Marvelous Mangoes

Known as “King of the Fruit,” more mangoes are eaten throughout the world than apples.

The mango arrived in Florida in the 1830s and in California in the 1880s. Today, mangoes are grown in most warm areas all over the world, with India leading the way. There are some 1,000 different varieties of mango, each with its distinct degree of woodiness, varying skin colors and different sizes.

Mangoes are actual comfort food — they really can make you feel better! Beyond being delicious and rich in vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants, mangoes contain an enzyme with stomach-soothing properties. These comforting enzymes act as a digestive aid and may reduce abdominal ailments.

Mangoes are now at peak season. Their delicious flavor is the perfect accompaniment to ice cream and they shine in fruit salads. The best way to choose a ripe mango is by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango emits a full, fruity aroma at the stem end.

The best way to ripen a mango is at room temperature, on the kitchen counter. Mangos are ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yielding to gentle pressure, like a ripe peach. Store ripe mangoes in the refrigerator. When stored properly, a mango should have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks.

Cutting mangoes can be messy. Some people will opt to purchase precut mango slices at their local grocer. But that can defeat the fact that mangoes are well priced now during the summer. Try a mango splitter. This kitchen-tested gadget cuts the flesh neatly away from the large pit and allows you to neatly slice each half. It’s way more cost effective than buying the fruit precut!

Use mangoes in salads and desserts, and try it on the grill. Now is the time to enjoy!

Mango Barbecue Sauce

Serve this tasty sauce over simple grilled chicken breasts that have been seasoned with salt and pepper.

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon flour

1 ripe mango, peeled and cubed

1 cup mango nectar or orange juice

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Heat oil in a large skillet. Sauté chopped onions and red bell pepper over medium heat for 5–8 minutes until soft. Stir in flour and mix until completely dissolved. Add mango, mango nectar, ginger, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Cook, stirring over medium heat until sauce boils and is thickened. Serve hot over grilled chicken.

Mango Lemonade

A sweet twist on a summertime favorite!

1 mango, peeled, pitted and chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)

3/4 cup sugar

4 cups water

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

In a food processor, blend the mango, 1/4 cup of the sugar, and a splash of water until smooth. This will make the purée for the lemonade. In a pitcher, combine the water, lemon juice, and the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Mix in the purée. Serve over ice in tall glasses.

Mango Coconut Ice Pops

These pops look like ice cream but are dairy-free!

1 cup coconut milk

1 mango, diced (about 1 cup)

2 teaspoons honey

1 cup frozen strawberries, thawed

Blend coconut milk, mango and honey in a blender or food processor until smooth. Pour into half of 6 ice pop molds.

Add strawberries to remaining mixture and blend.

Fill the molds to the top. Freeze for at least 3 hours. Enjoy!

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.