Bee Health ImageApples, broccoli, cherries, almonds-they all have something in common that may surprise you.

Besides the fact that they may be in your kitchen right now, each one of these foods is available thanks to the honey bee and other pollinators. In fact, about one-third of the human food supply depends on bees and other pollinators. Chances are, honey bees have a hand in producing some of your favorite foods. And with all of their hard work, bees need to eat, too.

However, bees are struggling to find adequate, diverse food sources due to habitat loss. Recently, the White House launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge to create ways for everyone to support the issue and increase forage. With a global population expected to rise to more than 9 billion people by 2050, 70 percent more food will need to be produced. This means we all have to pitch in to help feed the bees so they can continue to produce the fruits, nuts and vegetables that people need for a healthy diet.

Join the effort to create a million pollinator gardens and feed the bees.

Here are three ways you can help increase forage area for bees and other pollinators:

• Learn more about native bee-attractant plants.

The Pollinator Partnership’s Bee Smart mobile app can help you choose the best plants to grow in your garden to attract bees and other pollinators.

• Ask the Feed a Bee initiative to plant flowers on your “bee-half.”

Feed a Bee is an initiative to increase forage areas for honey bees and other pollinators.

By visiting www.FeedABee.com, you can ask the Feed a Bee initiative to plant flowers for you that produce the pollen and nectar that bees need to survive and thrive. Nearly 200,000 people have pledged to plant 50 million flowers in the U.S., and it doesn’t stop there. Feed a Bee is also partnering with government and nonprofit organizations and businesses across the country to plant thousands of acres of forage for bees.

• Grow your own bee-attractant plants.

Through FeedABee.com, you can also commit to planting your own bee-attractant plants using a helpful growing guide and tips for creating bee-attractant habitats for pollinators. Additionally, you can share your planting photos using #FeedABee on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr.

Whether you own acres of land or a flowerpot on your balcony, have a green thumb or struggle to keep fake flowers “alive,” you can play a part in helping to feed a bee and, in turn, help them feed the world.

To learn more about bees and why they are important, visit http://beehealth.bayer.us/home.

*Article courtesy of NAPS. Image courtesy of Dan at FreeDigitalPhotos.*

Pereg-Sesame-Ginger-CouscousThis recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but from start to finish, it only takes 25 minutes. Made with fresh vegetables, spices, and couscous. Made ahead the night before, it also packs well for a healthy lunch option!

Grilled Sesame Ginger Vegetable Couscous

Ingredients

2 large carrots, washed, peeled and cut in half the long way
1 cup button mushroom tops, cleaned
½ bunch asparagus, trimmed
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups Pereg Gourmet Couscous
1 ¼ cups water

For dressing:

1 tablespoon ginger, minced
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Place the carrots, mushrooms and asparagus in a large bowl and toss with sesame oil, soy sauce, and black pepper. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat the grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Put the vegetables on the grill or in a grill basket and grill while basting vegetables with extra marinade. Grill until the vegetables are tender and slightly charred. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, cook the couscous. Bring the water to a boil and add couscous. Remove from heat, stir, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes until the couscous absorbs the liquid. Drain any extra liquid and cool.

When the vegetables are cool, slice the asparagus and carrots into diagonal bite sized pieces and slice the mushrooms. Combine with couscous.

To make the dressing, whisk together ginger, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, sesame oil, olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper and scallions. Dress the couscous and garnish with cilantro. Serve at room temperature.

Makes 4 1-cup servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Pereg Gourmet.*

Grilling SafetyGrilling is one of America’s favorite pastimes and a popular summer activity in backyards across the country. More than 60 percent of American households will cook kabobs, fresh vegetables, and of course meat on propane grills this summer, according to the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). PERC is an energy check-off program dedicated to safety and training for the propane industry.

“Summer is a time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends,” says PERC President and CEO Roy Willis. “And with the onset of warm weather, it’s also a good time to review outdoor safety tips, including safe grilling techniques.”

Willis offers families some simple reminders for preparing and maintaining safe cooking conditions while using propane grills.

Before using the grill, he recommends reviewing and following all grill manufacturers’ instructions.

“If you buy a propane-powered grill and assemble it yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter,” Willis says. “Better yet, have the grill assembled before you bring it home. If you’re planning a more elaborate outdoor kitchen, be sure to get in touch with your nearest propane professional for tips on products and access to qualified installers.”

Next, the location of the grill is an important consideration. PERC reminds families that the only safe location for any grill—including propane cooking units—is outside in a well-ventilated area and a safe distance from the home.

“Grills should never be placed in a confined area,” Willis says. “Make sure your grill is at least five feet from your house on a level surface away from siding, outdoor furniture or anything else that could be a fire hazard. It’s something that you don’t always think about when you’re grilling, but it’s a basic safety measure that’s easy to implement.”

Whether the grill is equipped with an automatic ignition or needs to be lit manually, the manufacturer’s instructions should be followed precisely.

“Always use caution when lighting the grill and never stray from the grill manufacturer’s instructions,” says Willis. “If the flames go out for any reason, turn the grill and gas off and wait 15 minutes before relighting it.”

PERC also encourages families to keep the top open when lighting the grill. This allows for ventilation and ensures that propane vapors are not being released into the confined grilling area.

Finally, proper storage of propane cylinders is an essential safety step when using propane-powered grills.

“Be sure to store propane cylinders upright and outdoors, and keep cleaning fluids, oil-soaked rags, gasoline or other flammable material away from cooking areas and gas appliances,” Willis says. “Removing combustible materials from any heat source is always a good idea.”

PERC reminds families that propane is a safe fuel when handled properly, and encourages grillers to learn about additional resources on www.usepropane.com.

“Grilling is an enjoyable way to prepare food and celebrate warm weather,” Willis says. “Enjoying warm weather throughout the summer can be easy with safe, efficient propane grills.”

*Recipe and image courtesy of NAPS.*

Oven-Baked-Woodbridge-Wine-Chicken-WingsA perfect summer recipe for entertaining! The chicken is brushed with butter and paprika then baked. The Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce is boiled, reduced, tweaked and then used as a glaze over the chicken after it is finished baking. “Mom” uses organic ingredients whenever possible.

Oven-Baked Woodbridge Wine Chicken Wings

Ingredients

2 cups Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup clover honey
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce
½ cup sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 scallions, white and green parts both, cut into thin rounds
1 pound (about 16 pieces) chicken wings
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons hot paprika
The juice from 1 large lemon

Preparation

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. Make the honey glaze: In a large skillet, reduce the Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon over medium heat until there is only about ¼ cup liquid. Pour the wine into a medium bowl to cool. In the same skillet, bring the honey, garlic, dark brown sugar and Woodbridge Wine ‘Cue Sauce to a simmer. When it starts to foam and turn light brown, remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the sherry vinegar. Return the skillet to the heat and allow it to simmer until it becomes like a light glaze, 12-15 minutes. Stir in the black pepper and scallions and pour it over the red wine in the bowl. Whisk to blend. Taste for seasoning.

3. Prepare and cook the chicken wings: Cut each chicken wing at each joint so each wing is cut into 3 parts. You will have 36 pieces including the wing tips. Season them with salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the paprika. Put the wings on a sheet pan and brush them with the melted butter mixture. Bake them for 5-8 minutes. Turn them on their second side and brush with the remaining butter mixture. Then, put the tray under the broiler and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until fully cooked.

4. Finish the dish: Toss the chicken wings in the honey red wine glaze and squeeze the lemon juice over them.

Pairs with Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon

Serves 4-6.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and Food Network chef Alex Guarnaschelli.*

Sun Cups 2Allergies are on the rise, but it does not mean you have to give up your favorite treats, such as chocolate peanut butter cups! For oooey gooey chocolate deliciousness, try Sun Cups! Sun Cups serves as the ultimate guilt-free and allergy friendly chocolate indulgence. Be able to enjoy the delicious creamy & nutty flavors of Sun Cups, except without any peanuts, tree nuts, or gluten! Sun Cups are made from premium cacao of only Rainforest Alliance Certified farms and produced in the only completely nut free facility in America.

Sun Cups 3

Sun Cups uses sunflower seed butter to replace the usual peanut butter center most chocolate cups have, allowing those with nut allergies to enjoy the classic American treat. Sun Cups offers several different variations to satisfy any sweet tooth, including caramel, mint, and dark chocolate flavors. “Mom” loves the rich flavor of Sun Cups, from the traditional chocolate peanut butter flavor to the chocolate mint. Made with non-GMO ingredients, this is one treat you can feel good indulging in this summer!

Available in packages of 12 or 24, you can learn more about Sun Cups on their website.

*Company generously provided samples and images for this piece.*

Orange and Shrimp CevicheWhen the weather is warm, a cool, crisp ceviche is the perfect dish for an outdoor bbq or dinner party! This unique and delicious Orange & Shrimp Ceviche recipe was created by celebrity nutritionist, Tanya Zuckerbrot. The ceviche features ZICO Coconut Water’s newest flavor, ZICO Orange Chilled Juice Blend, which combines the taste of fresh orange juice with all the hydration benefits of coconut water.

Orange & Shrimp Ceviche

By Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, ZICO brand ambassador and creator of the renowned F-Factor Diet

Ingredients

• ½ cup ZICO Chilled Orange Juice Blend
• 1 large tomato, halved and seeds removed
• 2 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeds removed
• ½ yellow onion, peeled
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 lb medium shrimp, deveined, peeled and
halved lengthwise
• ½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
• ¼ cup tomato juice
• kosher salt, to taste
• tabasco sauce, to taste
• 1 large navel orange cut into segments with
pits removed
• ½ cup red onion, sliced paper thing
• ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Preparation

1. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
2. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil.
3. Place the tomato, jalapenos, bell pepper and onion into a bowl and toss with olive oil.
4. Place the oil covered vegetables onto baking tray cut sides down.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, then stir, then bake for another 10 minutes, or until vegetables are charred. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
6. Bring a large saucepan of lightly salted water to a boil and add shrimp and blanch for 1-2 minute or until lightly pink.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, ZICO brand ambassador and creator of the renowned F-Factor Diet.*

Blueberry SparklersFourth of July festivities will soon be upon us, and we have found a cute dessert idea that is as fun to make as it is to eat! This looks festive, and is a much healthier option, too!

Blueberry Sparklers

Ingredients

1 cup large fresh blueberries
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons multi-color candy sprinkles

Preparation

On each of 10 bamboo skewers (8 inches long), spear 8 blueberries.
In a perfectly dry microwavable cup, stir chocolate chips and oil.
Microwave on medium power 30 seconds; stir. Microwave 20-30 seconds longer; stir until the chocolate is smooth.
Transfer melted chocolate to a resealable plastic bag.
Snip a very small corner off the bottom of the bag.
Drizzle the melted chocolate over the skewered blueberries and immediately roll lightly in sprinkles.

Makes 10 skewers.

*Recipe and image courtesy of the Blueberry Council.*