes. Mix those two superfoods with nature’s VIP, avocado, and the cancer-fighting polyphenols from grapes, and you’ve got a drink that does everything from light detoxing to helping you glow from the inside out. Drinking one of these before heading into the mall for an early shopping trip is like putting a force field around your immune system (something we could all use right about now).
Key Lime Pie
Native to Southeast Asia, key limes are smaller and have a stronger aroma than the typical grocery store lime. Full of collagen-producing vitamin C, key limes add a boost of vitality to both the immune system and the skin. Rich in fiber, key limes are also helpful in regulating blood sugar spikes and easing digestion. Mulberries are full of antioxidants, iron and even a little bit of protein, and spirulina is rich in B vitamins, vitamin D, and copper.
A freshwater algae that’s been a superfood staple forever, spirulina is a potent detoxifier, helping your body get rid of all those less-than-desirable byproducts of a typical Western diet. We’ve combined it with cancer-fighting polyphenols from grapes, healthy protein and Omega-3 fatty acids from both half an avocado and almonds (which means two times the “glow” power for your skin), and vitamin C from lime and collard greens.
Pistachio Cream Pie
Avocado is loaded with potassium and can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Besides being an addictive snack, pistachios provide fiber and healthy fats. Pistachios are filling and full of fiber and can help control weight. Spirulina is rich in Omega-3s and Chlorophyll, and contains more than 20 times the amount of calcium as milk! Banana and vanilla almond milk make this a truly creamy treat.
Green Grape Hydrate
Spirulina is a freshwater blue/green algae that has been studied for its healthy healing properties. In addition to helping lower blood pressure and cholesterol, spirulina has also been studied for its ability to increase the production of antibodies and healthy cells to fight against cancer. Add in some grapes for additional cancer-fighting polyphenols, a pear for fiber, swiss chard for vitamins K, A, and C, and vegan pea protein, and you have a low calorie, high protein meal replacement that will have your immune system buzzing!
Spinach Pineapple Bananza
Spirulina is an algae that grows in salty, subtropical waters. It has a very high concentration of protein, calcium, magnesium and iron per serving, is loaded with antioxidants, and has even been shown to help with muscle fatigue (because of its specific antioxidant compounds). Hemp seeds are a clean source of both protein and fat, bananas are great sources of potassium, and pineapples have more vitamin C than most other fruits. After drinking this smoothie, every little part of you should feel just a little bit healthier!
Apple Carrot Top Wake-Up
Use the whole carrot, bunny! Different parts of the vegetable have different nutrients. Did you know that carrot greens have six times the vitamin C content of the root? Combine super hydrating cucumber and apple with the green power of spirulina. The bright green supplement is rich in calcium and energy-enhancing chlorophyll. The dynamic duo of lime and cilantro blend to keep this smoothie from being too syrupy sweet.
Lemon Ginger Detox
This smoothie is light, refreshing and a potent detoxifier, making it the perfect way to start your morning. Lemon contains citric acid, which aids in both the production of digestive juices and the digestion process. Ginger is also known to aid in this process. Spirulina is high in Chlorophyll, which is known to remove toxins and other pollutants from the body. After sipping on this you'll feel as light as this smoothie tastes!
Almond Honeydew Avocado
This creamy-nutty-sweet-green treat packs in so many nutrients and flavors. After walnuts, almonds have the most omega-3 fatty acids of any nuts. These fatty acids are not naturally produced by the body, and in addition to many other health benefits, give the skin radiance! Coconut water and honeydew are a super-hydrating duo. Avocados contain omega-9, which is yet another skin-smoothing oleic acid. Spirulina boost energy with micronutrients!
The Ultimate Green Smoothie
You want green? We’ll give you green! A micro-algae that grows in both fresh and salt water, spirulina might be one of the world’s healthiest foods. Not only is it bursting with beta-carotene, it’s known as a complete protein, contains all essential amino acids, and is rich in phytonutrients. Combine that with hemp protein, another complete protein that’s also full of healthy fatty acids, and kale (iron and vitamin K), and you’ve got a super duper green drink that not only tastes like a dream, but acts as a nice, soothing hug to your nervous system, digestion, and immune system.
Green Spirulina and Honeydew
Summertime greenery is in full bloom! Taste all the best flavors of the farmers market in a single glass. Zucchini is a versatile classic; from ratatouille to fresh-baked bread, it fits in anywhere. Mixed with refreshing honeydew and sweet grapes, the summer squash takes on new flavor dimensions. Zucchini provides the phytonutrients lutein and zeaxanthin, which similar to beta-carotene are good for the vision. Add spirulina for even more clean, green goodness!