Today's recipe contains an over-the-top amount of super-healthy 'superfoods'.
Sometimes, I just can't help it.
Plus, this month's Recipe Redux theme is all about trying a new ingredient. And I've been dying to add some blue-green algae to my repertoire.
(I mean, really, who isn't?) 😉
FIRST, A NOTE ON "SUPERFOODS":
When people use the term 'superfood', they're usually referring to powders, exotic ingredients, etc, and this is generally how I use the term here on TGG...
...But, I want to emphasize that nutrient density - having a lot of nutrition packed into a small package - is what makes a superfood impressive - not it's exoticness/trendiness/price.
In reality, broccoli is just as much a superfood as spirulina.
I use superfoods (the slightly exotic, often powdered ones) in some of my recipes because I think trying something new and different makes healthy eating a lot more fun.
An important note, though, because I wouldn't want anyone to feel as if superfoods are essential for a healthy diet. (I'd pretty much always recommend skipping the superfoods and opting for more fresh fruits and veggies when on a budget.)
Okay, back to the algae bites.
If the thought of algae bites doesn't sound entirely appealing, you'll be relieved to know that the spirulina is pretty well disguised in this recipe. With cacao nibs, dates, coconut, and goji berries, you won't taste the spirulina too much.
Great for the algae novice.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is grown and harvested in water. It's usually dried after harvesting and available as a powder or capsule/tablet - I used a powder for this recipe.
Spirulina contains a large amount of plant-based protein (more than 50% of spirulina is protein!) and also provides iron. It also contains essential omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (healthy fats), beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin B12.
(Note: the type of B12 in spirulina isn't as bioavailable as the type that comes from animals, so don't count on it to meet all of your needs if you're vegan.)
We have scientific evidence that spirulina has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It may also help decrease blood lipid levels, protect the liver, prevent muscle damage from exercise, support the immune system, and protect against some cancers.
Try these bites whenever you're in need of a convenient and transportable snack that offers long-lasting energy.
Ready to get your algae on?
- 3 tbsp cacao nibs or cocoa powder
- 1 1/3 cups dates pitted and chopped
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/2 cup almonds
- 1/3 cup goji berries
- 1 tbsp spirulina powder
- 2 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp maca powder optional
- 2 tbsp shredded coconut plus additional for rolling if desired
- Add cacao nibs to food processor and process until coarse powder is formed. Spoon out ~1 tbsp to roll balls in if desired and set aside.
- Add remaining ingredients to food processor and process until broken down. Mixture should stick together when pressed between fingers. If mixture is crumbling, add a couple more dates and process again.
- Spoon out ~2 tbsp of the mixture and press and roll into a ball with hands. Repeat until mixture is completely used. Roll some of the balls in extra cacao and/or coconut if desired.
- Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before eating.
Recipe lightly inspired by these Spirulina Energy Globes from Nutrition Stripped
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