Papaya Blueberry Smoothie or, Introducing Bee Pollen

Papaya, Blueberry, Lime & Tart Cherry Smoothie with Bee Pollen

There are two things going on here:

1.) A delicious cleansing smoothie made with papaya, frozen blueberries, lime juice and tart cherry puree  that’s such a great way to start the day.  It’s refreshing and very light, and is a great accompaniment to say a Raspberry-Lemon Muffin with almond butter or your favorite breakfast routine.

To make the smoothie, blend:

– 1/2 Fresh Papaya, de-seeded and peeled

– 1/2 Cup Frozen Blueberries

– Juice from 1/2 Fresh Lime

– 1/4 Cup Tart Cherry Juice

2.) Bee pollen, the little yellow-orange dots atop the smoothie.  I’ve seen bee pollen in smoothies and bowls for awhile now, and never stopped to learn about it.  All of the honey vendors at our farmer’s market carry it, my favorite being Andrew’s Honey here in New York City, who’s strong man always makes me smile:

Andrew's Honey Bee Pollen

What exactly is bee pollen, and how does it differ from flower pollen?  It’s the little pollen-colored pellets you can see here, which are formed when worker bees collect flower pollen and mix it with a tiny bit of honey to carry back to the hive for the younger bees.  The pellets also include nectar and possibly bee saliva.  I won’t worry that that sounds gross considering the nature of a great many of our other food sources.

It has almost no taste and according to multiple websites is a perfect superfood.  (I did come across warnings that pregnant and/or breastfeeding women should avoid bee pollen, and notices that it may cause an allergic reaction similar to pollen allergies if taken in too large quantities.)

What appeals to me about bee pollen is the possibility that it is an effective aid in preventing pollen allergies.  A few years ago, I was smacked with adult-onset pollen allergies, and Claritin D barely seems to touch the relentlessly streaming eyes, endless sniffles and ensuing coughs.  So when several honey vendors mentioned how effective bee pollen is for combating this very allergy, I was more than willing to try.  As with various online sources, I was told that there is no guarantee that it will actually work (!) but I decided that either nothing will happen (it’s made of flower pollen and honey after all) or it will help.  Plus, it feels like a commonly trusted theory that local honey provides the same benefits, so this particular leap of faith didn’t exactly feel daring.

I was advised to start with a very small dose – no more than a pinch – and work up to a teaspoon, and always always take it with food.  Having completed two weeks work of pinch-a-day servings, I’ve graduated to two pinches, which is the quantity shown above.  I’ll use a two-pinch serving size this week and next, and then continue working up to a teaspoon in pinch increments.  I’d say that we are 10 days – two weeks out on the serious pollen days, where in certain spots you can almost see the yellow dust in the air.  Or I can anyway, as it floats down like an inescapable alien invader on my system.  So we’ll see if the bee pollen solution really works, or if I’ve just been sprinkling spit balls on my smoothies!  Fingers crossed!!

Almost Allergy Season

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