Notes from the Rainforest Foods kitchen: Spirulina and Chlorella: Pineapple’s perfect partners
The Rainforest Foods kitchen has begun a series of experiments recently, into interesting ways of using our algae products, Spirulina and Chlorella. We produce them separately and mixed together, in both tablet and capsule form. But we also sell them as powders. Western diets feature very few algaes, despite their exceptional nutritional value, so general kitchen practice employing them is rare. This is a shame, because both Spirulina powder and Chorella powder are very comprehensive foods. They are rich in protein, give us a wide spread of vitamins and contain many minerals.
What focussed our attention on the algaes was the chance discovery of the recipe for a Spirulina and Pineapple smoothie. This chimed with us because for several days a Pineapple had been sitting in the fruit bowl uneaten, after we bought it on offer in a local shop. Would Pineapple sit well with Spirulina? we wondered. And what about Chlorella? A tasting was called for.
Pineapple is a fine food in its own right. It provides plentiful dietary fibre, and is notably rich in Vitamin C and Manganese, among a good spectrum of vitamins and minerals. We cut the rind from the Pineapple and took off a slice of the flesh. Our experiment was simple, involving chunks of Pineapple on a plate, plus some Spirulina and Chlorella. We dipped chunks into the powdered product, before eating.
Smeared in Spirulina powder, Pineapple tastes very good. The Spirulina seems to soften the slightly acidic nature of the fruit, as well as giving it a nutty undertone.
A dash of Chlorella powder has a different effect on Pineapple. It almost enhances the sweetness. The fairly distinctive taste of Chlorella on its own disappears, to let a new, very fruity taste come to the fore.
We offer Spirulina and Chlorella mixed together in capsule form, so it seemed logical to combine the two powders and dab a chunk of Pineapple into the mixture. This was less successful. The two transformative effects tended to fight each other, rather than working with the flavours in the fruit.
We discovered that there is more to this phenomenon than the simple combination of two foods. It is also a matter of proportion. We made a pair of small, simple smoothies with two slices of Pineapple and two teaspoons of – in turn – Spirulina powder and Chlorella powder. Neither of these was very successful, as they contained too much algae for the volume of fruit. There simply wasn’t enough fruit to have its flavours enhanced by the combination of ingredients.
Our experiments will continue, but initial findings are encouraging. From what we have tasted so far, a fruit salad of Pineapple with a light dusting of either Spirulina or Chlorella will prove a lovely, sweet, light and nutritious dessert.