The first time I bought spirulina I was excited to start taking it for all the great health benefits I had read about. I had read some reviews about spirulina’s taste and smell before buying, so I was interested to find out for myself what does spirulina taste like. It couldn’t be that bad, right?
I remember the first time opening the package and thinking, “this smells kind of like seaweed.” But how was it going to taste? I was brave enough to find out.
What is Spirulina?
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that is found growing in lakes, ponds and other natural freshwater sources. It is considered a superfood, and has been consumed for centuries or possibly longer. Mexico and countries in Africa have eaten spirulina as a food source, including the Aztecs. In Africa it has been consumed in Chad where is has been harvested from Lake Chad.
It’s been shown to be both safe and nutritious. It’s a source of protein as well some nutrients. And its best feature is the vast amount of antioxidants that it contains, which gives spirulina its tremendous health benefits. (You can find out more about spirulina here).
What does Spirulina do? Well, spirulina has tons of benefits for out health. It has the antioxidant phycocyanin which has a ton of benefits. It is an antioxidant, so it helps to destroy free radicals that are produced in our body.
This helps with inflammation and fighting chronic disease.
You can learn more about spirulina benefits here.
Does Spirulina Have a Taste?
Yes, I found out that spirulina definitely has a taste. But it’s not as bad a taste as I was thinking it was going to be.
What Does Spirulina Taste Like?
I can only describe the spirulina taste as somewhat like seaweed. I’ve heard others say Spirulina tastes like the sea, or the ocean. I’ve also heard a fish aquarium or just a fishy taste. I don’t think fishy is quite an accurate taste for it though.
This isn’t surprising because spirulina is actually grown in lakes and ponds. It’s a blue-green algae. So, once you know that, the taste and smell of being like a fish tank, isn’t surprising.
Does spirulina taste awful?
I don’t think it tastes awful. Honestly, to me, it’s really not that bad. But I’m not very sensitive to tastes or smells, and I will eat a lot of things without problems. This includes raw garlic, so to me, the taste of spirulina is not bad at all. But if you are someone with more sensitive tastes, it might be a problem for you.
My wife wouldn’t let me put it into our green smoothies. Which was initially my idea. I also couldn’t get her to take them by themselves. (She’s more sensitive to taste than me). So are there any solutions for those who don’t like the spirulina flavor? Yes.
Should Spirulina Taste Fishy?
No, spirulina should not taste overly fishy. Although it is a flavor that is somewhat aquatic in nature, it doesn’t taste exactly like fish. It isn’t overly bitter and it doesn’t taste spoiled and fishy in any way.
If you find the spirulina that you have is overwhelmingly in flavor, it may not have been grown correctly.
How to Make Spirulina Taste Good or Better
I was taking the tablet version of Spirulina. There’s also a powder form. For both of these forms, the spirulina will touch your tongue directly, so you’ll taste it. Instead, you can get it in pill form. That way you will not really taste it, since the spirulina will be inside the plastic pill capsule. The only downside is these tend to cost more than if you get the tablets or powder in bulk.
Is there another way you can eat spirulina without tasting it? You could put it into a smoothie. There are actually green spirulina smoothie recipes. The key might be to use enough sweet fruits or other stronger flavors in it, that will mask the flavor of the spirulina. Here’s some recipes.
Spirulina Smoothie Recipes
These spirulina smoothie recipes all have good ratings, so they should taste ok and help make the spirulina taste better.
Can You Taste Spirulina in Smoothies?
If you use sweet fruits like mango, bananas and oranges then you shouldn’t have a problem with tasting spirulina. These fruits tend to have a decent amount of flavor and sweetness and will mask the spirulina taste.
It might also depend on how much you use. If you use too much, that also might cause the flavor and taste of the spirulina to be too overpowering.
There is also another option, and that’s blue spirulina.
What is Blue Spirulina?
Blue spirulina is the antioxidant phycocyanin, extracted and removed from spirulina. And it’s sold as a powder that’s called Blue Spirulina. This is because the phycocyanin is a bright blue color, so the resulting powder is a bright blue color. See more at What is Blue Spirulina?
What Does Blue Spirulina Taste Like?
Blue spirulina, unlike regular green spirulina, has no taste! That’s why some people prefer it. You get some of the antioxidant benefits of spirulina (since blue spirulina is the antioxidant) but you don’t have any bad flavor. Also, some people like it because it acts like a natural food dye. It colors the food that it is put into, into a bright blue color. This includes smoothies. As long as there are no other conflicting colors.
Does Blue Spirulina Taste Like Anything?
Blue Spirulina has a neutral flavor, so unlike regular Spirulina, Blue Spirulina has no taste. This is an option if you are trying to avoid the taste of spirulina.
What is the Best Way to Eat Spirulina?
I would usually just take spirulina in the tablet form with water, much like taking a pill. You can also purchase it in a powder form, in which you could mix it with water or another drink.
If you have a problem with the flavor, you can do as was suggested previously and mix it into a smoothie as a way to eat the spirulina and make it taste good.
How Does Spirulina Smell?
Spirulina has an aquatic type of smell. To me, it smells very much like seaweed. Or it could be described as what an aquarium might smell like.
Final Thoughts on Spirulina Taste
So, there you go, now you know what spirulina actually tastes like. It’s really not too bad, but it really depends on how sensitive your taste buds are.
So, if you are sensitive to the flavor, you have a couple of other options. This includes pills, smoothies, or even blue spirulina.
What does spirulina taste like to you? Or do you have any other suggestions? Leave a comment below!