Our post this week is inspired by many things including hard work, honeybees, and honeymoons. Now this may seem like a random assortment of unrelated items but we can explain! First, Cecelia has just returned from a relaxing, belated honeymoon getaway in Belize where she enjoyed an endless supply of tropical fruits. Second, relaxing on vacation always reminds us of how hard we work from day to day and how important it is to take a break now and again. And finally, hard work reminds us of the amazing honeybee who epitomizes hard work and provides us with a very special food that we are highlighting this week as a smoothie bowl topping, bee pollen!
The name bee pollen is a little misleading because the source is actually flower pollen. When small grains of flower pollen are collected by worker bees they are packed into semi-hard pellets for transport back to the beehive, thus creating what we consume as bee pollen. Bee pollen is considered one of nature's most perfect foods because of it's unique nutrient profile including a variety of vitamins, minerals, all essential amino acids making it a complete protein, and digestive enzymes. It even contains vitamin B12 making it one of very few plant sources of this vitamin! Bee pollen is so nutritious that even the worker bees use it as their primary fuel (once it is slightly fermented back at the hive). As a plant food, bee pollen contains more amino acids and vitamins than animal proteins when compared by weight, though bee pollen is not typically consumed in the same quantities. If you are new to bee pollen, it is best to gradually increase your intake starting with 1/4 tsp per day and increasing by a few pellets per day until you reach a 2 Tbsp daily intake. It is important that bee pollen be consumed in it's natural, raw form to preserve the nutrient qualities. Bee pollen can be found at specialty grocers, health food stores, or online. When purchasing, look for organic brands from companies who follow good farming practices. To preserve freshness it should be stored in the refrigerator once opened. And remember, when enjoying your bee pollen, to be thankful for the hardworking honeybees that make this superfood possible!
Caribbean Smoothie Bowl
PREP TIME: 10 mins
TOTAL TIME: 15 mins
Servings: 2 bowls
1 papaya, peeled, seeds removed and cubed
1 pineapple, peeled (recipe will use ~1/2 of the pineapple)
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 cup ice cubes
2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
4 tsp chia seeds
4 tsp bee pollen
2 tsp honey
2 slices of pineapple
Over low-medium heat, lightly toast coconut flakes in a small pan. Once toasted, remove from heat and set aside. Peel the pineapple and cut in half. Core and cut two rings from one half of the pineapple and chop the other half into cubes. Carefully place two pineapple rings in a hot pan on the stove top over medium heat. Sear pineapple until golden then place in the fridge to cool. Meanwhile, combine papaya, about half of the pineapple cubes, frozen banana, mint, and ice in a high speed blender. Blend on high into a thick smoothie texture. Pour smoothie into bowls and creatively top with toasted coconut, chia seeds, bee pollen, cooled seared pineapple and drizzle of honey over the top. Feel free to add additional ingredients on top of your bowl (fruit, nuts, granola). Now grab a spoon and a friend and dive in!
If you're new to smoothie bowls and are thinking that this looks amazing then you're right! There is something about eating, instead of drinking, a smoothie that makes it much more satisfying. Plus, the bowl presentation allows for tons of fun toppings! This smoothie is so crisp and fresh utilizing tropical fruits and fresh mint. Feel free to mix up the toppings any way you like. But remember to give bee pollen a try one of these days and send a huge thank you to the hard working honeybees as you enjoy it!
Relax and enjoy,
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.