Tag Archives: vegetables

Fun Ag Facts IX

fun ag fact of the day: Carrot production in the U.S. is highly mechanized and centralized. Only two Californian companies account for the majority of production in the U.S. In addition to California, Washington and Colorado are also important production areas.

fun ag fact of the day: California is the fourth-largest wine producer in the world, after France, Italy, and Spain.

fun ag fact of the day: Red wines are red because fermentation extracts color from the grape skins. White wines are not fermented with the skins present.

fun ag fact of the day: Approximately 208 million avocados will be consumed on Super Bowl Sunday!

fun ag fact of the day: The corncob (ear) is actually part of the corn plant’s flower.

fun fact of the day: Bananas float in water, as do apples and watermelons.

fun ag fact of the day: In the USA, a person consumes about twenty pounds of rice a year, with about four pounds attributed to the use of rice is for brewing American beers.

fun ag fact of the day: There are more than 40,000 varieties of rice that grow on every continent except on Antarctica.

fun ag fact of the day: Barley is highest in fiber of all the whole grains, with common varieties clocking in at about 17% fiber, and some, such as the variety called Prowashonupana barley, having up to 30% fiber!

fun ag fact of the day: Christopher Columbus brought the first orange seeds and seedlings to the New World on his second voyage in 1493.

fun ag fact of the day: The Meyer lemon, actually a cross between a lemon and possibly an orange or a mandarin, was named for Frank N. Meyer who first discovered it in 1908.

fun ag fact of the day: Buddha’s Hand citron contains no pulp or juice, so it’s used for it’s fragrant zest only.

fun ag fact of the day: It won its name after becoming popular in the Belgian capital in the 16th Century, but the Brussels sprout is ­originally thought to have come from Iran and Afghanistan.

fun ag fact of the day: Washington ranks first in the nation in production of processing carrots and fourth in the nation in production of fresh carrots.

fun ag fact of the day: The Hubbard squash probably originated in South America and first arrived in Marblehead, MA in the 1700’s aboard sailing ships from the West Indies.

fun ag fact of the day: The U.S. is the world’s largest producer of blueberries, harvesting a total of 564.4 million pounds of cultivated and wild blueberries in 2012.

fun ag fact of the day: the skin of winter squash is inedible.

fun ag fact of the day:  Pumpkins are orange because they contain massive amounts of lutein, alpha- and beta-carotene. These nutrients turn to vitamin A in the body.

fun ag fact of the day: A barrel of cranberries weighs 100 pounds. Give or take a few, there are about 450 cranberries in a pound and 4,400 cranberries in one gallon of juice.

fun ag fact of the day: There are enough peanuts in one acre to make 30,000 peanut butter sandwiches.

fun ag fact of the day: Canned mandarin segments are peeled to remove the white pith prior to canning; otherwise, they turn bitter. Segments are peeled using a chemical process. First, the segments are scalded in hot water to loosen the skin; then they are bathed in a lye solution, which digests the albedo and membranes. Finally, the segments undergo several rinses in plain water.

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Salsa Verde

Tomatillos. For years I wondered what they were in my grocery store.

Tomatillos. For years I wondered what they were in my grocery store.

When I went to Mexico for the first time I was amazed at all the salsas and sauces they had at every table. I mean, I’m from California so I’ve been exposed to decent Mexican food for most of my life, but nothing compares with going to the food’s natural habitat to realize how much everything you’ve had before, sucks.

Once I learned what tomatillos were I grew to love them. Not scary at all!

Once I learned what tomatillos were I grew to love them. Not scary at all!

I became enamored with salsa verde (thats the green stuff). When I came home to California the salsa verde I found was lacking. It simply wasn’t flavorful like it was supposed to be, spicy is one thing, but flavor is a whole other.

I took a Mexican cooking class and pumped my Mexican friends for tips and recipes. After a few years, I managed to make a decent salsa verde. I’m pretty hardcore about it these days, I grow jalapenos, tomatillos, onions, and limes.  And know what? It’s worth it!

 Salsa Verde 

  • 6 cups husked and chopped tomatillos
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups jalapenos (I leave most of the seeds in because I like the hot)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lime juice (I’ll actually use half bottled lemon)
I like to use foil, it just helps with the cleanup.

I like to use foil, it just helps with the cleanup.

Place peppers and tomatillos on a cookie sheet with edges and broil until you have lovely char marks.

Burnt=yum

Burnt=yum

The basics.

The basics.

Then place the onion, cilantro, garlic and pepper/tomatillo mixture in your cuisinart and mix until smooth.

The cuisinart is one of my favoritist things ever.

The cuisinart is one of my favoritist things ever.

Place all ingredients in a large saucepan.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.

At this point you can place it in your refrigerator to enjoy on everything.

OR

Place in sterilized jars and process in a boiling-water canner for 15 minutes.

This is so good and fairly easy. This winter when I am enjoying my summer tasting salsa verde, I'm going to pat myself on the back!

This is so good and fairly easy. This winter when I am enjoying my summer tasting salsa verde, I’m going to pat myself on the back!

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Mann’s Veggie Mac-n-Cheese

Once upon a time, a long, long, long time ago, I dated an almost vegan (my Dad and I were fighting, naturally him being a cattle rancher, I dated vegan as a punishment). It was a rough few months of no meat eating for me, before I could start enacting my catch and release program.
If you are unfamiliar with my catch and release program, I’ll fill you in. I date a vegetarian/vegan, show them the ranch, provide facts when I can, and cook delicious meat based meals, therefore converting them back into omnivores, then I release them back into the wild (I have an 100% success rate).
During the few month transition phase of this relationship, I flirted with vegetarian and vegan cooking because, if nothing else, I am supportive of diet choices. My college friend noticed what was going on, and was cool enough to send me some coupons for her companies’ products. She just happens to work for a vegetable company.
Mann’s, the company my friend Elena works for is really great. Not only are they a vegetable packer, they are growers as well! Their farm has been family operated for 74 years (that’s 3 generations!) My favorite part though? Mann’s is WoMANN owned! That’s right a female run family farm, BAM! How can I not love this company? It’s everything I want to support.

I love this product. LOVE it. It's a major part of my diet.

I love this product. LOVE it. It’s a major part of my diet.


To be fair, when Elena sent me those coupons years ago, I became a huge fan of Mann’s products. Their pre-cut and washed vegetables became a staple in my diet. One of my favorite meals to make myself is Mann’s vegetable with greek yogurt dip, fresh fruit, cheese, a baguette, last night’s leftover meat and a glass of wine. I could eat that almost every day and be pretty happy about it.
Imagine my excitement when Elena e-mailed me to ask if I would like to taste their new product. Um……heck yeah! Sign me up! Their new product is Veggie Mac-n-Cheese! She told me that they have 4 flavors, and they are currently being sold in Safeway Stores (including Vons and Tom Thumb). The favors are classic cheddar, bacon and cheddar, fiesta cheddar and white cheddar. Each flavor has a mix of either cauliflower, broccoli or carrots.
My special delivery!

My special delivery!


Elena had each flavor shipped to my office so I could taste test them. Can I tell you how special I felt when I got a big box of food sent to my office? It made me really happy and my poor co-workers had to hear about it all day.
YES! Veggie mac and cheese!!!!

YES! Veggie mac and cheese!!!!


Of course, I scurried on home to play the taste test game. It was fun! Are you curious how they tasted? You should be. Stay tuned for next week when I will share with you what we thought of this product and maybe (hint) have a giveaway!

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Fun Ag Facts XI

So for some reason my blog says I didn’t post this. I’m trying again.

fun ag fact of the day: Peanut butter is a staple in over 90% of American households and the average person consumes more than six pounds of peanut products each year.

Fun ag fact of the day: China is the largest producer of sheep milk in the world followed by Turkey and Greece.

fun ag fact of the day: Turkey is the largest producer in the world of apricots, cherries, figs, wheat germ, hazelnuts, skim sheep milk, poppy seed, raisins & sour cherries.

fun ag fact of the day: India has the largest cattle inventory in the world followed by Brazil and China.

fun fact of the day: Japan is the largest producer in the world of tomato juice, husked/milled rice, pigskins, fermented rice beverages & soya paste.

fun ag fact of the day: Grapefruits come in many colors. They can be yellow, pink, white or ruby in color. All varieties have a tangy-sweet flavor and are very juicy.

fun ag fact of the day: Canada is the largest supplier of maple syrup, they produce over 5 million gallons of it each year!

fun ag fact of the day: the United States is the largest importer of beer in the world.

fun ag fact of the day: In 2009, U.S. cheese availability (a proxy for consumption) stood at 32.8 pounds per person. Mozzarella edged out cheddar as America’s favorite cheese, with the two cheeses together accounting for 63 percent of cheese availability in 2009. Per capita cheese availability has almost tripled since 1970, when it was 11.4 pounds per person.

Fun ag fact of the day: have you heard of “Cowboy coffee”, it was said they made their coffee by putting ground coffee into a clean sock and immerse it in cold water and heated over campfire.

fun ag fact of the day: Massachusetts is the second largest producer of cranberries in the United States only behind Wisconsin. Cranberry is one of the state colors and cranberry juice is the state juice drink. It is also home to Ocean Spray.

fun ag fact of the day: The traditional recipe for eggnog is milk,
cream, sugar, beaten eggs, spices, and sometimes alcohol. The type of alcohol depends on the country where it is made. In Europe, eggnog is traditionally made with white wine. Americans drink it with bourbon or rum while Peruvians use pomace brandy and Germans use beer.

Fun ag fact of the day: India has the largest cattle inventory in the world followed by Brazil, China & the United States.

fun ag fact of the day: China is the largest producer of spinach in the world with nearly 86% of the world’s total.

fun ag fact of the day: Pennsylvania is the largest producer of mushrooms in the United States with more than 62% of the total.

fun ag fact of the day: The United States is the largest producer in the world of corn, soybeans, beef, chicken, turkey, almonds, strawberries, cranberries & blueberries.

fun ag fact of the day: Sugar cane is the most produced food in the world. There is more sugar cane produced than corn and rice COMBINED!

fun ag fact of the day: Egypt is the second largest producer in the world of mango juice, buffalo butter, geese meat, figs, camel meat, bird meat and artichokes.

Fun ag fact of the day: bananas and beer are the top two food imports in the United States. The United States imports more beer than wheat and more bananas than sugar and oats combined.

Fun ag fact of the day: A celebrate the season, a few turkey-related factors: 1) The United States produces 50% of the global turkey production. 2) Turkeys are indigenous to North America. Fossils have proven that wild turkeys have been part of North America for more than 10 million years. 3) Hormones and steroids are not used in turkey production. In fact, hormones and steriods are federally banned for use in all poultry. Better feed, water and living environment is what help the turkey safely grow.

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