Mangoes. Nature's Fruit Full of Flavour and Nutrition.
Sweet, plump and juicy.
There is no other way to explain the taste of mangoes, they are Nature's gift to our palette.
Spring has sprung in Australia so mangoes and other summer fruits are coming into the season. There is nothing better than slurping a cold, juicy mango on a hot summer's day. Oh, the joy as the juice drips down your arms and the sweet explosion of pulp and juices hit your mouth, it is truly the fruit of the Gods.
I really enjoy eating mangoes... can you tell? They are definitely one of my favourite fruits, and when they are in season and reasonably priced, I use them in my cooking. See some of my favourite recipes below. Here's a tip too - at the end of the Mango season when they are cheap, buy in bulk and cut them up, bag them in individual bags and place them in the freezer for future use. These frozen goodies work well in smoothies, defrosted and placed over cereal or in yoghurt and great when used for cooking.
Full of nutrients
Mangoes contain 1.6 grams of protein, 135 calories and 3.7 grams of fibre as well as Potassium, Phosphorus, Calcium, Iron and Zinc. Also, vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K as well as Niacin and Folate. Along with a few other nutrients, just for good measure.
With more than the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C and beta-carotene, mangoes are known to provide cancer-fighting antioxidants as well as aiding in preventing Diabetes and Heart Disease. Not only are mangoes good for fighting disease they are also good for people who are watching their weight, with approx. 300kg for an average size mango. Be careful if you add ice cream, this will add calories, so if you are watching your weight, stick to eating the fruit on its own.
How good is it to have something that tastes yummy, sweet and delicious and actually be healthy to eat? A mango on its own can be a meal, especially if it is a large one. Add the pulp to fruit salads, make a great smoothie or use a very ripe mango in Indian or Asian dishes (see recipes below).
Mangoes are from the same family as pistachio and cashew nuts. Nuts and mangoes are a great combination for many meals.
Mangoes Are Very Nutritious
Vitamin A 1584IU
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) 0.12mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) 0.12 mg
Vitamin B6 0.23mg
Vitamin C 57.3mg
Vitamin E 2.32mg
Vitamin K 8.7mcg
Pantothenic Acid 0.33mg
Mangoes go well in a smoothie.
Some people are allergic to mangoes and avoid them totally. The allergy is actually due to the sap of the mango which contains 'Urushiol', a substance which may cause severe itching, rash and swelling around the mouth. If you do suffer it is best to avoid touching the skin but you may be safe to eat the pulp.
Many people with this type of allergy tend to avoid eating mangoes at all but avoiding the sap may be all you need to do. So, if you enjoy the smell and can't resist eating one, just stick to the pulp. This is the best part anyway.
Mangoes are a low glycemic food.
Foods that rank under 55 out of 100 on the glycemic index (GI) are considered low GI food. Mangoes GI is 51 and this makes them a good choice for people with diabetes, heart disease and people watching their weight. As with any food, monitor how you feel after eating and check your levels. Keep in mind your calorie intake as well. Eating too much food will affect your wellbeing and you will gain weight.
History of the Mango
Mangoes are the most popular fruit in the world with many varieties available in most countries.
‘Magifera Indica’ is the botanical name for the mango tree and it is native to parts of Southern Asia, especially India. Persian traders introduced the fruit into Africa, then Brazil and the West Indies via Portuguese ships. The varieties available in California and Florida were grafted from a variety originally grown in India.
The Australian Kensington Variety
Bowen in North Queensland, known for its beautiful sunshine and temperate climate all year round, had mangoes introduced by Indian businessmen during the 19th Century. They were planted on a property just outside Bowen and it was the variety with more pulp and less ‘strings’ which became popular.
In the late 1880’s, Harry Lott from a nearby area named ‘Kensington’ where he produced and sold this variety, which under the names of ‘Kensington and Bowen Mangoes’ is one of the most popular brands still sold today. These mangoes are usually large and bring orange in colour and the pulp is ‘string’ free.
Cutting a Mango so it's Easy to Eat.
Recipes using Mangoes
Mangoes are popular the world over and have been used for 4,000 years. It is thought that they originated in India and there are over 1000 varieties available in colours varying from green to red to gold and golden orange. Mangoes are ready to be eaten when they have a tropical smell and are slightly soft to touch.
AVAKAI (PICKLED MANGO)
25 ripe mangoes
250g mustard powder
5 garlic cloves, crushed
250g chilli powder
1tbsp turmeric powder
Chop mangoes into big pieces without removing the skin and allow to dry out overnight on a tea towel. Mix mustard powder, chilli powder, garlic and turmeric powder with oil, making a thick masala. Have a dry, clean glass jar which has been sterilised ready. Place a layer of mangoes followed by a layer of masala into the jar and repeat. Close the jar tightly and keep in a cool, dry place for 4 to 5 days. After five days, open the jar and mix the contents with a dry spoon.
This is a popular pickle recipe from Southern India and is served with rice and ghee.
MANGO BLACK BEAN SOUP
1 pkt black beans
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup red capsicum, diced
1 cup green capsicum diced
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup carrot, diced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 large mango, diced
1 cup tomato, diced
1 small tin corn niblets
1 large mushroom, thinly sliced
3 chillies, seeded and minced
salt and pepper to taste
shredded tasty cheese
Cook black beans following the directions on the packet. In a large saucepan heat oil and balsamic vinegar over a medium heat. Sauté capiscum, onion, carrot, and garlic for 3 minutes and keep stirring. Stir in chicken broth, mango, tomato, corn, mushroom, and chillies. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Simmer for approx 10 minutes. Drain liquid from beans and puree half the cooked beans in a blender until smooth. Stir whole and pureed beans into soup then keep on heat 2 minutes more. Serve topped with shredded tasty cheese.
MANGO ICE CREAM
2 ripe mango, diced, peeled (medium size) 1 & 1/2 cups sugar 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice 2 cups milk (light or no fat can be used) 5 egg yolks 1 cup cream (light can be used)
In a ceramic mixing bowl combine the mango, half the sugar and orange juice, then cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator. In another mixing bowl whisk eggs and remaining sugar. Bring the milk to the boil (don't over-boil) then add slowly to the eggs/sugar mix and place back on medium heat. Allow to thicken into a custard then strain and leave to cool.
Bring all ingredients together in a bowl adding the cream (whipped). Add more sugar if necessary, this will depend on the sweetness of the mango. Place into ice cream machine and freeze.
Serve with your favourite crepe or pancake recipe, use in smoothies or enjoy just as it comes.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2010 Maria Giunta