You have probably seen those Instagram posts of blue mermaid toasts and wondered what imparts that magnificent blue tinge to the gourmet food. The secret is spirulina, a bluish green alga which is now the trendiest health food available on markets. Spirulina is sold as powders or in tablet forms. While you might feel that it is just like a protein powder with flour-like taste, the penchant for this antioxidant and vitamin-rich food can be acquired by combining it with other flavours.
Secrets how to use spirulina in the healthiest ways possible:
- Mix it into your daily glass of smoothie: While most people find the slight sea vegetable, savoury flavour of spirulina unappealing, its earthy nature can balance out a too sweet smoothie, especially the fruity ones. It is more nutritious than delicious, but the coconut cream based fat will offset it. Spirulina goes best with smoothies that have pineapples, mangoes, bananas or orange. Blend some spirulina powder along with yoghurt, orange, lemon and other citrus fruits to last you through the day and satisfy your sudden hunger pangs. Add spirulina tablets to your fruit juice or cocktails to get enhanced health food.
- Use it as your secret condiment: Are you preparing any coastal recipe, especially Asian? While the usual method is to use ground seaweed, you can opt for spirulina instead. In this way, the oceanic flavour will become more potent and also add nutritional quotient to your meal. Spirulina having two thousand per cent more iron than spinach can be used as its substitute in daily recipes. It will boost your iron intake and prevent anaemia. A gourmet secret is using spirulina in omelettes. You can sprinkle half a teaspoon of the green powder in the omelette mix along with onions, tomatoes and broccoli. Your kids can thus have a healthy as well as tasty breakfast.
- Add it to your homemade pesto and hummus: One tablespoon of spirulina per serving of pesto sauce will create a cooking marvel as the strong flavours of pine nut, basil and garlic mix with the unique taste of the powder. Chefs also use spirulina in hummus to increase the nutritional content of go-to snacks.
- Have it with your daily superfood bites: Use it in your risotto, add it to the chocolate brownies you prepare, or truffle style energy balls which are made with nuts, figs, coconut and cocoa powder. Two tablespoons of the powder sprinkled into the food processor along with these ingredients will do the work.
- Be creative by using it in your desserts: Health food restaurants sometimes incorporate spirulina into their dessert offerings. Be it the delicious chia pudding or the spirulina cashew cinnamon cream, spirulina will blend with all your deserts. Beat the summer heat by making blue spirulina popsicles.
While you can be creative in as many ways using spirulina, including using it as a food colourant, do not boil or microwave it, as it affects the nutrients. While fresh consumption yields maximum benefits, you can also freeze the drinks or ice-creams, but do not refreeze them. A fantastic top-up for meringues, our favourite spirulina recipes will surely lift your spirits.