Here’s the Lowdown on Spirulina and Why It Makes a Great Smoothie Add-In

Ingredient Intelligence

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A few months ago while I was waiting in line at my local juice shop, I noticed the woman ahead of me purchase the most stunning smoothie I have ever set eyes on. It was the most mesmerizing shade of deep blue-green. I knew it was finally time to stray from my predictable berry-almond-protein number and give that stunning mystery smoothie a try.

I soon learned it was the addition of spirulina that gave this smoothie such a beautiful hue.

So, just what is Spirulina?

Spirulina is blue-green algae, loaded with a laundry list of vitamins and minerals, and is high in antioxidants and protein. This "superfood" has been lauded as one of the most nutrient-rich foods on the planet, and as a result it's been popping up on ingredient lists more and more. It’s most widely used, and most versatile, in powder form, but is also available as tablets and flakes.

Keep in mind that spirulina is algae, so the risk of contamination does exist. You can avoid this risk by purchasing high quality spirulina from reputable companies.

How to Use Spirulina:

  • Juice and smoothies: Stir a spoonful into your juice or smoothie.
  • Yogurt: Mix spirulina in a bowl of yogurt
  • Oatmeal: Add a spoonful to your morning oats
  • Energy bars: Spirulina can be added to energy bars and bites

Have you ever tried spirulina?

(Image credits: Kelli Dunn)