Pollinating Your Entire Menu: Avocado, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing

Posted by National Honey Board on June 21, 2021

Bee

Happy National Pollinator week and welcome back to another edition of Pollinating Your Entire Menu, our recipe-centric blog series in partnership with nutrition and fitness expert Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD, America’s Nutrition Expert®. Throughout this series, we have shared with you fresh recipes that focus on whole food nutrition and highlight honey bee-pollinated ingredients, showcasing the importance of the busy pollinators that help keep our food world turning. This month we are diving into National Pollinator Week and sharing our flavor-loaded Avocado, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing!

For all they do to keep our world and our plates beautiful, fresh, and diverse, it’s no wonder that pollinators have their very own week. 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.

Here are some quick pollinator stats:

  • Approximately 75% of flowering plants need pollination help from animals (and, yes, we said animals).
  • While we typically think of beneficial insects (bees, wasps, beetles, moths, and butterflies) as pollinators, around 1,000 of all pollinators are actually vertebrates, including birds, bats, and other small mammals, like lemurs (learn more about them here.).
  • About one-third of the U.S. diet is derived from insect-pollinated plants and honey bees are responsible for about 80 percent of that process.
  • Honey bees visit millions of blossoms in their lifetimes and are premier pollinators because they are available throughout the growing season and pollinate a wide range of crops.
  • The combined efforts of these pollinators generate nearly $20 billion worth of products for the U.S. annually – incredible!

Now, we’re not sure about you, but these facts are exactly why we work hard to celebrate pollinators every day, and one of the tastiest ways we know is by enjoying the literal fruits (and veggies and nuts) of their labors in some of our favorite recipes, like this Avocado, Strawberry Spinach Salad with Honey Balsamic Dressing! It is thanks to the honey bees that we get to enjoy the buttery avocados, succulent strawberries, crisp baby spinach, and - of course – sweet honey that make up this dish that is perfect for summer.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. - baby spinach
  • 16 oz. - strawberries, sliced
  • 2 - avocados, cubed
  • 1/3 cup - walnuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup - feta, crumbled

For the Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup - balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup - honey
  • 2 T - extra virgin olive oil

Directions:
Toss together the spinach, strawberries, avocados, walnuts and feta in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.

Drizzle dressing over the greens.

We hope that you enjoy this recipe just as much as we do, and be sure to check back next month as we share a new honey bee-inspired recipe!