Spirulina‘s one of those on-trend superfoods that sounds great in theory—but once you actually get it into your kitchen, it can be kind of hard to figure out what to do with it. Sure, you can add it to a green smoothie, which will somewhat disguise its distinctive algae flavor. But spirulina’s not exactly like almond butter or cacao nibs, which taste great sprinkled on top of everything. (That is, unless you actually enjoy eating things that smell like a pond.)
So why not just skip it, then? Well, spirulina actually packs a ton of wellness benefits into a small package—when you buy a reputable, well-sourced brand, that is. For starters, it’s one of the most nutrient-dense foods on earth, filled with B vitamins and minerals like magnesium and iron. It’s a powerful detoxifier that can bind to heavy metals and candida cells and flush them out of the body. It contains an antioxidant called phycocyanin that supports the immune system and widens the blood vessels, which helps to reduce blood pressure and improve your endurance and muscle strength in the gym. And it’s even been studied as a potential antidote to seasonal allergies and cancer.
When you look at it that way, it definitely seems worth the effort to use it on the reg. The three options below are a great jumping-off point—all sourced from healthy food bloggers who’ve put creative spins on the buzzy, blue-green powder.
Scroll down for 3 easy recipes utilizing spirulina—and yes, they actually taste good.
Nutrition Stripped creator McKel Hill, RDN, is a big-time spirulina fan. The Well+Good council member says she puts it in absolutely everything, from her porridge to her protein shakes. But this algae-infused cashew-almond milk is perhaps the tastiest (and best-looking) delivery method of the bunch, blended with dates and vanilla extract to tone down spirulina’s polarizing flavor. The best part is its versatility. Use it in any dish or drink that would call for nut milk—matcha lattes, granola, or even baked goods.
I know what you’re thinking: Why would you want to mess with a food as perfect as avo toast? But take a second to hear out Kathy Patalsky of Healthy Happy Life, who had the genius idea to add spirulina—and the massive hit of nutrients it contains—to everyone’s favorite brunch recipe. “Trust me on this one. I just fed my husband this spirulina-infused toast and he devoured it and didn’t even notice the spirulina,” she writes. An added bonus? The avocado mixture in this recipe also doubles as guac, which, in this case, is very much extra. (In the best possible sense of the word.)
This recipe may look like dessert, but it’s packed with nutrient-dense ingredients, many of them green. (Avocado, lime, and spirulina, natch.) Silken tofu, oats, and almonds make up the parfait’s other pie-inspired layers, and it’s sweetened with your pick of maple syrup or agave nectar. “This is healthy enough to have for breakfast, which is how I enjoyed it,” writes blogger and recipe developer Emilie Hebert of Emilie Eats. “But I think it would also make a great pre/post-workout snack. Or dinner…no judgment.” Or maybe all of the above?
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