Bee Pollen: Bee in the Know

By Frankie Di Iorio

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WHAT’S THE BUZZ OF THE HEALTH-FOOD SCENE TODAY? Bee pollen! Luckily, this food of young bees isn’t just for our insect friends. Bee pollen is the pollen of a flower that has been collected by a worker bee and formed into pellets inside the hive. Jam-packed with protein and nutrients, this bee product is a lesser-known superfood. With health benefits from allergy symptom relief and increased energy, to improved digestive, cardiovascular, respiratory and immune systems, it is a wonder that this versatile product is only recently making its way into culinary stardom.

Most people can safely consume bee pollen on a daily basis. However, on rare occasions, there is potential for allergic reactions. For this reason, upon initial consumption, it is safest for bee pollen to be consumed in very small doses. But don’t worry, if bee pollen is eaten in increasing doses and there are no signs of allergic reaction, it will be safe to eat regularly. The taste of bee pollen can vary from bitter to sweet depending on what type of flower the bees flock to. It is ideal to consult with a local beekeeper, though bee pollen is readily available at select grocery stores.

Bee pollen granules can be consumed by the tablespoon on their own but, where’s the fun in that? It can be cooked, but bee pollen may lose much of its nutritional value in the process. For this reason it is best consumed raw. As a healthy addition to any meal, bee pollen recipes range from breakfast to dessert and every meal in between. It can be used in granule form to add a nice texture of crunch atop yogurt for breakfast or mixed in a light salad for lunch time. When ground to a dust, bee pollen serves as a compliment sprinkled over popcorn or dark chocolate for dessert.

Whether blended in a smoothie or eaten with cereal, this superfood is something to consider when preparing a healthy meal.

ORANGE COUNTY BAR MASTERS UTILIZE BEE POLLEN

Bartenders are adding bee pollen to their cocktails, not only because it creates a frothy texture and full-bodied drink, but because there are numerous health benefits like amino acids, vitamin-B and folic acid. Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails offers the Midnight Mile, made with espresso-infused Bourbon, Kahlua, Bailey’s and bee pollen. After dissolving in bourbon for 12 hours, the bee pollen is hand-shaken with Kahlua and espresso beans to create this frothy cocktail.

ABOUT THE BIZ

Andrei’s Conscious Cuisine & Cocktails

2607 Main Street, Irvine, CA 92614

www.andreisrestaurant.com

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