By Lauren Cox – Closer To Your Food

Bee pollen consists of the little granules that bees collect while moving from flower to flower. The granules are harvested from the hive and no bees are harmed in the process. Bee pollen is high in protein and many important minerals. We suggest you try ½ teaspoon to start in your daily routine and graduate up to 3 tablespoons during allergy season or when you need an extra immune boost. As always, we recommend that you speak to your doctor before integrating bee pollen into your diet.

Raw honey has also been consumed for millennia to aid in allergy support amongst many other ailments. The theory is that only raw honey contains the enzymes your body needs to fight histamines. Local honey and bee pollen should be your first choice because they introduce pollen from your everyday environment into your system. That way, when everything is blooming, your system has been “educated” to those species.

Many professionals will debate the efficacy of bee pollen and honey for allergy relief, but the proof is really in the pudding, or shall we say honey?

Here are 3 recipes to try now.

 Ultimate Honey Yogurt Parfait

1 cup organic whole milk yogurt (or yogurt of your choice) unsweetened

1 teaspoon local raw honey

1 teaspoon organic cinnamon

1 teaspoon fresh lime zest

½ cup paleo-friendly or grain-free granola

1 cup fresh seasonal berries, washed and sliced

1 tablespoon fresh micro greens or herbs such a basil or mint

2 tablespoons local bee pollen

In a bowl, mix together the yogurt, honey, cinnamon and zest until well-combined. In a parfait glass, layer the granola, berries, yogurt and pollen, and repeat until they are used up. Top your parfait with a little more pollen, the fresh micro greens or herbs and maybe even a little extra drizzle of honey and enjoy fresh.

DIY Honey Roasted Almond Butter

2 cups organic almonds

½ cup local honey

1 tablespoon coconut oil

¾ teaspoon sea salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat, spread the almonds out and drizzle evenly with the honey, coconut oil and salt. Toss so that they are evenly coated. Roast for 15 minutes and transfer to a food processor. Blend until you reach a desired consistency. You may need to add a touch more coconut oil to thicken the mix, or a little more honey if you’d like it sweeter. Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

 

Easy Honey Dijon Marinade

1 cup local raw honey

¼ cup grainy or high quality Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley

sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

In a bowl, mix together all of the ingredients until well combined. We like to marinate organic chicken in this and roast or grill it. Just pour the marinade into a plastic bag with your desired protein, press out any excess air and marinate 12-24 hours for optimal results.

Look for local honey and bee pollen at a nearby farmers market. We hope these recipes add a little sweetness, and a little less sneezing to your allergy season.


Closer to Your Food is a wellness blog focused on eating and cooking for health and sustainability with recipes and lifestyle tips formulated around a plant-based diet and home-grown local foods. Chef Lauren Cox holds a B.A. from the le Cordon Bleu in Culinary Management with over 8 years of fine dining experience in private dining, catering and Michelan star restaurants. For more information, please visit www.closertoyourfood.com and follow Closer to Your Food on Twitter and Facebook @Closer2YourFood. 


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.