Adding nutrition to your diet might be at the top of your to-do list, but that doesn’t make it an easy thing to accomplish. There are so many nutrients that we need and only so much food we can eat in a day, but spirulina powder is a fantastic way to add a lot of nutrition in a powerful yet small serving size, leaving you with plenty of space for all the other delicious foods you want to eat.
You might want to stock up on this algae, as spirulina is known to be one of the world’s healthiest foods. However, if you’ve purchased a bulk supply of spirulina to make sure you don’t run out accidentally and to help offset the costs, you may be wondering if you can freeze the powder in order to extend the shelf life.
Can you freeze spirulina powder? Happily, yes, you can freeze spirulina powder, and it’s always a good idea to freeze it in individual portion sizes.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the benefits of spirulina powder as well as the best practices for freezing it for freshness.
What is Spirulina Powder?
If you’re not yet on the spirulina bandwagon, let’s briefly talk about what this strange green powder is. Spirulina is a freshwater type of blue-green algae. It’s packed with life-sustaining nutrition and relatively easy to harvest, so it’s been consumed by humans and animals alike for millions of years.
In our modern world, not many people reach into a tank of algae and start snacking on what they can grab, but dried and powdered spirulina is very popular has the highest concentration of nutrition by weight.
The first time I tried spirulina the best way I could describe the flavor was “green.” (Not unlike matcha powder, although matcha is more enjoyable by itself than spirulina.)
It certainly has a strong taste that screams healthy, but it’s very versatile so, even if the flavor isn’t exactly to your liking, there are plenty of ways to consume it that will mask the taste.
How to Freeze Spirulina Powder
Powders in general freeze well, and you can simply place an unopened bag into your freezer for safe-keeping until you’re ready to use it.
You can also place an opened bag in your freezer, but once you’ve broken the seal, you want to make sure you remove as much air as possible before putting it back into the freezer.
If your spirulina came in a resealable package, simply squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing it again. If not, it’s best to transfer your powder to a freezer-safe Ziploc bag and get as much air as possible out of the bag before you reseal it each time.
With any food, it’s important that you try to limit the temperature change to protect the quality.
Because powders are so fine, even a small amount of time outside the freezer will begin to thaw the product, so if possible, the best solution is to freeze your spirulina powder in single serving quantities so that you don’t have to take out the entire bag every time you want to spoon some powder into your smoothie.
Finding sealable containers in such small sizes is not the easiest thing to do. Luckily for you, we did some research and found these 2-ounce freezer-safe containers on Amazon.
You can also spoon the appropriate amount onto a small square of plastic wrap and then twist the ends together to seal a little pouch of spirulina powder.
This will take a bit more prep work to individually package all your servings, but once you’ve got a collection of pouches, you can add them all to a single Ziploc bag or sealable freezer-safe container.
This way, you’ll be able to reach in and pull out a single serving at a time without exposing the entire package to your room temperature air.
How to Store Spirulina Powder Without Freezing
Leaving spirulina powder at room temperature isn’t going to hurt your product, but it won’t protect it either. There are no oils in algae that are going to spoil or go rancid but, as with all foods, exposure to air and the end to its natural life cycle will begin to degrade nutrition if not kept cold.
If you want to keep it fresh for as long as possible, make sure that your spirulina is stored in an air-tight, opaque container or package that won’t let sunshine through.
A cool, dark cupboard works well, as does storing it in your fridge, which will give the best results next to freezing.
Health Benefits of Spirulina Powder
Spirulina has become quite popular for its high protein content and the fact that, even though it’s a plant-based source of protein, it has all essential amino acids making it a “complete” source of protein.
It’s also a good source of vitamin B-12, though science is somewhat at war with the question of whether or not the vitamin is accessible to humans in this form.
B-12 aside, spirulina is full of additional nutrients that definitely impact human health in a positive way, notably tryptophan, iron and vitamin b-3, or niacin.
A lot of people will begin to supplement with spirulina powder because it can help suppress your appetite and help balance blood glucose levels, helping people who are trying to lose weight through dieting. It also helps boost physical performance, so if your weight management plan is exercise, it’s equally useful.
Spirulina has been shown to have very powerful anti-microbial properties and, for that reason, has been used to treat and protect against bacteria and viruses ranging from the common flu all the way to HIV, with many more dangerous illnesses in the middle.
One final impressive benefit of spirulina is that it is a chelating agent, which means that it can bind to heavy metals inside your body and lead them out of your body through your natural detox system – your urine.
How to Eat Spirulina Powder
Spirulina is most commonly sold as a powder, in little tablets or, less commonly, as a paste. No matter how you purchase it, look for a trusted, high-quality brand.
Tablets are easy to simply swallow, but powders and pastes might take a little more finesse to incorporate into your eating plan. You can cook spirulina or eat it raw, so there are a lot of options available to you.
If you’re going to cook with it though, try to add it at the very end of the process so that you protect as much of the nutritional content as possible.
The most popular way to use spirulina powder or paste is to add it to smoothies. Bananas, in particular, help to make the taste a little bit less aggressive, and they’re a common staple of smoothies, so it’s an easy combination, along with anything else you’d usually add to your drink, such as maca powder.
If you’re fine with the flavor, you might find yourself sprinkling the powder onto your salads, in your sauces or throughout your soups and stews. It also works really well to boost the protein content in your homemade raw energy snacks like bliss balls or protein bars.
Is it safe to take Spirulina every day?
Yes, it’s absolutely safe to consume a high-quality spirulina supplement on a daily basis. It’s not considered a drug or a medication, so it’s not regulated by the FDA and it’s up to you to make sure you’re sourcing your spirulina from a reliable producer.
Most manufacturers suggest a daily intake of between 1 – 10 grams of spirulina, depending on the concentration and your reasons for consuming it. Any known side effects to spirulina are not from the algae itself, but from contaminants due to poor production standards.
How do I know if my spirulina is of high quality?
Unfortunately, the quick rise in popularity of this superfood resulted in a demand-focused industry that determined to find the least expensive manufacturing procedures that didn’t care much about quality.
There’s no point in removing heavy metals from your bloodstream if, at the same time, you’re being exposed to lead, now is there?
When you’re shopping for your spirulina, ask the following questions of the brands you explore:
- Where are the algae grown? Taiwan and Hawaii have well-regulated spirulina production industries, whereas countries like China, India and even Japan tend to be more polluted and less regulated.
- A great Hawaiian spirulina powder is this one on Amazon.
- Has the spirulina been tested for contaminants? Keep an eye out for 3rd party verifications that affirm there are no heavy metals, additives or pesticides present in the product.
- Is this spirulina freshwater grown? High-quality spirulina is always going to be produced in monitored environments, such as freshwater tanks. If there is a high iodine content in the algae you’re looking at, there’s a good chance it was grown in the ocean and therefore will have a much higher risk of contaminants.
Does spirulina thicken hair?
The nutritional profile of spirulina has a lot of cross-over for nutrients that lead to healthy hair growth.
Protein, with all the amino acids, vitamin A and beta-carotene are all present in good supply in this algae, and have been shown to protect against hair loss, encourage hair re-growth and even treat scalp conditions like dandruff.