Sunday, March 17, 2013

Spirulina Pineapple Juice with Herbs: Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I've never been much of a drinker.  I will partake once in a blue moon for special occasions, like toasting to a couple at a wedding or ceremony.  But on the whole, if there's a non-alcoholic option, trust that I will take it.  So today, on a day where people are expected to start drinking as part of their morning meal, I decided to come up with a quick and easy drink you can chug with abandon with no regrets.  It provides a spring in your step as well as boost for your health with loads of vitamin C, anti-inflammatory enzymes, and antioxidants galore.  Other added bonuses?  It may decrease your chances of having to call a cab, laying blame on beer goggles, and/or retracing your steps the next morning to find your wallet, your keys, or your car.  

And if you do drink, and any of those last things do happen to happen, this is also an excellent hangover remedy.  [smile]

Spirulina Pineapple Juice with Ginger, Basil, & Cilantro
Gluten-Free & Vegan

Active Prep Time: less than 5 minutes
Inactive Prep Time:  up to 2 hours
Cooking Time: none
Yield: (4) 1/2 c servings

2 c unsweetened pineapple juice
1 teaspoon spirulina powder (or other powdered greens)
2 teaspoons pureed ginger juice
4-6 large basil leaves, torn
3-4 sprigs cilantro, torn
1-2 pinches ground cayenne (optional)

What you need:  large mason jar, blender ball

1.  Combine all ingredients in mason jar with blender ball.  A blender ball is the spherical, whisk-like ball included in many on-the-go protein shake bottles.  Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds.  If you don't have one, feel free to whisk by hand (starting with a small portion of the pineapple juice and then adding the rest once the spirulina is incorporated) or use a blender, adding the herbs afterwards.  And with the herbs, I recommend tearing the leaves into small pieces and then mashing the pieces between the fingers to break down the leaf structure to help release the flavors.
2.  Serve immediately or cover and chill to allow the flavors to further come together.  The spirulina will not completely combine, so it will settle as the juice chills.  Just shake it up again before serving.  And remember that if you do use the cayenne, the spiciness will continue to intensify the longer you allow the mix to chill. 

Behold the blender ball.

The aroma of cilantro...yum.

Green goodness.

Serve up, on the rocks, or drink it straight from the jar (just beware the blender ball).  I really enjoy the vegetal, grassy flavor of spirulina, and even if you don't or you simply don't know if you do or don't, the full sweetness of the pineapple juice helps it all to go down smoothly.  And the herbs add some wonderful backnotes to help round out the flavor, and along with the spice of ginger and cayenne, lend balance to the overall experience.  If you want to fancy it up further, try adding some sparkling water, tonic, or ginger ale.  And if by fancy you mean alcoholic, I bet champagne, tequila, vodka, rum, or even a light beer might pair nicely.  

Wishing all a safe, happy, and memorable St. Patrick's Day.

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