I run around after two young boys all day long and don't indulge in a morning coffee.  Needless to say that I occasionally need a quick pick-me-up to work my job at home as a full time cook, referee, nurse, teacher and housekeeper.  Smoothies are a great meal replacement for the busy individual with no time to sit and eat.  There are many days when I opt to turn on the Vitamix and whip up a smoothie instead of skipping breakfast or lunch due to a lack of time. 
   
    I am not a nutritionist nor do I know why all the ingredients in this smoothie are good for you.  What I do know is that whenever I drink this smoothie I feel like I have all the energy of a little pink mechanical bunny.  Bee pollen is one of those weird ingredients that is very hard to find outside of the expensive health food stores, but fortunately for me there is an apiary in the town over.  The couple that runs the apiary are regulars at my local farmers market and they sell large jars of bee pollen along with all their raw honey.  The bright yellow and orange granules in a pretty glass jar were just too interesting to pass up, and after learning about the health benefits of bee pollen I decided to give it a try. 
   
    The best way I could find to incorporate bee pollen into food is through smoothies because the taste of bee pollen on it's own is less then desirable.  You are also not supposed to heat bee pollen, so it makes perfect sense to throw it in a smoothie.  Below is a combination of ingredients that taste great together and will give you a kick of energy to get you through the day.  Read more about the Glass Straw pictured above!

Bee Energized Smoothie

makes 1 (8-10oz) smoothie

1/2 cup Hemp Milk (recipe below)
1/2 cup young Thai coconut water (I use Taste Nirvana)
3-4 rounded tablespoons of cooked quinoa
(use directions on the box to cook)
1 tablespoon homemade peanut butter or natural peanut butter with no added salt
1/2 teaspoon ground bee pollen*
1 teaspoon raw organic rice protein powder (I use Growing Naturals)
1 large frozen banana, cut into chunks


Place all ingredients into a blender, and blend until consistency is nice and smooth!

*Bee PollenAs seen above, it comes in a granular form.  Most recipes say just to add the granules to a smoothie and let the blender grind it up.  I found that using a coffee or spice grinder works better at grinding up the pollen, but if you don't mind the occasional chunk in your smoothie you can add them as is.  It is recommended to incorporate bee pollen into your diet in small amounts to start.  Some people have been known to have allergic reactions to bee pollen, especially if they are allergic to honey or bee stings. Use your best judgement when deciding whether or not to add bee pollen to your diet. 
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Hemp Milk

1 cup hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
5 cups of water
sweetener (optional)


Place the hemp seeds and water into a high speed blender and blend for a few minutes until the mixture looks smooth and milky.  You can strain the milk through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth if you want (I find that is it great without straining it).  You can add a small amount of sweetener such as agave or maple syrup, but if you are using your hemp milk in a smoothie you probably won't notice a difference if you leave it out. 
Keep your hemp milk in a sealed container in the refrigerator.  If you notice it separating just shake well before using.