Ever bought a green powder like spirulina, used it once then left it in the back of the cupboard not knowing what else to do with it? I know loads of people who’ve done this or don’t know what else to add the powders to other than smoothies so here’s one of my favourite ways to use the algae spirulina.
This recipe is a great way to use and mask the unique flavour of spirulina because of the dominant tastes of banana and peanut butter, plus there’s a good thick texture from the oats too which tops it all off.
Different brands of spirulina will have different levels of nutrition as this depends on where it was grown but in general it’s a source of Vitamin B12 (although not all of it in an easily used form so not to be the only B12 source in a diet), other B vitamins, iron, vitamin A, magnesium and chlorophyll, hence its dark green colour. Algae such as spirulina are concentrated into supplements in order to provide plant sources of the essential fatty acids EPA & DHA which would otherwise need to come from oily fish sources.
Some animal studies also suggest that it’s beneficial for heart health by improving blood pressure and cholesterol. Scientists have even fed it to malnourished children in Africa, so while you can’t expect it to work miracles if the rest of your diet and lifestyle is awful it can definitely be a good nutritional, body booster.
Make sure to buy quality, organic spirulina that has gone through testing for contamination, EU brands have to follow certain regulations which is a good safety net but if you’re unsure then ask the brand before you buy, better safe than sorry.
Recipe (makes 8-10 bars)
-175g oats (mix of small and jumbo)
-1 Tbsp spirulina (8g)
-65g runny peanut butter (preferably high oleic)
-3 small ripe bananas* (225g flesh)
-60ml (1/4 cup) water or milk
Preheat the oven to 160C then peel the bananas and mash** them along with the peanut butter in a large bowl then stir in the milk
Mix in the dry ingredients and stir everything together, this will take a little elbow grease to ensure it’s mixed well
Pop into a lined rectangular tin and bake at 160C for 13mins, it will feel soft when you remove it from the oven but will firm up as it cools. Allow to cool for 10-15mins before slicing, store extras in a container in the fridge & consume within 3 days.
*Tips: Make sure your bananas are ripe as they’ll taste sweeter
**If your peanut butter isn’t that runny then add it along with the bananas and water/milk to a food processor or use a hand blender to get a smoother, runnier texture.