I sound like a broken record, but I never put ice in my smoothies. I think it dilutes the flavor. Instead, I use frozen fruit or I freeze juices in ice cube trays (think watermelon). This particular smoothie is one of the most explosive flavored smoothies I’ve ever made. Blackberry and pineapple love each other, and bee pollen is an interesting twist, but if you don’t have any, you can just add a touch of honey. What really makes this pop is the Chinese 5-Spice and Sichuan peppercorns. They add an exotic element that will leave your taste buds in ecstasy — and a little numb, thanks to the peppercorns. About the flax seeds… I’ve been trying to sneak some extra nutrition into my smoothies, but not at the expense of the flavor. The other flavors in this smoothie are strong enough to mask the flax seed taste, so you don’t notice it.