Pollen 101 - the Basics and Essentials of Bee Pollen
Pollen is a powerful natural food, consisting of flower pollen and nectar, enzymes, honey and wax. The bees collect it from the plant and bring it back to the hive to feed the colony. At various times of the year in Western Australia, the bees bring in an abundance of pollen. When the hive has an abundance of pollen stored, we're able to collect it without affecting this important store of nutrient for the bees.
Honey in the Garden's pollen is sustainably harvested twice a week (when in season), primarily from our Jarrah and Marri flowering season. After collecting the raw pollen from our hives, it is dried, and frozen to be kept in cold storage. We then package it before dispatch, so its fresh and as close to its raw state for you to enjoy and get the maximum superfood benefits. Bee Pollen products are most active when fresh, so once you take your pollen home, please keep it refrigerated, or in the freezer for best results and to prevent fermentation of the product.
Since we've been harvesting our own honey and pollen, we've made it part of our daily ritual to include both in our diets and can now definitively say we feel like our minds and bodies have become stronger and healthier as a result.
Bee pollen can safely be consumed daily, but no more than a teaspoon is recommended. It may be good to start off with ⅛ to ¼ of a teaspoon of bee pollen granules daily and build up your dose to around 1 teaspoon a day. Just pay attention to your body and notice any reactions you may have to it, until you work out what dosage is right for you. Most people experience no reaction at all, however bee products are allergenic so take care if you have any kind of bee allergies.
Pollen has been considered a superfood, thanks to its unique blend of essential nutrients. It offers a source of complete protein, is rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and anti-oxidants, and has a range of health benefits. It is considered to reduce inflammation, strengthen the immune system and enhance vitality. Bee pollen is also a great brain booster, helping to ease brain fatigue and to improve alertness and concentration levels over an extended period of time.
While descriptions of the tastes of pollen from different people vary, a common description is that it has a light, powdery, yet floral, and slightly sweet taste. It's simple to incorporate into your diet too - simply sprinkle over your yogurt, cereal or oats at breakfast, or add to a delicious fresh seasonal salad. Add a teaspoon along with your favourite honey to a smoothie (see below for the delicious banana, honey, yogurt and coconut milk smoothie I had yesterday) or juice, or mix in with a protein shake. It can also be added to home made raw slices and protein bars. Pollen is great to add to cakes, muffins and so on, but should not be cooked, for maximum health benefits, so add it to the icing or topping before serving, as we did with our banana and coconut cake recipe!
Bee pollen can cause severe allergic reactions. If you suffer from allergies to bees, honey or airborne pollens, seek advice from a health professional to determine if it is safe for you to consume. Best to take even a single ball of pollen and ensure no reaction before increasing dosage.