Blueberry Spirulina Smoothie

picture507You won’t find too many recipes for smoothies at Crowded Earth Kitchen.  To be honest, I think they’re a bit of a cliché wellness food.  This recipe is a rare exception, because it offers a delicious introduction to a nutritionally potent ingredient:  spirulina.

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Spirulina is type of blue-green algae that is used as a nutritional supplement in both powdered and tablet form.  It’s important to look for the “organic” label when obtaining spirulina, to be assured that your product is not contaminated by heavy metals.  Also, people allergic to iodine or shellfish should not take spirulina.

On it’s own, spirulina is not particularly delicious.  I bought a few ounces of powdered spirulina from the bulk section of my local food co-cop and, to be perfectly honest, I thought it smelled like fish food.  So why on earth are we eating the stuff?  Here are a few reasons…

First, spirulina is packed full of environmentally sustainable protein, and offers a wide range of amino acids.  In fact, spirulina contains three times more protein than meat, gram for gram.  As such, spirulina is an outstanding dietary addition for vegetarians.  Tw tablespoons of spirulina offer a complete protein serving.   Second, vegans will appreciate the fact that spirulina is high in calcium, offering substantially more calcium than milk, gram for gram.  Third, this tiny little food product offers iron, B vitamins, antioxidants, and chlorophyll, all of which help to round out a healthy diet.

Will eating spirulina change your life?  Maybe not, but then again, who couldn’t use a little nutritional boost every once and a while?  Give this smoothie a try, and keep that New Year’s Resolution to eat well!

Ingredients (makes 1 smoothie, approximately 200 calories)

picture5051 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate

1 teaspoon spirulina powder

1/2 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

1/2 cup nonfat yogurt

1/2 banana

1/2 cup water

2 ice cubes

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a blender.  Puree and enjoy!