This post was brought to you on “bee-half” of Feed a Bee, an initiative of the Bayer Bee Care Program. Opinions and text are all my own.
This holiday season, we’re celebrating some of our favorite pollinators (bees!) for the role they play in bringing squash, cranberries, honey, pumpkins, apples and more to our tables as we gather with friends and family! Bees pollinate many fruits, nuts and vegetables that we eat and enjoy every day!
Feed a Bee and feed your family
#FeedABee is a national effort to plant more flowers and forage for honey bees and other pollinators. This is an initiative that is near and dear to my heart. Today, bees are facing a food shortage of their own and need better access to pollen and nectar sources. Bees need diverse food just like we do! They eat nectar and pollen from flowers but reduced forage has decreased food options for bees at a time when we all must work together to feed more people. Bees need access to diverse sources of food to be properly nourished and to be able to withstand pests and disease.
As bees feed us, we can help feed them. The good news is, you can help! And it’s SO easy! No matter what time of year, whether you own acres of land or just a flower pot on your back deck, everyone can lend a hand by planting pollinator-attractant flowers that supply the pollen and nectar they need. Even simple, easy-to-grow wildflowers will help!
It’s those precious pollinators that helped inspire this recipe. We all love how bees help in the creation of those gorgeous carving pumpkins for Halloween but they also contribute to those smaller pumpkins we use for pumpkin pies and the recipe I am sharing today!
Also called sugar pumpkin or princess pumpkin, these smaller pumpkins are especially made for baking. They are sweeter than a carving pumpkin and have more flavor. You’ll usually find them in the produce section, on their own and separate from the carving pumpkins. They require a little work to prep but the end result is worth it. You could also use butternut squash or even sweet potatoes as a substitute in this recipe.
Short on time or patience?
Then pick up a bag of frozen diced butternut squash or sweet potatoes. They will work great in this and the oven cook time is almost exactly the same but you’ll save yourself time with all the slicing and dicing. I haven’t been able to find frozen diced pumpkin in any of my local grocery stores but if they sell it near you, feel free to use that as well. They freeze the veggies at the peak of freshness so you’ll still get that great flavor!
Honey Roasted Pumpkin Salad
This recipe features ingredients; pumpkins, cranberries and honey, that need a little help from pollinators, such as bees! It’s a fun and tasty way to educate your holiday guests about the importance of bees and how we can all do a little to help these little powerhouses!
Then cut the wedges into 1-inch chunks. Finally, slice the skin off each piece. Cook’s notes: I find it is easier to remove the skin after it has been cut into chunks. It’s a bit of prep work in advance but makes it easier to prepare the salad once it’s all roasted.
Then, using your hands, toss the pumpkin chunks around until they are all evenly coated with the oil and cinnamon. Place into oven and roast for about 20 minutes (pumpkin should be fork tender.) Allow it to cool for about 10 – 15 minutes.
You may want to double or even triple this recipe because folks will devour it! Try adding some greens and sliced apples to this dish to make a delicious harvest salad!
Please visit FeedABee.com to learn more and join me in using the hashtag #FeedABee to spread awareness and help feed the pollinators that help feed us!
- 1 1.5 lb pie pumpkin
- light olive oil, for drizzling
- 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, divided use
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 tbsp orange juice
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- With a sharp knife, slice the stem off the pumpkin. Then, slice pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and guts.
- Cut pumpkin halves into wedges, then into 1-inch chunks. Finally, slice the skin off each piece.
- Cook's notes: I find it is easier to remove the skin after it has been cut into chunks. It's a bit of prep work in advance but makes it easier to prepare the salad once it's all roasted.
- Preheat oven to 425f degrees. Place aluminum foil on a large baking sheet (this makes for easier cleanup later.) Spread out pumpkin chunks onto baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with about 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (I just eyeball it.)
- Then, using your hands, toss the pumpkin chunks around until they are all evenly coated with the oil and cinnamon.
- Place into oven and roast for about 20 minutes (pumpkin should be fork tender.) Allow it to cool for about 10 - 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup honey with 1 tablespoon orange juice and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon.
- In a bowl, combine roasted pumpkin with cranberries and chopped pecans and drizzle with honey dressing. Gently stir. Then serve.
- This can be served warm or room temperature. Makes for a great side dish if you are bringing to a dinner.
•Substitutes: You can use fresh butternut squash or sweet potatoes as a substitute for the pumpkin. Also, frozen diced sweet potato or butternut squash can also be used.
•Want it sweeter? Try adding some brown sugar along with the cinnamon before roasting.
•More options: Try adding some baby spinach leaves or romaine lettuce and diced apples for a fall harvest salad!