Book of 25 recipes featuring tropical pond algae Spirulina

[Global, UK] How would you feel about tucking into a pond weed pastie or chomping down on an algae-filled apple pie?

Many of us have had crispy seaweed from the Chinese takeaway but a former Oxford Times writer has published a book of 25 recipes all featuring tropical pond algae Spirulina – there is even a recipe for dog biscuits.

Baked potato and pumpkin with Spirulina
Baked potato and pumpkin with Spirulina

Helen Peacocke wrote her Green Power cookbook inspired by an Abingdon charity’s project to farm Spirulina in Africa as a cheap, nutritious source of protein.

Now she is selling her paperback to raise money for the same charity: the Nasio Trust.

Mrs Peacocke, who lives in Eynsham, spent months battling with bags of bright green powder trying to find flavour combinations that would complement the strong-tasting algae.

Bubble and squeak, spice cakes with kale, and spinach with egg
Bubble and squeak, spice cakes with kale, and spinach with egg

She even recruited a little help from children at St Swithun’s primary school in Kennington, who contributed a pinch of imagination and a dash of daring to proceedings by coming up with their own recipes.

Last month, she finally revealed the fruit of her labours.

The 74-year-old said: “It was definitely a challenge but it was also great fun and for a really good cause.

“The Nasio Trust’s Spirulina project is a fantastic way to make kids in Kenya more healthy.”

Spirulina, a blue-green algae that grows in lakes in Africa, Asia and South America, has been popular in the West for years as a dietary supplement in pill and power form.

Pound for pound, it has the highest protein content of any natural food – 50 to 70 per cent, compared to beef which is typically about 52 per cent.

Autumn Spirulina pasties
Autumn Spirulina pasties

What’s more, it can be grown in fish tanks and doubles its biomass every five days.

The Nasio Trust, founded to help orphans in Kenya, started fundraising in 2013 for a new project: a Spirulina farm.

Oxford fundraising group Kennington Overseas Aid chose Nasio as its charity of the year in 2014 and raised £25,000 which allowed it to make its Spirulina dreams come true.

By the following year the first 10 tanks were already producing 13kg of dried, protein-rich algae every week, enough work to employ seven people.

Hoping to help the charity even more, Kennington Overseas Aid recruited Helen Peacocke to write a book of recipes which could show off Spirulina at its most delicious and also raise extra money for the charity.

Helen peacock
Helen peacock

Mrs Peacocke will be officially launch the book along with representatives of the Nasio Trust and members of Kennington Overseas Aid at this year’s Kennington Fete on Saturday, June 18.

Some of the children from St Swithun’s will even demonstrate how to make their winning smoothie recipe.

The recipes include:

  • Safi Green Ugali (a traditional African dish made with maize or millet flour)
  • Spiced Red Cabbage
  • Beetroot Soup with Feta
  • Apple Hamburgers (pork and apple)
  • Individual Apple Pies
  • Autumn Spirulina Pasties
  • Baked Potato and Pumpkin
  • Beetroot and Coconut Dip
  • Pasta Casserole
  • Bubble and Squeak, Spiced Cakes with Kale, Spinach and Egg (and Spirulina)
  • Appacardo Smoothie (by Alex Howard and Max Dunham from St Swithun’s School, Kennington)
  • Spirulina Dog Biscuits

 

View original article at: Book of 25 recipes featuring tropical pond algae Spirulina

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