A gluten-free blog about the life of a celiac in college (and now grad school). Full of personal stories about life with celiac disease and fibromyalgia; gluten free, vegan and paleo recipes; and product and restaurant reviews. Plus, reflects on body image, dating and more with a chronic illness!
I have another confession. I, Casey the College Celiac, is a greens addict. I didn't realize the depth of my problem until a few weeks ago on a late afternoon walk with my boyfriend. On our way back to the dorms, I exclaimed I had no idea what I wanted for dinner. His response? "Something green." Guilty as charged.
For most Americans - including members of my own family! - though, anything green spikes more dread than drool. ("Are you enjoying your green...creation?" is a question I'm used to hearing when visiting home.) That's why I'm partnering with nuts.com to spread the word on my latest green crush:spirulina powder.
A new drool-worthy ingredient!
Spirulina is a form of algae first found in salt water lakes in Mexico and Africa, but now mostly grown in man-made ponds. Just two tablespoons provide 16 grams of protein, 40% of one's daily recommended serving of iron, plus vitamins like potassium and calcium.
Spirulina not only provides a variety of benefits, but also endless ways to add it to your diet! Nuts.com suggests shaking some into your guacamole, on your salads or even in their recipe for homemade coconut milk ice cream! Personally, though, I love tossing a spoonful in my morning nana ice cream - nothing starts off a day better than a breakfast that's good for your taste buds and your body!
To make my favorite Glowing Green Spirulina Nicecream (which is paleo, vegan, low fodmap and nut free), first collect the basics of my nana ice cream recipe - plus your secret spirulina weapon.
1/2 cup mixed frozen fruit (I usually use a mix of frozen cantaloupe, banana, orange slices, green grapes, and a few strawberries. You can also add frozen berries, which will change your smoothie's color but taste equally delicious!)
1/2 cup mixed vegetables (frozen zucchini and squash slices are always a staple, though I often add parsnip, cucumber and celery slices as well. Adding vegetables may sound scary, but they add tons of nutrients and low-calorie creaminess with limited taste!)
1-2 large handfuls of spinach/kale (frozen or fresh)
1 tbsp whole or grounded chia seeds (they bump up the nice cream's thickness, fiber and staying power!)
1/2-1 tbsp of spirulina powder
Shake of cinnamon and vanilla extract
Enough liquid for blending (I prefer lite coconut milk - talk about creamy!)
Optional: few spoonfuls of coconut yogurt or/and avocado
Easy as 1, 2, 3, 4!
One of the best parts of this recipe? All you have to do is pack the ingredients in your blender and push "start!" Because I prefer an ice cream texture versus a smoothie, I usually add as little liquid as possible for my Nutribullet to work. But, feel free to add more to meet your desired consistency.
Also, if you're using a lower-power machine like mine, you may have to pulse and/or shake your blending cup a few times before it mixes easily. Trust me, though. The taste makes any work or cleanup totally worth it!
Just a few toppings...
Especially when you finish off your glowing green spirulina nice cream with toppings! I used to be a purist and refuse to add toppings, but now I need a little crunch! My favorite toppings are more fresh/frozen fruit (berries are the best!), homemade granola (which can also be made using spirulina - talk about a double dose of green goodness!), seeds/nuts, or your favorite cereal (I <3 puffed rice)!
To create an even more (healthfully) luxurious taste, add swirls of nut butter or a magic shell made out of a tsp of melted coconut oil and cacao powder. The options really are endless, so try throwing on whatever goodies you have lying around. Whether its Christmas cookies or bliss balls, toppings blast this spirulina treat into the heaven-sphere.
I'll confess - before my diagnosis one year ago, I could never imagine greens making up such a huge portion of my diet. And powdered algae? Not a chance! I'm forever grateful for my celiac diagnosis and sites like nuts.com, however, for opening up my eyes (and mouth) to tasty, nutritious options like spirulina.
Your mom keeps telling you to eat more greens. Why not do it nice cream style?