Spirulina, a type of freshwater blue green algae, is an extremely nutrient-dense vegan food source. It has a long history, being used by ancient civilizations like the Aztecs. It’s not only nutrient-rich but also an ecologically sound food as well.
This means that it’s both an extremely healthy and environmentally friendly food. It’s even being researched as a possibility to address global food security and malnutrition problems. Spirulina supplements are also being investigated as a dietary support product for astronauts! If that doesn’t speak to how amazing spirulina is, I don’t know what can.
Spirulina isn’t only for astronauts or addressing world hunger though. It’s also extremely accessible and you can find it in either your local supermarket or health foods store. Whilst it can be eaten raw, the most accessible and convenient form of spirulina is as a powder.
You can easily add dried spirulina powder to water, juice, smoothies, or as an ingredient any other recipe that you’d like.
What about storing spirulina powder though? How long does it last? Can you freeze spirulina powder? Read on to find out everything you need to know about preserving this mighty greens powder!
- 1 Can You Freeze Spirulina Powder?
- 2 What Impact Does Freezing Have On Spirulina Powder?
- 3 How to Freeze Spirulina Powder
- 4 How to Store Spirulina Powder Without Freezing
- 5 How to Thaw Frozen Spirulina Powder
Can You Freeze Spirulina Powder?
Yup! You can certainly freeze spirulina powder. Freezing spirulina supplements is a great way to prevent them from going bad due to heat, humidity, or moisture.
Exposure to moisture is the biggest threat as it can cause the spirulina powder to clump together and spoil. The reason it can spoil is because moisture provides the breeding ground for bacteria.
Spirulina powder can freeze so well because, as a powder, it doesn’t have any moisture. This is the same reason why other powders freeze well whilst things like fruit suffer – the water content.
One reason to consider freezing green spirulina is the cost. Quality spirulina powder can be on the expensive side. So, if you find bulk containers of it on sale then you should grab the opportunity to stock up! Since you can easily freeze it, you can safely store it for a long time. This means that you can look after your wallet, as well as your health!
What Impact Does Freezing Have On Spirulina Powder?
Since it’s such a healthy and nutrient-rich supplement, one may think that freezing green spirulina may have an adverse effect on it, or that it won’t freeze well.
But on the contrary, it freezes very well and there are minimal, if any, negative effects on the spirulina powder. This is because, as I mentioned briefly before, there is little, if any, water in the powder.
The two biggest dangers to frozen foods are exposed to air and high moisture content. Exposure to air can lead to freezer burn. If the food has high water content, the ice crystals that form inside the food when water freezes can negatively impact the taste and texture of the food.
So, as long as the spirulina powder is stored properly – in an airtight bag or container and not exposed to moisture – then there will be no impact on the spirulina powder at all.
How to Freeze Spirulina Powder
Freezing the Whole Container
If you’ve purchased multiple large containers of spirulina powder, you can simply store any unopened containers in the freezer as they are.
Since they should be properly sealed in the manufacturing process they should be as airtight as possible. Even if you’ve opened the container or bag that it comes in, you can also put that directly into the freezer. If you have opened the container, before you put it into the freezer you should try to squeeze as much air out as possible and then seal it appropriately. Some brands ship in a zip-seal bag are the most convenient way to freeze an opened package.
If you don’t feel that you can seal it well enough in the bag then you should transfer the contents into a freezer-safe zip-seal bag or container. I personally prefer using bags as they take up less space in the freezer. You can also do this if you don’t have enough space in the freezer for the whole container.
Similar to other foods that I freeze, I like to separate the spirulina powder into smaller portions. This makes it much more convenient when trying to get a quick bit of extra nutrition. I can simply take out a single portion bag and dump it into my smoothie or juice without having to go through the process of measuring out one serving.
Separating it into portions you not only makes it easier and more convenient for yourself, it’s better for the spirulina too. This is because, as with other frozen foods, you should limit the temperature changes it goes through to ensure its quality. While the temperature changes and defrosting and defrosting won’t have the same consequences as doing the same thing to frozen chicken, cheese, or a soup, but it can certainly have a negative impact, it just won’t be as noticeable as with other foods.
A drawback of portioning it into separate freezer bags is that it may use up a lot of those bags depending on how much spirulina powder you’re freezing. One way around this, which can also save a bit of space, is to spoon each portion into a small square of plastic wrap. Then, fold and twist the plastic wrap into a little pouch. You can then place all of the single servings of the spirulina powder into a large freezer-safe bag or container. While this does add significant prep time, you don’t have to go through nearly as many Ziploc bags and you can also keep them all in one tidy container, which saves space in the freezer.
How Long Does Spirulina Powder Last in the Freezer?
The shelf life of spirulina powder in the freezer is technically indefinite but I recommend using it within one year for the best quality and most nutritional value. You can tell it’s starting to degrade when it starts to lose its taste.
How to Store Spirulina Powder Without Freezing
You can also easily store spirulina powder in the fridge or even in the pantry. The most important things to consider when storing spirulina powder according to Sunburst Superfoods are:
- Prevent exposure to heat. Keep it room temperature or below.
- Avoid direct sunlight.
- Squeeze all the air out of the bag before resealing it.
- Seal the bag tightly after it’s used to prevent air exposure.
- Keep in a dry place, avoiding all contact with moisture.
If it’s kept according to these conditions then it can be safe to consume for two to three years. However, as previously stated, the quality will likely degrade past a year. It’s worth considering what each individual brand states regarding their storage recommendations as well.
How to Thaw Frozen Spirulina Powder
Since it’s a powder with pretty much zero moisture, frozen spirulina powder needs barely any time at all to thaw. As the most common uses for spirulina are adding it to cold drinks like juice, and smoothies, you probably will not have to even defrost spirulina powder at all.