Age-old superfood spirulina gets a taste makeover

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Many who aspire to eat well embrace a plant-based diet and look for things to add to it like spirulina.

"It's been around forever: chlorella, spirulina, blue green algae," said health expert Elissa Goodman.

Sure, some jokingly refer to it as purified pond scum because this algae grows in ponds, lakes, and other waters. But Goodman says don't underestimate it. She's a fan.

"It is a superfood and it is full of b-vitamins. It has eight essential amino acids so it's a decent plant-based protein," said Goodman.

Along with antioxidants, zinc and iron minerals, Goodman feels spirulina is good for reducing stress and may help muscles repair.

Spirulina comes in powder form or tablet, and Goodman offers several ways to enjoy it. Try a Smoothie with pineapple, coconut yogurt, fresh shredded coconut or perhaps in green tea with a splash of sweetener.

Or mix it into a homemade energy bar made of dates, dried coconut, almonds and various seeds.

Goodman prefers a Hawaiian brand that has been around for years. She said where it's grown and cultivated makes a difference.

"There could be too many metals. They're coming from China and all over the world and places that are not so great and not so high quality standards," claimed Goodman.

If you are giving this green a "go," look for a supplement with a good history.

RECIPES by Elissa Goodman

Iced Spirulina Peppermint Tea

This light tea is refreshing on a hot day and provides a nice energy boost.

Makes 1 serving tea


2 bags of organic spearmint/peppermint tea (I used Numi brand)
tsp. Nutrex Hawaiian spirulina
16 oz of warm water
3-5drops organic stevia
Cup ice (if desired iced)
Fresh organic mint leaves for garnish


Pour hot water over two tea bags in a large cup and steep for five minutes. Stir in spirulina powder until blended, then pour over ice. Garnish with mint leaves if desired.

Hawaiian Spirulina Trail Mix Bars

These raw bars make great energy-boosting snacks.

Makes 12 bars

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4 cup coconut
1 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup dried fruit, roughly chopped (I used goji and pineapple)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp. Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina powder


Place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse for 30 seconds. Roll all ingredients into a ball and spread into an 8x8 pan lined with wax or parchment paper. Allow to set for 10-15 minutes, and cut into 12 bars. Keep in airtight container for up to a week.

Spirulina Pina Colada Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie

1/2 cup coconut yogurt (I used So Delicious unsweetened)
1/2 cup fresh pineapple, diced
1/4 cup shredded coconut or fresh coconut meat if desired
1 tsp. Nutrex Hawaiian Spirulina powder
Handful of ice cubes


Add all ingredients to blender and blend until desired consistency.
Copyright © 2021 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.