Friday, March 14, 2008

Bee Pollen (Candy)

Bee pollen is a powder-like material that is produced by the anthers of flowering plants and gathered by bees. It has been called the world’s only perfect food because it contains every nutrient the human body requires.

8 - 40% Protein, Calcium, Carotene
B-Complex Vitamins, Copper, Sodium
Vitamin C, Iron, Plant Sterols
Amino Acids, Magnesium, Simple Sugar
Essential Fatty Acids, Potassium
Enzymes, Manganese

Like other bee products, bee pollen has anti-microbial properties as well as anti-biotic, anti-viral, antiseptic, and anti-fungal properties.

Useful for combating fatigue, depression, cancer, stimulating the reproductive system for males and females and eases digestive and colon disorders. It also helps people with allergies because it strengthens the immune system.

Choosing bee pollen:
Bee pollen should not form clumps and should be stored in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated. Like other bee products you should only choose locally produced bee pollen, this is especially important for anti-allergenic properties.

Heat destroys bee pollen’s vital enzyme activity and lowers the nutrient value so it is not recommended for teas or cooking. Instead try adding granules to yogurt or cereal, or mix with cinnamon and add to applesauce.

Bee Pollen Candy is one of our favorite household treats. I originally used a recipe from Healing Teas, by Antol, but have drastically changed it over the years.

Bee Pollen Candy:

½ Cup Bee Pollen
2 Tablespoons Cocoa
2 Tablespoons Water
3 Tablespoons Raw Honey
½ Cup Rolled Oats
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
½ Cup Crunchy Peanut Butter
½ Cup Tahini
Coconut for rolling
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cardamon

Dissolve the cocoa in the water and mix with bee pollen in a medium size bowl. Add the raw honey and mix well, and then add the peanut butter, tahini, Bee Pollen, Rolled Oats, Vanilla, nutmeg and cardamon and mix thoroughly.
Using your hand (works well to moisten your hand with water) or melon baller form into small balls, roll in the coconut and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

An estimated .05% of the population is said to be allergic to bee pollen. So it is wise to start with just a few granules, wait for a reaction before increasing the dosage. In class I have taught people who have had the most reactions are those people who are also allergic to bees, although this is not always the case.

Works consulted:
Healing Teas, Marie Nadine Antol
Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers, Stephen Buhner