Sure, spirulina is good for you, but this nutrient-dense microalgae is not exactly the tastiest superfood out there, and eating spirulina powder plain is out of the question for most people. That said, there are also plenty of spirulina recipes that actually taste good – these recipes typically mask the flavor of spirulina with other, more palatable flavors. If you are looking for delicious ways to eat spirulina, check out the tips below. For even more ideas on how to eat spirulina, check out the cookbook Rawlicious Superfoods which contains a number of exciting spirulina recipes such as Creamy Mint Spirulina Smoothie, Spirulina Lemon Pie with Chocolate Crust, and Super-Alkalizing Green Juice.
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1. Sneak it into Smoothies
One of the easiest and most common ways to eat spirulina powder is to sneak it into smoothies. If you need recipes, check out Tina Leigh's Superfood Juices and Smoothies which contains a handful of smoothie recipes featuring spirulina, in addition to dozens of other recipes for delicious and super-nutritious juice drinks and smoothies.
2. Make Spirulina Hummus
Add color – and nutrients – to hummus by adding some spirulina powder to the mix. Made of cooked, mashed chickpeas blended with sesame seed paste, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and garlic, hummus is typically served with flatbread, or as an accompaniment to falafel patties, vegetables or grilled chicken. Here's an easy recipe for spirulina hummus:
1 can chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons tahini
1 tablespoon freshly pressed lemon juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Place the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini (sesame paste), lemon juice, garlic and salt in a food processor. Turn on the food processor and slowly pour in some of the reserved chickpea liquid while the machine runs. When the mixture is fully combined and smooth, transfer it into a serving dish.
3. Add it to Homemade Pasta Dough
If you have one of the trendy fully automatic electric pasta makers that create fresh pasta from scratch, or even just a regular manual pasta machine with a crank handle, you could also use spirulina powder to boost the nutritional profile of homemade pasta dough! And, even if you don't make your pasta from scratch, you can still incorporate spirulina powder or flakes into your pasta dishes by adding it to the sauce (see next tip).
4. Eat it in Sauces
One of the easiest ways to use spirulina powder is to add it to sauces and gravies. And, thanks to the spices, herbs and other strong-flavored ingredients commonly used in sauces and gravies, adding a dash of spirulina minimally affects the flavor of the dish, if at all. To protect the B vitamins and other heat-sensitive nutrients in this nutritional powerhouse algae, stir in the spirulina powder only at the end of the cooking process.
5. Use Spirulina Powder in Salad Dressings
Yet another good way to incorporate some nutrient-rich spirulina into your diet is to add a small amount of spirulina powder to salad dressings. If you don't already have a good basic recipe for an oil and vinegar-based salad dressing, here's a super-easy recipe to try: Pour 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar into an clean glass jar. Add 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (or a pinch of dried herbs), a pinch of salt and freshly-ground black pepper, and – if using – 1/4 teaspoon spirulina powder. Screw on the lid and shake well. Place the jar in the fridge and wait at least 30 minutes before serving over your favorite salad ingredients.
6. Use It in Pureed Soups
Eating spirulina in pureed soups is a great way to incorporate more of this superfood algae into your diet. It is a particularly good addition to green soups such as soups starring spinach, broccoli, zucchini, chard or green peas. To protect its heat-sensitive nutrients, add spirulina powder to your soup only at the end of the cooking process.
7. Make Healthy Vegan Ice Cream
Got an automatic ice cream maker at home? Incorporating spirulina powder into homemade mint or pistachio ice cream is a great way to make spirulina taste good, while giving your frozen desserts color and a nutrient boost. In Vegan Ice Cream: Over 90 Sinfully Delicious Dairy-Free Delights, Jeff Rogers recommends adding ¼ teaspoon to your recipe if you are looking for a subtle green hue, or ½ teaspoon if you want your ice cream to have a deeper green color.
8. Add Spirulina Powder to Energy Bar Recipes
Homemade energy bars are the perfect on-the-go snack. Typically made using ingredients like nuts, seeds, raisins, grains and honey, homemade power bars are typically full of energy and protein. And, if you incorporate a bit of spirulina powder into your favorite power bar recipe, your bars will also be supercharged with nutrients. In a pinch, you can of course also resort to store-bought spirulina bars (Raw Revolution's yummy spirulina bars, which contain nuts, dates, seeds, agave nectar and spirulina powder, are available through Amazon here).
Tip: If you are new to making energy bars at home, you might want to check out Camilla Saulsbury's Power Hungry: The Ultimate Energy Bar Cookbook which is full of inspiring recipes covering everything from granola bars and raw food bars to protein bars and endurance training bars.
9. Spirulina Popcorn, Anyone?
Yet another way to use spirulina powder is to season your popcorn with it. You can simply use a combination of sea salt and spirulina powder, or you can add other tasty seasonings such as chili powder, Parmesan cheese or garlic powder as well. For best results, add the seasoning mixture while the popcorn is still warm, and shake vigorously until the popcorn is evenly coated.
10. Add Spirulina to Scrambled Eggs and Omelettes
You can also use spirulina to add color and nutrients to omelettes and scrambled eggs. Simply add a pinch of spirulina powder to the egg mixture before cooking it on a frying pan.