Blue-Green Algae and the Health Benefits of Mermaid Toast

Blue-Green Algae and the Health Benefits of…Mermaid Toast?

Blue majik — the blue-green algae extract that’s derived from spirulina — has shaken the health world with a new wave of Instagram-able foods. The ingredient is featured in everything from juices and tonics to mermaid toast (a cashew cheese and blue majik spread) and unicorn lattes (a mix of blue majik, tonics and adaptogens). It’s safe to say foodies have a new blue crush. And if you’ve sworn off rainbow foods from bagels to Lucky Charms cereal, you’re in luck. Free of artificial food dyes, the naturally sapphire-hued powder is a surprisingly good source of protein, zinc, magnesium, B vitamins and iron.

Alissa Rumsey, MS, RD, spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says, “Blue majik is derived from spirulina, a source of chlorophyll, B vitamins including B12, iron and antioxidants.” But because the lack of scientific studies and research, the nutrition world is still debating whether blue majik truly lives up to its name.

Bonnie Taub-Dix, MA, RD, CDN, founder of Better Than Dieting and author of Read It Before You Eat It, says, “Unlike spirulina, which has been out for years, there isn’t enough research or scientific evidence to support the benefits of blue majik.”

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Is Blue Majik the Next Spirulina?

Since blue majik derives from spirulina, it may have some of the same nutrients as the green algae. Rumsey notes, “There’s some evidence that the carotenoids, fibers and plant sterols in blue-green algae can play a role in lowering cholesterol and reducing inflammation, as well as protecting against oxidative stress.”

Still, in terms of protein content and nutrition, Taub-Dix says spirulina and other plant-based protein powders, like pea protein, hemp and garbanzo bean powder, outrank blue majik. “Blue majik is low in calories and may have modest amounts of calcium, iron and potassium, but it’s always best to go for real food to get these essential minerals,” she notes. With that said, if you’re still curious about blue majik, Taub-Dix recommends trying it in a small dose.

“It’s completely fine to try it out and see if you like it or notice any benefits from it. Just make sure to buy blue majik powders and supplements that are certified contaminant-free,” Taub-Dix advises. Some spirulina products aren’t contaminant-free, so it’s not recommended for children and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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Blue Majik: The Unicorn Food Movement

Much like spirulina, blue majik has an earthy flavor (though the taste is more subtle). It can also easily blend into smoothies, breakfast bowls, dips and spreads. Before taking the plunge on a giant tub, swing by your local juice or smoothie shop to try it. Juice Generation’s Holy Water is made with the adaptogen tulsi, basil coconut water, pineapple and blue majik. Moon Juice also makes a Blue Adaptogen Protein Powder that includes brown rice protein, chia seeds and blue majik. And The End café in Brooklyn, NY serves up unicorn lattes that can satisfy your lust for the baby blues.

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4 Mermaid-Approved Blue Majik Recipes

If lattes and juices aren’t your thing, here are a few more Instagram-worthy ways to take a dip with blue majik.

Blue-Green Algae Recipes: Mermaid Smoothie Bowl Recipe

1. Blue Mermaid Smoothie Bowl

The dazzling turquoise color of this smoothie bowl makes it a feast for the eyes. In this recipe, you’ll blend frozen bananas and grapes together with almond milk, coconut yogurt, blue majik and lemon juice. Freezing the fruits helps create a smooth and frosty texture like n’ice cream. Adding a squeeze of lemon juice balances out the earthy flavor of blue majik. Top with dragon fruit, passion fruit, kiwi, toasted pistachios or your favorite berries. Photo and recipe: Georgie / Greens of the Stone Age

Blue-Algae Recipes: Blue Majik Cashew Milk Recipe

 2. Blue Majik Cashew Mylk

Making your own nut milk may seem intimidating, but we promise this recipe is super easy — no cheesecloth needed. First, soak the cashews overnight to help soften them up. (This makes it easier to liquefy them in a blender when combined with water.) In a blender, combine the cashews with medjool dates for a hint of sweetness, and vanilla and cinnamon for a heartwarming taste. Then, store the milk in a Mason jar or glass bottle in the fridge for about three to four days. Enjoy the milk on its own or enjoy it in overnight oats. Photo and recipe: Alison Wu / Wu Haus

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 Blue-Algae Recipes: Blue Majik Chia Pudding Bombs Recipe

3. Blue Majik Bombs

Before you start your day, enjoy this delicious sundae-like vanilla chia pudding. It’s made with adaptogens, like reishi mushroom and cordyceps, to help you fight stress, fatigue and anxiety. This recipe also features coconut shatavari butter, an herb that’s used in Ayurvedic practices to help balance the reproductive and digestive systems. Add roasted blueberries on top, and you’ve got a dish that’s oozing with antioxidants. Photo and recipe: Eli Keaton / Eli Keaton

 

Blue-Algae Recipes: Blue Majik Chia Pudding Recipe

4. Blue Majik Chia Pudding

Marine collagen powder makes this chia pudding extra filling and protein-packed. Unsweetened cashew milk and coconut shavings add a nutty and subtle sweetness, while ground cinnamon and maple syrup impart comforting flavor. Top with cacao nibs, chopped pineapple and coconut shavings. Photo and recipe: Valerie Fidan / Let’s Regale