Mango Mania

This is my first venture into the world of mangos. Thank you Connie for the suggestion! Just going to say though, I am not a fan of the stone pit in the middle. It’s a rather large part of the fruit and doesn’t separate easily from the flesh. It has a good flavor though as long as it’s ripe. The ripe ones are sweet and seem to have a combined taste of oranges, peaches, and pineapples.  The unripe ones are sour and rather crunchy and hard. Overripe ones tend to be bitter or taste rotten and are super soft.

Mango is an edible stone fruit believed to have originated in Bangladesh and northeast India. Today, there are hundreds of different varieties ranging in size, color and sweetness. Mango trees can grow up to 118 feet tall with a crown radius of almost 50 feet!  That is a huge tree! They are also long lived and some varieties have been known to still produce fruit after 300 years. Small flowers less than a half inch wide are produced on pinnacles up to 17 inches long. Each flower turns into a mango. A young tree may only produce 20-50 in the first few years. However a 20 year old tree may produce up to 3,000 in a single year. Can you imagine how many mangos just 1 tree can produce in its lifetime?!

Mangos are low in calories but are packed full of nutrients. 1 cup typically equals about 1 mango and is the basis for these numbers. Mango provides 70% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin C. It also has 10% RDI of Vitamin A and 9.5% RDI of Vitamin E. Together, these vitamins are a powerful booster for your immune system. Mango has a dozen or more antioxidants making it a great way to fight those free radical agents that cause cancer. It contains magnesium and potassium, both known to lower blood pressure. Mango has digestive enzymes that help break down foods and promote absorption thus aiding in digestive health. It also contains specific antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. These are known to accumulate in the retina of the eye and act as a natural sunblock against damaging light.  Combining these attributes into one fruit makes mango a powerhouse for health.

Mangos are versatile and taste good, but are a pain to cut around the stone pit.  If you don’t want to mess with it, luckily you can find mango slices at Walmart in the produce or pick up some frozen mango chunks in the freezer section.  It is sweet though and has a high sugar/carb content so if you are watching sugars, you may want to avoid or at least be aware of it. You can easily add mango to your diet in smoothies, sorbet or ice cream, salsas or even adding it to your sauces for a tropical flair added to your dinner. Make your grocery list and pick up this super fruit. Then, meet me in the kitchen for some easy dishes to enjoy this fruit!

 

Mango Chicken Curry

1 Tbsp. real unsalted butter

1 medium onion, diced

2 tsps. minced garlic

2 Tbsps. minced ginger

2 tsps. curry powder

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

3 ripe mangos, peeled and diced

2 Tbsps. honey

¾ cup heavy cream plus 2 Tbsps.

3 chicken breast, diced into 1" chunks

Fresh cilantro, chopped for topping

Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until onion is tender and translucent, 3-5 minutes. Transfer to blender then add curry powder, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the ripe mangoes, honey and heavy cream to blender and blend on high until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. Return sauce to frying pan, add chicken and stir. Cover pan and cook for 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Lower heat if sauce begins to stick to bottom of pan. When chicken is fully cooked, add remaining mangos and heat 2 minutes. Serve hot over rice or pasta topped with cilantro if desired.

Recipe adapted from theendlessmeal.com.

 

Mango Muffins

1 cup butter, softened

cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs

½ tsp orange extract

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 Tbsps. milk

2 cups fresh mango, peeled and cubed

Preheat oven to 350°F. In mixing bowl, add all ingredients and stir until combined. Line muffin tin with liners then scoop or spoon batter into muffin wells. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden brown on top and toothpick comes out clean when testing center.

Recipe adapted from recipesimple.com.

 

Mango Fluff

Amounts for this recipe will vary based on what size dish you use. This recipe works best in smaller dishes. If you want to use a 9x13, double the recipe.

2-4 ripe mangoes, more or less as needed, peeled and sliced

2 cups whipping cream

¼ cup sugar

½ cup sweetened condensed milk

½ tsp vanilla extract

Graham crackers as needed for layers

Using stand mixer, beat whipping cream and sugar until double in size. Add condensed milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Put layer of graham crackers on bottom of loaf pan, 8-inch square glass baking dish or any similar container, filling gaps with trimmed crackers. Spread 1/3 of the cream mixture evenly on top of crackers and then top with a layer of mango slices. Repeat layers until pan is full. Refrigerate overnight to set completely before serving.

Recipe adapted from salu-salo.com.

 

Virgin Layered Strawberry Mango Margarita

1½ cup frozen strawberries

1½ cup frozen mango chunks

1½ cup ice, divided

½ cup water, divided

cup lime juice, divided

½ cup orange juice, divided

6 Tbsps. simple syrup, more or less as needed

Place strawberries, 3/4 cup ice, 1/4 cup water, 8 Tbsps. lime juice, 1/4 cup orange juice and 3 tablespoons simple syrup in a blender. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness as desired. If too sweet, add more fruit or juice. If too tart, add more simple syrup. Transfer to pitcher or bowl. Rinse out blender. Place mango and remaining 3/4 cup ice, 1/4 cup water, 8 Tbsps. lime juice, 1/4 cup orange juice and 3 tablespoons simple syrup in blender. Puree until smooth. Taste and adjust flavor as desired. Decoratively layer into 3 glasses. Leave layers distinct or partially stir together for swirled design.

Recipe adapted from eatingwell.com.