Day 4 of #PlantPoweredProtein and if you thought yesterday's topic was interesting, I can't wait for you to check out today's: spirulina.
Have you heard of it before? If not, plain and simple, it's a natural “algae” that is super high in protein (one of the world's highest vegetarian sources of complete protein) and a really great source of antioxidants, B-vitamins and other nutrients. It grows naturally around the world in warm, fresh water-bodies where there is abundant sunlight.
Wait...like, pond scum?
Kind of! But hear me out. This superfood (a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being) is one of nature’s "near-perfect foods." It helps our immune systems, gives us a boost of immediate energy and aids in naturally cleansing our bodies of toxins and impurities. Purchased primarily in a powder or pill/tablet form, this green goodness is also amazing for...
- Protein: Spirulina is 50-70% protein by weight. 3 tablespoons of would provide comparable amounts of protein to two large eggs or a half a serving of chicken breast.
- Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1 is an essential vitamin that is necessary for helping our bodies digest proteins and fats. It's also used for increased energy, eye health, brain function and for improving nerve function.
- Essential nutrients like chlorophyll: Yup, as in the chlorophyll you learned about in science class. Chlorophyll is incredibly abundant in spirulina and does awesome things like extracts toxins from our liver and purifies our blood, Plus, it's rich in enzymes that give our cells rejuvenation, cleanses and detoxifies, etc.
A few other things to note:
- As mentioned earlier, the most common forms of spirulina are in a powdered or tablet supplement.
- Always make sure that you're buying organic as other forms can have additives or even be contaminated.
- How do I eat it? Outside of my every day routine of just taking my supplements, I sometimes like to crush up a few of my spirulina supplement tablets and mix them into a smoothie (recipe below)
- Here are some great varieties of spirulina to check out:
Here's our super quick and easy green smoothie recipe!
- 1 cup of water or nut milk (add more, depending on preferred consistency)
- 2 heaping handfuls of spinach (or a leafy green of your choice)
- 1 - 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup of frozen fruit or berries (I had frozen mango in my freezer that I tossed in mine!)
- 1 TBS of spirulina powder (I just crushed up my spirulina tablets into a powder, which worked perfectly)
- Toppings of your choosing: I went with a drizzle of organic peanut butter, chia + hemp seed mixture and a little bit of Purely Elizabeth chocolate sea salt probiotic granola (which I am very much addicted to, by the way... #noshame).
- Blend your greens + liquid first. This helps to break up the greens, preventing a "chunky" smoothie.
- Add your frozen fruit + spirulina powder and blend.
- Finish off with your toppings and enjoy!
What's your favorite smoothie recipe? :) Feel free to share it in the comments!