I’m Feeling Like the Queen Bee with Royal Jelly

I’ve heard over the years about the benefits of royal jelly and have wondered about trying it. One of my girlfriends recently started using it and says that it has helped her sleep better and lessen some of her menopausal symptoms. I figured I’d give it a try. Heck, I’ll be 50 in a few months, might as well do what I can to look and feel like I’m still on this side of 50.

bees making royal jelly

Worker bees busy making royal jelly for the Queen Bee.

 

 

 

Imperial royal jelly

A jar of pure royal jelly from Whole Foods.

What is Royal Jelly?
Royal Jelly is the powerful, milky substance that turns an ordinary bee into a Queen Bee. It is made of digested pollen and honey or nectar mixed with a chemical secreted from a gland ina nursing bee’s head. Sounds gross. An average bee lives just seven weeks, but a Queen Bee, fed only royal jelly her entire life, lives seven years. Now that is some kind of anti-aging and longevity plan. Royal jelly is used by some as a dietary supplement and fertility stimulant. It is loaded with all of the B vitamins plus some trace minerals and vitamin C, enzymes and antibacterial components. Contrary to what you might think, it isn’t sweet like honey. In fact, it has a tart, interesting flavor. You can certainly get used to it, or drizzle a little local honey on it for good measure.

Burt's Bees royal jelly eye cream

Royal Jelly is used in beauty products as an anti-aging ingredient.

Holistic Medicine
Royal jelly is collected and sold as a dietary supplement either as the pure jelly, which must be refrigerated, or as capsules, claiming various health benefits such as stimulating stem cells in the brain, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects, cholesterol-lowering, inhibiting the vascularization of tumors, increasing energy, boosting metabolism and increasing sexual performance…to name just a few. It is also used as a component in some skin care and natural beauty products, helping to keep skin smooth, toned and elastic. The jar that I have recommends ¼ teaspoon per day.

Is Royal Jelly a New Phenomenon?
Royal jelly’s powerful properties have fascinated people for thousands of years, going back to the time of the ancient Egyptians who used it to keep their skin glowing. It was even used to help preserve the mummies.

My Results
I’m not going to get into anything too personal here, so this is what I’m willing to share. I’ve been on it for about six weeks now and I do fall asleep much faster and sleep sounder. (I’m still not sleeping through the night but that is a rescue cat and hubby snoring issue.) Here’s the weird thing…my eyelashes are longer and fuller. Seriously. Consider the fact that as a pale-skinned redhead, my eyelashes are virtually invisible. I had a makeup artist ask me once if I even had eyelashes. (I could’ve asked her if she even had manners, but I didn’t.) So I’m loving that. And I do feel I have more energy although that could be a combination of things – exercise, diet, yoga, sleep, etc.

Regardless, I’m feeling good on it. I try to avoid putting chemicals and drugs in my body, so this is a win so far in my book. I purchase it in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods, and until I start a beekeeping operation, will continue to do so. FYI – Whole Foods has a page on how to help increase our bee population and why that’s an important thing to do.

What Do You Think?
I’d love to hear if any of you have had experience with royal jelly. Comment below. Thanks! Chef Ro

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Happy National Jelly Bean Day

What is your favorite Jelly Belly flavor?

Living within driving distance of the Jelly Belly Factory, I’ve been there far too many times on school and girl scout field trips. Were they ever making my favorites like lemon, tangerine or grapefruit while I was there, no! They usually were making some odd flavor like popcorn. Thankfully, I was never there when they were making the vomit, dirt or booger flavors of the Bertie Botts collection.

America's favorite Jelly Bean.

America’s favorite Jelly Bean.

Jelly Belly makes far more than Jelly Beans. In fact, I just discovered that they make Sunkist Fruit Gems, which I love! (Of course, I generally just eat the citrus flavored ones.) Check out the entire line of Jelly Belly merchandise and maybe pop on over to the factory for a visit.

Enjoy! – Chef Ro

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Happy National Peeps Day

My friend Adrianne (last name withheld to protect the strange) and her sister both love Peeps, but one likes them “fresh” and the other likes hers stale. I put fresh in quotations because I don’t really think a Peep could ever be considered fresh. Did you know that Peeps contain carnauba wax, the main ingredient in car wax? Holy crap! Learn the nutritional anatomy of a Peep from Shape magazine.

Beep beep goes the Peep.

Beep beep goes the Peep.

But, hey, everyone has their snack foods that they don’t want to live without, no matter what they’re made from. I didn’t realize there is an entire Peeps culture, along the likes of Hello Kitty. You can buy just about anything you want with a Peep on it. Check out the official Peeps web page — because there are tons on unofficial pages — and you’ll find recipes, sweepstakes, art, products and so much more.

Who thinks I like Peeps? Pretty safe bet to guess that I don’t, never been a fan of marshmallows unless they’re home made and fresh. (It seems like I’m posting about a lot of stuff this month that I won’t eat.) Well, for those of you who don’t mind a Peep staying in your stomache for 25 years…come on! I’m sure someone’s mom said that at some time…enjoy your special time of year. – Chef Ro

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Happy National Eggs Bennie Day

Oh how I love a good eggs bennie, a purely American dish becuase it so incredibly delicious and astonishingly bad for you. I keep it as a once in a very long while treat. The combo of hollandaise sauce and a warm egg yolk with the ham and English muffin — ooooh, perfection. OK, gotta stop.

Italian eggs benedict?

Italian eggs benedict?

Here’s a variation that you might want to try — Green Eggs & Ham. Consider it an Italian, lighter eggs bennie.

Ingredients:
2 thin slices of prosciutto  (or an oz or 2 of good smoked salmon)
1 English muffin
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 eggs
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pesto (good, smooth prepared or your fresh)

Preparation:
1. Split and toast an English muffin and top each half with a thin slice of Parma prosciutto.
2. In a small nonstick skillet over low heat, melt the butter; it should not froth. Crack the eggs into the pan — they shouldn’t crackle or spit on contact; that would mean your heat is way too high — and cook over low heat until the whites are settled but yolks are still runny, three to four minutes. Once the whites look soft and white, gently spoon the melted butter in the pan over the yolks until hot, about one minute. This will help cook the eggs from top to bottom and keep the yolk silky but warm.
3. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and transfer eggs to prepared English muffin. Spoon a nice smooth pesto over the eggs. Not the chunky, jarred pesto — the smoother stuff from the refrigerator or freezer case (or your fresh). It’s better.

Serves one. Total time to prepare: 8 minutes

Ciao! Chef Ro

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Happy National Cheese Fondue Day

I made a cheese and hard cider fondue for the first time on Halloween several years ago. It sounded like a warm and gooey way to start a cold evening of Trick or Treating. When our kids were little, we’d have everyone over to the house and try to get them to eat “real” food before heading out to gather and then gorge on candy.

Hard Cider and Cheese Fondue - A dipper's delight.

Hard Cider and Cheese Fondue – A dipper’s delight.

 

This Food Network recipe is fool proof. You certainly don’t want to eat this for dinner every night if you want to be healthy, but once in a while is OK. And, of course, you can always dip apples in it. That’s healthy, right?

Enjoy! – Chef Ro

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Happy National Hostess Twinkie Day

Would it really surprise any of you to discover that I don’t like Twinkies? They were never in my grade school lunchbox. My hubby one year did make deep fried Twinkies for a party we were having, which quickly dissolved into a “What can we deep fry next” contest.

Do you think a Twinkie can survive a nuclear blast?

Do you think a Twinkie can survive a nuclear blast?

How Stuff Works did a little video and  article on the Twinkie, its history, its ingredients (ick!), how it is made, etc. How can the Twinkie have 39 ingedients!?! That is unnatural, which of course, is the heart of a twinkie — fake food. There’s even a book titled Twinkie, deconstructed that delves into how snack foods are really made.

Here’s hoping you celebrate the day by NOT eating a Twinkie. – Chef Ro

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Happy National Caramel Day

I love a soft, buttery caramel. I usually make home made caramels for my annual Merry Martini Party. It really is an easy treat to make. The biggest pain is cutting and portioning the sticky little treats. I generally sit in front of the TV when I’m rolling them into wax paper.

Chewey, buttery, addictive caramels.

Chewey, buttery, addictive caramels.

Here’s some fun information on the history of caramels.

Enjoy! Chef Ro

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