Graduation week is finally here! It’s hard to believe that, after four years, I will finally be receiving my undergraduate degree on Tuesday. I am so grateful for all the people who have been a part of this journey with me, and for all that I have learned. This is only the beginning of a long road ahead for all of us, and I’m excited to start the journey. Who knows where we’ll all be in the next four years?
This month’s Recipe Redux theme is floral flavours. Now, I know bee pollen isn’t a flower, but it does come from a flower. That counts, right? Some people on Instagram have been asking me what bee pollen is, whether it’s good for you, where it comes from, so I thought I would do a post explaining the benefits of bee pollen.
What is bee pollen? Where does it come from?
Bee pollen are flower pollen granules collected by bees. According to Food Matters, “one teaspoon dose of pollen takes one bee working eight hours a day for one month to gather. Each bee pollen pellet contains over two million flower pollen grains and one teaspoonful contains over 2.5 billion grains of flower pollen.”
What does bee pollen taste like? How do you use bee pollen?
Bee pollen has a very pleasant floral taste. Although some people don’t like the flavour, I find that it goes very well with smoothies and coconut yoghurt. Do not heat up bee pollen, as it will destroy its precious nutritional qualities. Start with small portions of bee pollen before increasing the amount you take. I’d suggest starting with half a teaspoon. Do not consume bee pollen if you have an allergy to pollen and/or honey!
Where are the nutritional benefits of bee pollen?
Protein. Bee pollen is one of the densest sources of animal protein on the planet. It has more amino acids than the same amount of beef or eggs, and a whopping 40% of bee pollen is made up of protein. Bee pollen itself contains most of the nutrients required by the human body. If your diet is lacking protein, sprinkle some pollen onto your smoothies, fruit, or yoghurt.
Immunity. The antioxidants found in bee pollen helps to protect cells from damaging free radicals, and its nutritionally dense nature provides the body with what it needs to fight off infection and disease. Research conducted at the University of Vienna found that female cancer patients who were fed bee pollen “quickly exhibited a higher concentration of cancer-fighting immune-system cells, increased antibody production, and a markedly improved level of infection-fighting and oxygen carrying red blood cells (hemoglobin).”
Allergy treatment. With the exception of people with pollen allergies (I repeat: if you have a pollen allergy, do not consume bee pollen!), bee pollen’s ability to reduce the presence of histamine in the body = alleviation of allergy symptoms.
Fertility. Bee pollen assists with ovarian function, and is rumoured to be quite the aphrodisiac.
Skin health. The amino acids in bee pollen help to protect and regenerate skin cells, as well as reduce skin inflammation such as zits and acne. Similarly, raw honey’s anti-inflammatory properties help to quickly get rid of zits. Need a quick fix? Dab some on your problem areas before bed, and wash away with warm water when you wake up.
These are just a few of the wonderful benefits of bee pollen- I could go on forever, but it’s probably best that I move on to the actual recipe. I’ve posted a few smoothie recipes in the past, and the one today is just as delicious as the mango-kiwi-avocado smoothie bowl and the blueberry bliss bowl. You can either blend the bee pollen into the smoothie or sprinkle it on top. Of course, if you are vegan, skip the bee pollen.
Mango, Banana, and Spinach Smoothie
*1 large serving or 2 smaller servings
2 cups spinach
1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
1/2 cup water
1 banana, frozen
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon maca
1 teaspoon spirulina
1 teaspoon bee pollen
goji berries, to garnish
chia seeds, to garnish
*add maple syrup, raw honey, or a teaspoon of lucuma if you’d like it a bit sweeter
Blend the spinach, almond milk, and water together. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.
Serve in either a bowl or a glass and garnish with bee pollen, goji berries, and chia seeds.
Raspberry, Peach, and Kale Smoothie Bowl
Yields 1 large serving or 2 smaller servings.
- 2 cups leafy greens of choice
- 1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
- 1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
- 1 ripe peach, peeled and cut
- 1 banana
- 1 teaspoon lucuma, more if you prefer
- 1 teaspoon maca, more if you prefer
- 1 teaspoon bee pollen
- raw cacao nibs, to garnish
1. Blend the frozen raspberries and the almond milk together. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend again.
2. Pour into a bowl, garnish with bee pollen and raw c
Enjoy : )
Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,