National Pollinator Week is coming to a close (June 20-26). For all pollinators do to keep our planet beautiful and our plates bountiful, it's no wonder we get to spend an entire week (June 20-26) celebrating all pollinators for the great work that they do to keep the world and its people nourished.
National Pollinator Week's history began just over a decade ago when the U.S. Senate designated that a week in June be dubbed “National Pollinator Week,” bringing about greater awareness of the plight of our declining pollinators. Along with the humble honey bee, National Pollinator Week celebrates the invaluable work of other important pollinators like butterflies, birds, bats, and beetles. In the years since its inception, National Pollinator Week has grown into an international celebration that brings together communities on behalf of our smallest and hardest-working creatures.
The vital work of pollination is the fertilization of a flowering plant. Pollination occurs when pollen is transferred from the anthers of a flower to the ovules of that or another flower. Pollinators visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes and pollinate a wide range of crops. Without the honey bees' pollination work, the quantity and quality of many crops would be reduced and some would not yield at all. We can thank pollinators for most of our favorite fruits, vegetables, and legumes, such as apple, cherries, cucumbers, sunflowers, and almonds.
From the breakfast table to the dessert bar, there's no meal that isn't impacted by the efforts of our pollinator friends! Check out these pollinator-inspired summer dishes from the National Honey Board.
Macadamia Nut & Coconut Pancakes with Honey
Recipe courtesy of Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, made for the National Honey Board
YIELD: Make 5 medium pancakes
Honey Pecan Baby Back Ribs
YIELD: Makes 6 servings
- Preheat grill to 300° F or medium heat.
- Lay each rack of ribs on a large piece of foil.
- In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup honey, pepper, paprika, salt and garlic powder. Rub both sides of each rack with 1 T of the mixture, divided evenly.
- Wrap foil around racks to form packets. Place foil packets seam-side up on grill rack and put down the cover and bake on the grill about 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove ribs from the grill, spray grill racks with vegetable oil spray and fire up the grill up to medium-high.
- Combine pecans and flour. Remove rib racks from foil and press pecan mixture onto meaty side of each rack.
- Combine barbecue sauce and 1/3 cup honey. Drizzle pecan crust with honey barbecue sauce to cover.
- Grill each rib rack over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, starting with the bare side and brushing on more sauce as desired. Turn and baste the ribs until they are caramelized.
- Sprinkle with additional toasted chopped pecans and extra honey barbecue sauce and serve.
Mango Pineapple Honey Sorbet
YIELD: Makes 1 quart
- In a food processor, pureé 1 1/2 cups papaya nectar or orange juice and remaining ingredients. Stir in remaining 1 1/2 cups papaya nectar or orange juice.
- Freeze according to ice cream maker manufacturer's instructions.