Its Mango season and we are super excited. Mangos are an ancient fruit and one of the most popular around the world. Mangos are family of pistachio and cashew nuts and grow on large fruit-bearing trees. Mangos are heavy due to the very large seed also called a stone in the middle. When ripe, mangos skin has a golden yellow to red tone.
Mangos are a favourite in South Africa because the flesh that surrounds the stone is succulent and sweet. What you may not also ready know is that the mango flesh is a great tenderising agent and this means it is perfect for use in marinades. Check out this cool recipe.
Choosing the best mango
Choosing the best mango can be quite tricky. It’s not all about the colour of the fruit. You also need to take into consideration the firmness of the fruit. To test the firmness, simply push your thumb gently against the skin of the mango. If the mango is squishy, then it is over-ripe. If the mango feels firm, it still has a little ripening to go through.
The perfect mango will give just a little when pushed and will produce a sweet fruity aroma from the stem. If you have bought an unripe mango simply leave it at room temperature for a few days. This will allow your mango to become sweeter and softer. Speeding up the ripening process is also easy. Simply place your mangos into a brown paper bag for a few days, checking on them at regular intervals.
If you have a ripe mango and want to keep it for a little longer, simply place it in the fridge, uncut. Refrigerated ripe mangos will keep for around 4 to 5 days. Additionally, you can freeze mangos in an airtight container for approximately 6 months!
A healthy sweet treat
A single cup of mangos contains just 100 calories and will provide you with a 100% recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. Additionally a cup of mango will also provide your body with 35% recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A and 12% of your daily dietary fibre.
Mangos are a very healthy snack and you can enjoy a slice of mango on its own or with almost any meal. Get the children to enjoy some mango madness by making a mango mash-up for them. Not only is this fun and easy but it is messy and the children will love it.
- Take a ripe mango that’s slightly soft. With enough pressure to mash the mango’s insides but not so much that you break the skin, start squeezing and rolling the mango until it feels like the flesh inside is broken down.
- Cut off the tip top of the mango and then suck out the pulp and juice. It’s like drinking a mango smoothie with nothing but pure mango flavour.
Mangos are great as a healthy snack alternative too. Why not give any of the following a try:
- Kabobs – Put a mango cube or two on a toothpick, dip in yogurt and enjoy!
- Icepops – Puree fresh cut mango in a blender or food processor. Pour into ice cube trays, stick in a popsicle stick or toothpick and freeze. Voila! Mango icepops!
- Bites – Press mini cookie cutters shaped like hearts, stars, circles or squares into wide slices of mango. Bite-sized mango shapes!