Welcome to our favourite blog feature: ‘Supplier Spotlight’ where we’ll be interviewing the creative and hardworking individuals that create the delicious snacks that find their way into our boxes. In July’s boxes we are thrilled to be featuring the delightful ‘Spirulina Bites’ by Somerset-based company Little Sprout Gourmet Superfoods.
Little Sprout produce delicious handmade raw snacks made with their signature key superfood ingredient: Spirulina. We caught up with the lovely Loulou, founder of Little Sprout, to find out more about her new and exciting range of healthy snacks.
Tell us more about Little Sprout Gourmet Superfoods!
Little Sprout is a new kid on the block, set up last year by us – Loulou and Terri, two sisters egging each other on. We’re from a big family and have always loved cooking and the alchemy that comes about when we’re in the kitchen together. We also share a love affair with ingredients, spending hours in our local organic markets, drooling over the fresh vegetables and fruit, or foraging in the hedgerows for edible delights.
Spirulina is the key ingredient in all our recipes. When we first came across a spirulina farm in the south of France, something just clicked and we got really excited. We’d been used to seeing the pills and powders on the shelves of health food shops but here before us was a farm and in the sunshine the spirulina was being harvested from freshwater tanks. Aahhh – it’s alive! and it’s a food! We were hooked, captivated by the process of gathering the algae, straining it and pressing it into long spaghetti strands that would dry to a brittle thread and shatter into vermicelli of deepest green. And to top it all it tasted amazing! We started mixing up recipes to sprinkle over salads and experimenting with this wonderful new-found ingredient. At the same time we were delving into the world of raw cuisine and that had a big influence.
What exactly is Spirulina?
It’s the ultimate superfood – sunshine captured and transformed into a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and amino acids! Spirulina is a microscopic blue-green algae that occurs naturally in freshwater lakes around the world and is widely cultivated for its astounding nutritional properties. It’s an ancient food that’s been around since before the evolution of plants – that’s amazing to me – and just about the most nutrient dense food growing on this planet. With over 50% protein, 20 x more beta carotene than carrots and an impressive array micro-nutrients – it’s a mega health booster. And if you saw the recent Channel 4 documentary you’ll know that Nasa takes spirulina very seriously – it’s the food of the astronauts!
What can you do with sun-dried Spirulina?
Lots of people ask me what to do with spirulina. They know it’s brilliant but wonder how best to incorporate it into their diet and how much to use. The easiest thing to do with pure sun-dried spirulina is to sprinkle it on your food – it’s great with so many dishes, sweet or savoury and it has a lovely crunchy texture. It’ll blend up in a smoothie and give it a fabulous colour too. How much to use? Well, that’s really up to you – start with a teaspoonful each day and see how you get on. It’s a completely natural whole food with no known adverse effects and the nutrients are especially easy to digest and absorb. And the other great thing about spirulina is how versatile it is and how well it fits with other foods to make tasty treats.
We straddle the distance between France and England – Terri over there, cultivating lavender, keeping bees and in the process of building a solar dehydrator (this time for local fruits and herbs), and me here, cooking up a storm in my kitchen. Somehow we still manage to work together, albeit intermittently or at a distance but we fire each other up with new ideas and couldn’t manage without the mutual support.
To add to the mix there’s a third country, because we now source our spirulina from two wonderful social enterprise farms in southern India where the long growing season under the hot sun produces an abundance of green goodness.
What other products are there in the Little Sprout range?
As well as the Pure Sun-dried Spirulina we make a Spirulina Sprinkle with Yeast Flakes & Sesame which adds a rich and yummy flavour, sprinkled over salads, soups and any savoury dish. Then we have Spirulina Crunch – a power-packed savoury snack in three flavours: Beetroot & Basil; Carrot & Cumin; and Toasted Seeds with Tamari, Ginger & Chilli. In the sweets department (but with no added sugars) we’ve got Spirulina Bites – crunchy raw cookies with coconut, banana, sesame and goji berries. And after extensive testing (yum) watch this space for a raw cacao version coming soon…
If you’d like to get your hands on Little Sprout snacks, be sure to order your July Primal Snack Box soon! This month, both The Forest and The Savannah boxes feature the delicious ‘Spirulina Bites’, lovingly made from banana, coconut, sesame seeds, goji berries and of course…Spirulina! All boxes also include a FREE sample of ‘Spirulina Sprinkles’, too! Order your box by Friday 31st July by 1pm at the latest to guarantee your box.
If you’d like to know more about Little Sprout Gourmet Superfoods, you can do so by visiting their website here.