I think the first time I heard about spirulina and its amazing health benefits was from one of my favorite inspiring vegan athletes, Rich Roll. Rich had posted his top plant-based proteins and spirulina was on the list. Next thing I knew I was scooping up spirulina from the bulk bin and adding it to my daily smoothie – especially on strenuous workout days. I add one teasspoon of spirulina to my smoothies and though it dyes the smoothie rich green, I really don’t taste it. This week I made a super green smoothie with spirulina, kiwi, and tropical fruit. It is incredibly refreshing and a great way to recharge after a workout or just to get you through that afternoon slump. 
So, what is this spirulina stuff anyway? 
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Spirulina has many health benefits. With a deep green color like this, it’s not hard to believe that spirulina is loaded with nutrients. I was surprised to learn just how much of spirulina’s makeup is protein, however. Although many of us have just discovered this superfood in the past few years, it has actually been used for centuries. Spirulina is thought to boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and fight chronic disease, among other benefits (sources below). However, it is not recommended for people with certain conditions such as PKU or those on medicines like coagulants. As with any supplement, if you are pregnant or nursing ask your doctor first.
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You can find spirulina in most health and natural foods stores. At Whole Foods, for example, it comes  pre-packaged and in the bulk bins. Be careful to just get a small amount at first, as it can go bad, and is quite pricey per pound. Amazon may be your easiest bet and there are several available there.


Spirulina Smoothie Recipe

Yield: 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut water
  • 1 kiwi, peeled (plus one more for garnish if desired)
  • 1/2 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
  • 1/2 cup frozen mango or pineapple chunks
  • 1 teaspoon spirulina powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh baby spinach leaves (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon chia or hemp seeds

Cooking Directions

  1. Place almond milk, kiwi, frozen banana, frozen mango/pineapple, spirulina, and spinach in a blender. Blend until completely smooth, adding water or more almond milk if needed to blend.
  2. Pour into a glass and top with additional chopped kiwi pieces and chia or hemp seeds, if desired. Enjoy right away! 

spirulina health benefits sources: here and here