Foraged Pine Pollen Cones
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Pine pollen cones are the male fruiting body of a pine tree. The pollen cones are small, typically half an inch in size with a typical conical shape. The small, yellow Pine pollen cones have a slightly resinous coating, and what appear to be small scales, protecting the pollen. They can be found at the base of the new leaflet growth on the pine tree. The pollen expelled from the cone is a fine dust, with a texture similar to extra fine flour. Pine pollen offers a hint of pine with subtly sweet and nutty nuances. The flavor is subtle.
Foraged Pine pollen cones are available for a very short time in the spring.
The pollen from Pine trees is gaining popularity as a supplement as well as in culinary applications. Pine pollen has been used for over 2,000 in Chinese medicine for good health and longevity. Pine pollen cones can be found on a wide number of pine varieties.
Pine pollen is one of the few things in nature rich in testosterone. It has been used in Chinese medicine for thousands of years to increase endurance, relieve fatigue, and strengthen the heart and the immune system. Pine pollen is also used to create an endocrine hormonal balance. The mineral and nutrient-rich pollen contains 18 amino acids and is loaded with protein (30%).
Pine pollen cones are collected for the pollen they carry. Pine pollen cones are best foraged just before they release their golden dust. After collecting the small, yellow cones, place in a mesh strainer and agitate to release the pollen. To ensure the purity of the pollen, use a fine mesh strainer to get rid of any tiny bits of cone or needles. The powder can be put on sheet pans, toasted in the oven at a low temperature and then stored at either room temperature or frozen. Pine pollen can be used in various baking recipes like hot breakfast cereals, or pancakes. Add Pine pollen to morning smoothies for added protein. To concentrate and preserve the constituents of the Pine pollen cones, make a tincture by soaking the cones in alcohol for a month, then strain out the concentrated liquid. The tincture can be used medicinally or in various beverages.
The oldest mention of Pine pollen is in the text “The Pandect Of Materia Medica,” written by Shen Nong during the Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). Out of 114 varieties of pines, Pine pollen is only common among a handful. Pine trees are native to all continents and are predominant in Europe, Asia, Mediterranean Africa, North America and various island countries. In the Eastern US, the more common pine is Pinus strobus, or white pine; in the Western US it is Pinus ponderosae. The Pine pollen cone season is extremely short, only 5-10 days before the cones release the pollen.
Recipes that include Foraged Pine Pollen Cones. One is easiest, three is harder.
|Cooked||Pine, Pancakes & Pollen|
|The Chalkborad||A Gorgeous Fig + Quinoa Salad With Pine Pollen Dressing|