En español | I’ve said it before and I will say it again: I believe that food is our most important resource. Next to breathing, eating is one thing we do every day to survive.
You may have noticed that I love to celebrate special days and months throughout the year, having used this space before to call your attention to everything from National Adopt a Cat Month to National Tapioca Pudding Day.
For sheer versatility, oatmeal is hard to beat. Besides serving as a hearty breakfast cereal, oatmeal can be added to meat loaf or baked in cookies, cakes, bread, muffins and scones. Oatmeal can also be ground in a blender to create oat flour that can be used as a coating for fish or chicken.
Considered sacred in India, many Indians believe that the mango tree has the power to grant wishes for wealth, health immortality-and even grandchildren. Given the belief in the mystical quality of the mango, Indians use the leaves in weddings to assure the future fertility of newlyweds.
From wine to jelly to raisins, grapes can be enjoyed in a number of ways. So it's no wonder that grapes are the second-most popular fruit (they come in a close second to oranges) and that growing and processing grapes is one of the world's largest food industries.
I grew up on a small, 100-acre farm in Iowa. To make ends meet for our family of seven, my father sometimes worked in nearby Illinois as a tool and die maker. He'd commute to his job on Sunday night and return the following weekend. In the summertime when school was out, my younger sister and I would sometimes travel with my father to his urban home to escape hot and boring days on the farm. (We could also escape working in the garden this way as well.)
I don't remember where I first came across the idea of replacing shortening in brownies with puréed black beans. Applesauce or vanilla yogurt had been my go-to replacements in the past. But the idea of using black beans in place of shortening intrigued me, and I couldn't wait to see what the outcome would be.
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