Advertisement

What Is Spirulina? - Food Trend

What Is Spirulina? - Food Trend
From The Kitchn - October 13, 2017

My favorite local bar recently added a Unicorn Fros to its cocktail menu, possibly as some kind of trap to catch its regulars. Because I am one of them, I asked one of the bartenders if it had spirulina in it. She had to ask two of the other bartenders, and the consensus was no, but they were not sure, because they did not know what spirulina was.

They are not alone. Spirulina has very quietly been part of some of this year's biggest food trends, and most of us did not even notice it on the ingredient lists.

So, What Is Spirulina?

Any number of aesthetically pleasing pastel foodslike some mermaid toasts, rainbow ice creams, and even Starbucks' own Unicorn Frappuccinouse spirulina to provide those signature blue and green shades. (Not all of them, though; there's still plenty of good ol' fashioned food coloring out there.)

Related: Can We Please Stop Turning All Our Food into Unicorns?

But spirulina is more than just an Instagrammable color boost to otherwise unremarkable foods. This blue-green algae is a complete protein source. It's also low in fat and sodium and jam-packed with antioxidants. Researchers from the United Kingdom and Greece have suggested that spirulina "may even have anticancer, antiviral, and antiallergic effects."

Although spirulina has obviously gotten the GOOP treatment, it has also been a key part of a program to combat malnutrition in India and has been used as a dietary supplement for NASA astronauts.

Advertisement

Continue reading at The Kitchn »