Food Trends In My Kitchen: Blue Algae

So what’s healthier/weirder than having a spinach and protein smoothie for breakfast every morning? Having a spinach, protein, and blue-green algae smoothie for breakfast every morning…

blue-green algae

Now, when I say blue algae, I don’t mean that I’m putting anything that looks like algae in my smoothie. It actually comes in a powder form that is a deep greenish bluish color, and turns my smoothies a deeper green.

This addition was actually a tip that I got from my health coach Noel. Her initial intent was that I replace the spinach in my smoothie, because apparently raw spinach can be stressful on your digestive system. The blue-green algae would serve as an alternative vegetable, but I’m a little too attached to my spinach so I add both the spinach and the algae (who gets attached to spinach?).

My spinach smoothie without the algae, then with the algae
My spinach smoothie without the algae, then with the algae

Anywho, I’ve been dabbling with algae on and off for a couple months now. The label on the bottle says it will give me energy along with a laundry list of other benefits. I believe it’s considered a super food. I’m not quite sure if I’m experiencing any specific benefits that come directly from the algae yet because eat pretty healthy food in general, but I feel good about it!

Sadie’s Daily Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 banana (brown spots=good)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp blue-green algae (I use this)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (I use this)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 handfuls raw spinach
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  1. If you have a strong blender you can just add the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. I you have a wimpier blender (like me), start with the banana, algae, cinnamon, protein, and almond milk. Blend for about 15 seconds.
  3. Add spinach one handful at a time and blend until smooth. Finally add the ice cubes and blend until smooth (about 30 seconds or so).

(for some reason the order that you add the ingredients seems to affect the texture, so this is the best order I’ve come up with for myself)

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Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Since it’s still November, I’m still allowed to make pumpkin things.  I recently had an early morning class field trip, so I decided that it would be nice to bring some muffins along.  I had a few very ripe bananas, so my initial plan was to find a good banana muffin recipe, but during my search I found something even better: a pumpkin banana muffin recipe.  To make the muffins a little more interesting I decided to add some chocolate chips and walnuts.  Basically whenever I can add nuts or chocolate, I will.

The muffins turned out fairly dense and quite moist which was great.  The original recipe called for whole wheat flour, or at least a combination of white and whole wheat.  I typically jump at the chance to use whole wheat flour, but in this instance I had just bought some white flour that I wanted to use up, so I used all white.  I love recipes that are adaptable to what you have on hand!

Pumpkin Banana Muffins

Yeilds 24 muffins, adapted from Alida’s Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour (or 1 cup all-purpose flour/1 cup whole wheat flour)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 cups chocolate chips (depending on how chocolaty you want it)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line the muffin tins with liners, or spray with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine dry ingredients: flour, sugar, spices, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together pumpkin puree, oil, and mashed bananas with an electric mixer.  Gradually add eggs and vanilla until mixture is well combined.
  4. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients to the wet, and finally add walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Bake 13-15 minutes for normal sized muffins (a little shorter if you make minis).

Shady Maple Restaurant

On Tuesday, I went to Lancaster to shop at the outlets and to visit assorted small Amish shops that are tradition on a trip to the Dutch country.  On my way there, I always stop for breakfast at the Shady Maple Restaurant with my parents.  There you will a smorgasbord of Amish delights.  You can’t pass up the whoopie pies or the sweet potato pancake when you are there.  Also, leave room for all the Amish meats like the smoked turkey sausage or the freshly made scrapple.  I only stop twice a year because that’s enough gluttony for one year, trust me!  My next post will give you the recipe to my favorite Amish tradition for the fall, pumpkin whoopie pies.