Naturya Organic Spirulina Powder - Holland & Barrett Product Review Incl. Spirulina Fruit Juice Recipe

I am right in the middle of a move and had forgotten how demanding moving can be!! I'm relocating from London to Nottingham and the past two months have involved a lot of to-ing and fro-ing! The whole thing has me running around and as a result I am totally run down!

This morning I woke up feeling I needed a major boost and thought to look in my *Holland & Barrett bags (*see blog dated 23rd Jan ) for inspiration, and I found it in Naturya's Organic Spirulina Powder! I'd been saving the pack for  future posts but today couldn't have been a better time to try it. I needed a major boost just to get me moving and to help me fight all the negatives my body seems to be trying to fight off.

I remember the first time I had a drink that contained spirulina. It was about a decade ago in Naked drinks at my local Starbucks. I absolutely loved the taste and remember feeling very virtuous and buying extras to take home with me as I couldn't find them in any other shops even though I'd see them on American tv shows! Then about 3 years ago, I noticed them being added to drinks at different fast-foods, health shops and takeaways - such as The Light Centre and Vital in Moorgate. Again, I was able to enjoy the benefits of drinking smoothies & juices that contained spirulina.
I had never used spirulina myself so today was a totally new experience for me.
First I googled to see what kind of smoothies and juices people made and noticed very mixed views. Some people would say it tasted pretty fishy so go easy with it until you get used to the taste, others would say definitely add sweetener, yet others would say just mix it in water and drink!

I decided to just go and get a few bits of fruit and veg and mix a small amount of spirulina in and take it from there! I ended up making quite a green juice but after tasting it, realize I can mix it with anything!

So, this is how it went!

Firstly, let's talk about the packaging. I was a bit concerned about opening the pack and then having to tape it up for my move - but I need not have worried. The strip at the top opened so easily and closing the pack after was so effortless!

How I made my juice:

For a large glass:

Approximately 120 ml apple juice
1 large sweet strawberry (the Egyptian strawberries on sale at Tescos at the moment are so sweet and delicious!) - sliced
2 slices pear, chopped
2 gold kiwi fruit, sliced - (honestly, again Tesco has the sweetest 'Supersweet Gold Kiwi' produced in Italy- if you're in the UK, go get some!)
1/2 cucumber, quartered
1/2 lime juice
1 heaped teaspoon of spirulina, though next time I will make that one tablespoon!

Put in blender or whatever appliance you use. So many use NutriBullet but I don't have one so I use my old faithful, Morphy Richards blender and whizz it all up in about 6 seconds!

What it tasted like:

It tasted delicious!! I'm so glad I waited to see if it needed honey, cause it didn't. Perhaps it was sweet enough due to the kiwi and strawberry.. Also, once I realized the taste was not overbearing, I dipped my finger in some spirulina and tasted it on it's own and it was fine, though I know if I had done that a few times more I would have not been able to tolerate it.

Some of the health benefits:
  • 65% protein ( a complete source of high quality protein)
  • Contains all 9 essential amino acids
  • Extremely high in Calcium - apparently 26x more than milk!
  • High in iron - the best plant source of iron that is easy to absorb and digest
  • Extremely high in chlorophyll which helps to remove toxins as well as boost the immune system, cleanse the blood
  • High in beta carotene, which converts into vitamin A
  • Contains omega 3,6 & 9
  • Source of potassium, chromium, copper, selenium, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, vitamin C, D and E! Also, contains B  vitamins such as thiamine, riboflavin and folic acid. These will help the heart, the mind, lethargy, skin and so much more!
  • A big antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and may also help with allergies and sinus issues.
  • Good source of fibre 
  • Can help with acne caused by bacteria
  • Keeps you full longer
*One last important note, I am the kind of person that looks at every food as a whole - As someone who has studied nutrition, I look at all the benefits but also look at what may cause a problem for certain people.
For example, I remember drinking cactus juice every day for a couple of weeks, until I nearly fainted on the way home and looked up more information about it and realized it lowers blood pressure which is great for a lot of people but not me, who has quite low blood pressure in the first place! Same goes for grapefruit- it's a nutritious and helpful fruit, but mix it with some medication such as drugs that treat cancer or high blood-pressure, to name a few, and it can be deadly!
So, if you are worried as you are on certain medications and have certain medical issues do consult a professional before you start taking spirulina.

I've read that you should NOT consume spirulina if you have:
  •  Auto-immune disease
  • compromised renal function
  • People who are allergic to iodine
  • Always make sure your spirulina comes from a good source- that it is organic- otherwise it does hold on to whatever is in it's environment, which can include toxins. You are safe with Naturya Organic Spirulina Powder in that regard, as they grow theirs on an island in the South China Sea, surrounded by rich forest, protected from urban and agricultural pollution. They continuously and rigorously test for mercury and other contaminators and do tests on a daily basis! In fact here's a copy of what they say:
'The fierce spirulina thrives in a hostile environment deadly to most microorganisms. So it can be organically farmed without need for chemical pesticides to sterilise it. Ours is grown on a island in the South China Sea – surrounded by rich forest, protected from urban or agricultural pollution.
We rigorously test for mercury, lead and other contaminants, guaranteeing a pure product without risk of heavy metal poisoning. We also test the growing ponds daily for pH value and optical density.
Spirulina is harvested with a fine mesh-screen that captures the small coiled filaments from the water. It’s then sieved and transferred to a washing pond, before being hand-washed over a mesh-screen, ensuring that only pure spirulina is processed. This wet spirulina is placed in a drying chamber which quickly evaporates all the moisture, while preserving nutrient content – leaving the fine green powder which we package for you.'

I will certainly continue adding it to my foods and drinks and look forward to seeing some positive results. After all, it did give me the energy to do what I needed to today!

Plamil Egg-Free Mayonnaise- Holland & Barrett Product Review Incl. Potato Salad Recipe

Ok, I'm not gonna lie- as soon as I came home from the Holland & Barret event (see 22.01.17 blog post), I toasted some wholesome brown bread, got my roast beef out of the fridge, spread the toast with loads of Plamil egg-free mayo & some English mustard and made myself a delicious roast beef and mayo sandwich! It was superb. I then tasted a teaspoon of the mayo on it's own and felt it tasted just like homemade mayonnaise. Genius!
So, I decided to make some potato salad using the egg-free mayo not just for people who are allergic to eggs but also for vegans.

So here's the recipe!

750g baby potatoes (or some people use jersey potatoes)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar (some use red wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons sunflower oil (some use vegetable oil)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt (for boiling water)
6 tablespoons of Plamil Egg-free mayonnaise
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard
5 spring onions - chopped (I like a lot of spring onions in mine!)
2 small cups of chopped chives (Again, I like a lot of chives in mine too!)
1 small cup of chopped parsley
1 small cup of chopped mint
2 tablespoons of capers

What to do!

*If you wish to peel your potatoes, do that now. My recipe keeps the potato skins on.

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender - with the amount I've put for this recipe, it will be around 20 minutes. Just stick a sharp knife or a fork in one after 15 minutes to gage.  Also, remember, you want them cooked and tender but not falling apart!!

Whisk the oils, vinegar, mustard and a pinch of salt together. Add and mix in the spring onions.
Drain and cut your potatoes the way you would like- in halves or quarters - or cut into round slices. Put them back in their pot.
Once cut and still warm add the above mix into the pot and stir. Now add the capers.

Once the potatoes have cooled, add 5 tablespoons of Plamil Egg-Free Mayonnaise to the potatoes
Add the remaining herbs and toss well.

and there you have it!
You may prefer to add a bit more salt, some pepper and a dash of lemon juice at this point. It really depends on your taste! :)


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