Spirulina, the Ultimate Superfood? + Banana, Blueberry & Red Peanut Smoothie

imageI loved this smoothie! It has an unusual combination of ingredients and I wasn’t expecting to photograph it at all because usually anything with dark ingredients, and especially Spirulina, will look less than appetising. I was pleasantly surprised, it looks just like a milkshake!

Nutritionally, it has everything you could ask for: potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, calcium, protein, B12, Vitamin K, iodine, essential fatty acids, fibre – in fact, more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants than you can shake a spoon at.

This so-called superfood can help with post-exercise recovery and fatigue, plus reduce the symptoms of Candida and of allergic rhinitis, among other benefits.

Spirulina is an algae that is mostly protein (between 60% and 70%) and contains a long list of vitamins, minerals and fatty acids. I found it difficult to take on its own when I first tried it just in water, it was better in a small glass of apple juice, but it didn’t blend, I found adding it to smoothies the best way to take it. I then tried the Juicemaster brand and found it a milder version, it certainly doesn’t shout above the other ingredients in this smoothie or spoil the taste.

It’s so beneficial for good health that it’s one of those foods you just know you have to have for your own good!*

I’m not really selling it to you, am I?

Trust me, if I gave you this smoothie and you didn’t know it had spirulina in, you’d be none the wiser. But if in any doubt you could add a medjool date or some maple syrup to be on the safe side!

Remember, the coconut water is naturally quite sweet, as is the banana.

Begin with 1 Tsp a day and gradually increase to 3 times a day if you want therapeutic levels.

(If you have to watch your sodium levels, then please do your own research).

Ingredients

Soak 3 Tbsps Oats, 1 Tbsp Organic Chia Seeds* and a handful of Organic Red Peanuts in a Medium Glass of 100% Raw Coconut Water in the blender for 15 minutes to make them more digestible.

Add

1 Small Banana

A Large Handful of Organic Blueberries, washed

1 Tbsp Meridian Smooth Palm Oil-free Peanut Butter

1 Tsp Juicemaster Spirulina

Blend and add ice if you prefer your smoothie chilled. Enjoy!

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*Please Note: Since spirulina stimulates the immune system, anyone with an over-active immune system or an auto-immune condition such as Lupus or Multiple Sclerosis is advised not to take it. Similarly, due to its phenylalanine content, those with the metabolic disorder PKU should also avoid spirulina.

Juicemaster

*The Raw Chocolate Company

Meridian Foods

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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5lbs in 5 Days: Day 3 Boost Your Juice – Talking Supplements

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This was posted on Twitter yesterday by a fellow juicer!

How are you all doing? We’re halfway there and in a few hours you will be feeling alert and energised if you’re not already. And it’s Berry Banana Crunch Day!! Yum.

I had to give in to an afternoon nap yesterday. Afternoon and evening of the second day are always the most trying for me anyway, but it didn’t help that there was a party going on at our neighbours’ house the previous evening and when I finally did get to sleep, I was woken up in the early hours and couldn’t drop off again. So I gave in and felt much better for it.

Wednesday Wisdom

I hope by now any headache is starting to abate. Are you keeping hydrated?

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I particularly like Pukka Organic Teas, my favourite is licorice and cinnamon but I also enjoy lemon, ginger and manuka honey. I drink a lot of warm water but it feels good to wrap your hands around a mug of tea and feel the stimulating flavours doing their work.

Now we’re on our third day, it’s time to think about supplementing your juices for added benefits. Hopefully by now most of the ‘elimination’ is done and it’s a good idea to start taking probiotics. The live yogurt in today’s Berry Banana Crunch is a good start but then I will start taking a couple of Juicemaster Bacterial Cultures a day to repopulate the gut and intestinal tract with friendly bacteria, replacing what has been flushed out of the system – vital for a strong immune system and a healthy digestive system.

It’s also a good idea to add Spirulina, Chlorella or Wheatgrass powder to one juice a day. Now I know Spirulina is not to everyone’s taste, I absolutely hated it the first time I tried it! I am not usually one to give up at the first attempt so I tried several times, but it was just too vile. I swapped it with my son for his wheatgrass powder, which I find very pleasant.

However, last year I was ordering from the Juicemaster website and they had a special offer on a bundle of supplements, one of which was Spirulina. I wanted all the ones that came with it and it was cheaper to buy them all together so I decided to give it another try. This one is milder than the first brand I tried, but still an acquired taste. I can take it, but some people prefer to take Spirulina separately in a little apple juice rather than ‘ruin’ or ‘taint’ (their words) a large glass of juice.

They also sell Spirulina and Chlorella combined in tablet form if you prefer to take them that way.

Spirulina is a blue-green algae, chock full of vitamins – including B12 – minerals, essential oils, and is three-quarters protein while Wheatgrass is high in chlorophyll, an important bloodbuilder, and is a good source of dietary fibre as well as B vitamins and minerals.

Chlorella is good for boosting the metabolism and increasing energy.

Don’t overdo the green supplements: one type once a day in one juice.

Be sure you buy good quality – preferably organic – supplements if you choose to use them.

Supplements are often expensive and they are by no means essential, these are just the ones I use if you’re looking to boost your juice!

Copyright: Chris McGowan