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Mad About Mangos

Here are some tips and recipes for enjoying the world's most popular fruit.

Selecting Mangos

There are over 150 varieties of mangos, so there are many outer colors, shapes, and sizes -- all with that beautifully golden, sweet, uniquely flavored fruit on the inside. No matter what the variety, you'll need to use your fingers and your nose to test for ripeness: ripe mangos feel soft when you apply slight pressure and have a fruity fragrance.

If you have no choice but to purchase firm mangos, you can ripen them by keeping them at room temperature in a paper bag until they're softer and more fragrant. If you need to keep them from spoiling for a few more days once they're ripe, mangos will keep in the refrigerator for about another week, advises Schueller.

There are three basic ways to eat mangos: fresh (great for eating as is and in all types of recipes); frozen (perfect for smoothies, or when fresh mango is unavailable or expensive); and dried (suitable for snacks, baking, and trail mix).

Mangos are delicious on their own, or as a fruit garnish or side dish. They're also great in all sorts of salads -- fruit salads, entrée salads, or green salads. You might also see mangos featured in salsas and chutneys, hot or cold chicken, seafood dishes, or tarts and cakes. Anything is possible with mangos! They even work well on an indoor or outdoor grill.

And here's a secret serving tip from Schueller, of Melissa's, who is absolutely mad about mangos: He likes to chill his mangos two hours before serving or eating them.

Mango Recipes

Here are some recipes to get you cooking with mangos: a versatile sauce, a light appetizer, and a sweet treat perfect for serving with tea.

Tropical Mango Sauce

WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal 2 tablespoons of sauce as 1/4 cup fruit juice OR 1/4 cup "unsweetened canned fruit in juice or unsweetened pureed fruit".

This sauce is wonderful over light vanilla ice cream, waffles, pancakes, grilled chicken, and fruit salad.

1 cup diced mango
2 tablespoons crushed pineapple (in juice)
2 teaspoons fine granulated sugar (or Splenda)
1/16 -- 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract

  • Add mango, crushed pineapple, sugar, and coconut extract into the bowl of a small food processor or blender and process until the mixture is fairly smooth (about 15 seconds). If you're using a larger food processor, it will work best if you double the recipe.
  • Spoon sauce into a covered container and store in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Yield: 3/4 cup of sauce (6 servings)

Per serving: 30 calories, 0.2 grams protein, 8 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 1 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 3%.

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