Cooking With Pine Pollen: The Secret Ingredient With Not So Secret Benefits
It’s probably no surprise that pine pollen is one of our favourite cooking ingredients, and we're here to share with you a couple of ways to (and why you should!) incorporate this wonderful adaptogenic substance into your life.
Adaptogens are natural substances that help the body adapt to stress by boosting our natural resilience and promoting balance inside the body. Like with most herbal protocols, the key with adaptogens is consistency over time; as opposed to taking one big dose, you want to take smaller quantities regularly. This can be difficult for some people because it requires really incorporating the ingredient into your everyday life… but because of its mild taste- pine pollen is an adaptogen you can easily incorporate into your daily routine, and sneak it into any of your meals, without changing the flavour.
Pine Pollen Benefits
The research on humans, animal models, cell and tissue level show that it has the following capacities:
• Includes plant drived androgens
•Anti-fatigue and to promote cardiovascular health, lowering LDL and vLDL cholesterol
•Promotes skin elasticity and overall skin health
• Promotes muscle cell growth.
•Boosts immune system cells
•Anti-inflammatory effects with benefits for chronic pain
•Detoxifies the body and boosts the health of the liver and gallbladder
•Promotes prostate health
•Supports weight management
A Medicinal Food
Don’t get me wrong, pine pollen does have a flavour, and in fact, it is quite delicious… But combined with other more powerful ingredients, it will humbly take the back seat. This mild flavour allows you to incorporate a significant amount in any recipe you might be cooking up, and make sure you’re getting pine pollen regularly into your diet and reaping the powerful benefits of this mighty adaptogen.
Unlike more palatably potent adaptogens (like chaga, ashwagandha, or even maca), incorporating a “medicinal” food amount of pine pollen into your meals will not change the overall flavour of the dish. By medicinal, we mean you can actually put enough pine pollen into your soups, stews, cookies, brownies, and pasta sauces to sustain benefits over multiple servings.
We suggest 1/2 a teaspoon to 1 teaspoon to start per serving. So calculate how many servings in your meal, and add accordingly; for example- if your brownie recipe makes 12 servings, you can add 6 teaspoons of pine pollen to the batter. You don’t have to adjust your brownie recipe in any other way!
A Shamanic Dose
That being said, pine pollen lovers like us also tend to gravitate towards the occasional “shamanic dose”, which is more along the lines of 1 tablespoon per serving. You can easily sneak a shamanic dose without overpowering a dish, oryou can use a shamanic dose with more mild ingredients to really let the flavour shine. One of my favourites ways is making pine pollen chocolates.
Get the pine pollen swirled mushroom chocolate recipe HERE.
Another reason pine pollen makes the best cooking ingredients is its beautiful yellow colour. We pride ourselves on the bold yellow of Canadian Pine Pollen Co., which unlike some heat-treated (cracked-cell) pollens, retains its vibrant yellow colour. You can use pine pollen to dust on baked goods, or mix it into your recipes for a vibrant yellow, without having to use any synthetic colouring. Perfect for brightening up recipes for the kiddos too!
We like to dust it over brownies or add a couple of teaspoons to a turmeric latte!
Don’t be afraid to get creative when it comes to incorporating pine pollen into your foods and recipes! You generally don’t need to modify your recipes whatsoever. Whether your blending, baking, simmering or stirring- just sprinkle in some pine pollen on the daily, and enjoy all the wonderful benefits that this yellow adaptogen has to offer!
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