Ingredient of the Month: Mango

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Known as the most popular seasonal fruit in Australia, we manage to eat our way through eight million trays of mangoes a year!

You’ll be able to find some varieties of mangoes available between the months of September and April each year. However, the most abundant time of year for this beautiful fruit is right in the middle of our summer- between December and March.

Coming from the same family as cashews, there are over 1000 mango varieties across the world and is extremely versatile. Mangoes match perfectly with chicken or seafood, are the perfect ingredient for a delectable dessert or they are a perfect snack on their own.

 

Health benefits

According to Australian Mangoes website, a 200g serving of mango will provide you with an abundance of nutritional value. This serving (which is equivalent to less than one mango)  will give you more than your daily intake of Vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is important for the development of the immune system and good vision. And Vitamin C  helps to protect the body from infection and is required in the formation of collagen. Mangoes are also rich in beta-carotene, fibre and potassium. But that’s not all! Mangoes also have a low Glycemic Index and only contain around 248kj per half!

How to choose your mango

The best way to pick a perfect mango is by using your nose. You’ll be able to pick a fresh and ripe mango through its fruity aroma. It will also be a full orange/yellow colour and be very subtly soft when you touch it. However, be sure not to choose a mango that is very soft as this means it will be over ripe. Mangoes without a scent and which are fairly hard will not be ripe. And mangoes that are completely green are not only not ripe, but might not even ripen.

 

How to store a mango

If you need to ripen mangoes a little, store them at room temperature away from the sun for a few days. You can even help them ripen faster by storing them in a paper bag. Be sure not to put your mango in the fridge until it is ripe as they will not ripen once in the refrigerator. However, once ripe, store your them in the fridge to help them last a few more days.

 

Some ideas for enjoying mangoes

  • Make a summer salad with the addition of fresh mangoes.
  • Get your kids in the kitchen and create some berry and mango icy poles.
  • For a delicious on-the-go breakfast whip up a mango smoothie.
  • Chargrill mango and serve it as a dessert with some yoghurt, fresh berries and meringue.

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