When I first saw this smoothie bowl, I was a bit alarmed by the colour, despite knowing that spirulina (a blue-green algae) was in the list of ingredients. This leant a beautiful blue hue to the smoothie. This is a fantastic way to get children who are reluctant to try new things to dig into a smoothie bowl packed full of goodness with fruit, plant milk and nuts and seeds. Children often like foods that look fun and playful.
Why isn’t there more blue food?
However, the reason we hardly see blue food around is because it’s generally considered to be unappealing to both humans and animals. Studies have shown that blue actively suppresses appetite. I personally associate the colour with weird, artificially coloured slushies in bowling alleys. Even blueberries, despite the name, are actually more purplish than blue. Their hue comes from the anthocyanins – flavonoids with antioxidant effects. These are present in aubergine, blueberries, purple grapes and blackcurrants 💙
So what’s the hype?
Spirulina was part of the daily diet of the Aztecs and is now a popular dietary supplement due to it’s nutritional benefits. Spirulina has a 60-70% protein content. It’s a super nutrient-dense food with vitamins A, C, E and B vitamins and a rich mineral content including selenium. It’s also a great vegan source of iron, providing 1.4mg per 5g teaspoon (10% of the RDA for women).
What does it taste like?
While the taste on its own can be a bit strong and earthy (too much and it tastes like pondwater 💦) you can add a little to a green smoothie and build up the amount slowly. As with any supplements, we can never be 100% certain of quality. I recommend only trying it if you’re interested and adding it slowly to your diet.