The NHB Partners with RDN Samar Kullab to Spread the Buzz About Honey Bees

Samar Kullan HS for social

The National Honey Board (NHB) is excited to announce a new partnership with Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Samar Kullab, which launched just in time for National Pollinator Week in June. Throughout the spring and summer, honey bees are busy pollinating more than 90 different crops, including almonds, broccoli and strawberries, so Pollinator Week is the perfect time for Kullab and the NHB to celebrate the many ways all-natural honey and other pollinator crops can be incorporated into a balanced diet.

“Honey is a pure and all-natural sweetener, which is why I feel good about using it in my recipes. It elevates the flavor profile of dishes as well, whether drizzled on top of a cottage cheese toast, mixed into a salad dressing, or in overnight oats,” says Kullab. “Doing so also helps to support the honey bees who pollinate some of my favorite fruits and vegetables.”

Kullab’s approach to nutrition focuses on incorporating whole foods and eating mindfully. Honey is an ingredient she can always count on to be wholesome. While some all-natural sweeteners are created through extreme heat, chemical additives and ingredient manipulation to be converted from leaves, fruit and sap into powders and concentrated syrups, in contrast, honey is just honey. That means not only does it taste good, but it is pure, one of the many reasons why Kullab often recommends it to her clients.

Throughout the course of this partnership, Samar will also be sharing her tips and easy-to-make recipes featuring honey so that anybody can enjoy it in the comfort of their own home.

  • Tip 1: Infuse your own honey
    I use hot honey on so many foods I eat like toasts, pizza and salad. It adds the perfect sweet-spicy touch to so many dishes and snacks. I like to make my own hot honey since it’s so easy to make! You just mix a cup of honey with jalapeno or crushed red pepper flakes in a saucepan over medium heat until it very lightly begins to simmer. Let it rest for 15 minutes then strain it over a glass jar. You could also make all other kinds of infused honeys with this method, like cocoa honey, lavender honey, and more!

  • Tip 2: More color & variety of foods = more nutrients and diversity in our microbiome
    Pollinators, including honey bees, are responsible for one in every three bites of food that we eat, including many fruits and vegetables. I always preach that the more color on our plates = more nutrients. Also, the more variety of foods we eat plays a role in enhancing the diversity of your gut microbiome as well, which we know is good for our overall health.

  • Tip 3: Alleviating a sore throat
    Growing up, every time I would get a sore throat, my mother used to always make me a concoction of honey and freshly squeezed lemon juice. She’d mix it very well and it relieved my throat and helped with coughing. This is more than just an old wives’ tale - the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend honey as an effective and natural alternative to over-the-counter cough medicine!

  • Tip 4: Baking with honey!
    Honey is a delicious way to sweeten your baked goods. My favorite dessert lately has been a honey soaked almond cake. Honey is actually sweeter than sugar so you don’t have to use as much of it – in fact, as a general rule of thumb, when substituting honey for sugar in recipes, begin by substituting honey for up to half of the sugar called for in the recipe. Another tip: you can coat your spoon with olive oil to create a barrier so that the honey is measured more accurately and pours out of your spoon easier!

  • Tip 5: Top it all!
    Honey and extra virgin olive oil are two of my favorite toppings and are actually two key ingredients in the Mediterranean-style diet, named the best diet by U.S. World News and Report. A study funded by the National Honey Board shows that 98% of adult Americans could eat a more Mediterranean-style diet by making just three simple recipe swaps with honey as a culinary addition and pairing it with olive oil for salad dressings for leafy greens with fruit or whole grains, and for marinading fish. Recently I’ve been drizzling both honey and olive oil on my cottage cheese toast and they pair so well!

The next time you see a honey bee fly by, remember they are responsible for all the honey and many of the crops that are a part of a wholesome diet. For more information about Samar Kullab, her recipes, and go-to nutrition and planet-friendly tips, follow her on Instagram @chicago.dietitian or TikTok @chicago.dietitian.