Editor’s Note: Who doesn’t love mango? In today’s guest post, Bindu Grandhi shares with us some little-known facts about this mouth-watering fruit, tips in how to store, prepare and eat it, and a delish recipe from her Spice Up Your Life cookbook!
When I was a young girl, I spent the summer months with my grandparents in Bangalore, India. They spoiled me with trips to the zoo and parks, and showered me with Indian sweets, ice cream and toys. Yet, what I enjoyed the most was the simple pleasure of eating fresh mangoes on the front stoop of the house surrounded by a lovely jasmine garden.
My grandmother would carefully peel the skin off the juicy mango and effortlessly cube it while sharing stories of her childhood. So began my fondness for the refreshing and delicious mango.
The mango is often referred to as “king of the fruit” because of its history and health benefits. It dates back 4,000 years ago to Southeast Asia and in ancient India where ownership of huge mango gardens was considered a status symbol, thus mangoes became christened the fruit of kings (Source: FreshMangos.com).
They are the most widely eaten fruit on a global scale than any other fresh fruit. While there are many varieties grown in many parts of the world, mangoes are generally in season from January through September.
For example, the peak season for:
- Mexican mangoes begins in late March and lasts through September
- Florida mangoes are good from May through September
- Haitian mangoes from January through September
- Brazilian mangoes from September through January (Source: SeriousEats.com)
I prefer Mexican and Florida (e.g., Tommy Atkins and Keitt varieties) mangoes and find that they are at their best in May and June.
This superfruit is low in calories and fat, high in fiber and loaded with protective Vitamins A and C, potassium and copper. It also boosts your immune system and contains natural antidotes to digestive ailments (Source: FreshMangos.com).
No wonder my wise grandmother would often pass around slices of mango after a spicy meal, saying that it would soothe our tummies.
A ripe mango is slightly soft to touch and has a pleasant fruity aroma emitting from the stem end. Store at room temperature and once ripened, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but it’s best to eat when ripe.
Wash before eating and while cutting a mango is a little tricky, with practice you can master it. Check out this YouTube video for a helpful demo.
Mangoes are versatile. They can be eaten as a healthy snack or incorporated in culinary creations such as mango lassi, mango smoothies, mango ice cream, mango puddings, mango chutney, mango salsa and mango salad… in other words, the possibilities are endless!
Mangoes also contain natural tenderizing enzymes that make them terrific additions to meat marinades. In this article, I’ve included a recipe for Mango and Pineapple Chutney which compliments fish, chicken and even serves as a flavorful dipping sauce.
So the next time you’re at the market, make sure to pick up a mango or two and discover why it is indeed the king of the fruits!
Mango and Pineapple ChutneyPrint This
- 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and chopped
- 1 (10 oz.) can pineapple chunks, syrup drained
- 2 tbsp. extra light olive oil
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. red chili powder
- ¼ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- salt to taste
- Heat the oil in a medium sauté pan.
- Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add mango and pineapple. Sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the cumin, red chili powder, coriander, and brown sugar. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow fruit mixture to cool.
- In a blender fitted with a steel blade or food processor, add all the ingredients except the salt.
- Puree and transfer to a serving bowl; salt to taste.
Tip: This great spread goes well with Indian breads, fish, and chicken. This chutney stays fresh for 2–3 weeks in the refrigerator.
About the Author
Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.