The fragrant fruit is tangy, juicy and super sweet; they just taste like summer. And they’re versatile. Use them in salsas and sauces, in pastries, atop chicken or fish, even to spike your iced tea. In honor of peak mango season during national Mango Month – June – let this be the year you make the mango part of your kitchen repertoire.
Choose: Go ahead, squeeze the mango: Slightly soft to the touch? It’s ready to eat. (Choose firmer fruit if you don’t plan to eat it for a few days.) Color doesn’t matter; ripe mangos can be green, red, orange, pink, yellow or often, a combination thereof.
Store: Ripe mangos should be stored in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for nearly a week if unpeeled. Once peeled and diced, eat within a day or two, or freeze in an airtight container for up to six months. Unripe mangos should be left at room temperature to ripen fully; to speed up the process, place fruit in a brown paper bag and leave on the counter for a day or two.
Use: Cutting a fresh mango can be slippery and messy; don’t worry about producing perfectly diced fruit, at least your first few times. Place mango on a dry cutting board and slice off the sides lengthwise. Using the knife tip, score the inside of each side, then turn over and press the skin side so the scored chunks stand away from the skin. Peel away skin with the knife. To finish, remove peel from the center mango section, which contains a large pit. Carefully carve extra flesh from around the pit.
The (nutritional) goods: They’re sweet as candy but a lot better for you; a cup of fresh mango has about 110 calories and provides 25 percent of an adult’s recommended allowance of vitamin A and 80 percent of vitamin C. Could the mango be the next super food? Maybe. This year, Texas A&M researchers said they discovered preliminary evidence that mangos may help fight breast and colon cancer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
This simple salsa is great over grilled fish, chicken or shrimp.
2 fresh mangos, peeled and diced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
1- 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
2 Tbs lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Mix all ingredients.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 55, Fat: 0 g (0 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 10 mg, Sodium: 3 mg, Carbohydrates: 14 g, Fiber: 2 g, Protein: 1 g
© 2010, Brookshire Grocery Co. Nutrient counts are rounded to the nearest whole number. All dietary and lifestyle changes should be supervised by a physician.