Mangos can add colour and fragrance to seasonal fruit

Mangos are grown in tropical climates and imported to Canada. They are readily available from May to September, which allows them to be incorporated into spring and summer menus and paired with locally grown fruit and vegetables to add a bright orange colour, a sweet-tart flavour and exotic fragrance.

Depending on the variety, mangos’ skin colour can range from yellow-orange to yellow-green to yellow with a bright red blush.

The large, flat seed in the middle of the fruit is a challenge to cut around.

Always wash the fruit well and then peel with a vegetable peeler. Stand the fruit on its wide end and using a sharp knife, vertically cut away the flesh by sliding the knife along the seed on one side and then repeating on the other side. Cut the remaining flesh from the seed. Dice the fruit for easy incorporation with other ingredients.

Under-ripe mangos can be put in a paper bag at room temperature to ripen. Place ripe mangos in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to five days. Fresh mangos are rich in fibre and vitamins A and C.

The fruit is delicious peeled and eaten plain or can be used to enhance the fresh flavours of other fruits and vegetables in salads, smoothies, salsas, desserts and chutneys. Also experiment by adding chopped fresh mango to rice or stir-fried dishes just before serving.

Spring fruit salad

This is a delicious fruit salad that one of our daughters-in-law makes. Use a variety of fresh, in-season fruits; here is a suggested combination. Serves 4 to 6.

  • 1 mango
  • 6-8 large strawberries
  • 1 c. fresh raspberries 250 mL
  • 1 c. fresh blueberries 250 mL
  • 1 orange, peeled and sectioned
  • lime juice

Wash, peel and dice or slice the fruit as needed. Gently mix fruit, add a splash of lime juice and serve or refrigerate for one to six hours. Serve with yogurt for breakfast, as a side dish at brunch or dinner or as a dessert or snack.

Chicken, mango salad

  • 2 tbsp. ginger, finely grated 30 mL
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice 15 mL
  • grated zest of 1 lime (see note)
  • 2 c. chicken, diced (use BBQ chicken breasts or a store-bought rotisserie chicken) 500 mL
  • 2 c. mango, washed, peeled, pitted, cut into 1/2” cubes (2-3 mangos) 500 mL
  • 2 c. kiwi, washed, peeled, cut into 1/2” cubes 500 mL (or use strawberries)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint, sliced15 mL plus sprigs for garnish
  • 6 c. romaine lettuce, torn into bite size pieces 1.5 L
  • 1/4 c. roasted salted cashews, halved 60 mL
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Place grated ginger in a small strainer set over bowl. Press on solids to extract four teaspoons (20 mL) of ginger juice; discard solids in strainer. Stir mayonnaise, ginger juice, lime juice and lime zest in medium bowl. Add chicken, mango cubes, 1 1/2 cups kiwi cubes or strawberries, and sliced mint; toss to coat. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Divide lettuce among four bowls; mound chicken on the lettuce. Scatter cashews and remaining kiwi cubes or strawberries over salad; garnish with mint sprigs.

Note: Lime zest is the green portion of the lime peel that is finely grated. It enhances the lime juice flavour. The yellow portion of a lemon peel can also be grated to enhance the lemon flavour. Adapted from bonappetit.com.

Rhubarb and mango crisp

The sweet mango nicely complements the tart rhubarb, and a hint of coconut creates an exotic flavour combination. Also try combining rhubarb and mango in a traditional rhubarb pie.

Rhubarb and mango filling:

  • 1/3 c. sugar 75 mL
  • 2 tbsp. cornstarch 30 mL
  • 3 c. fresh rhubarb, chopped into small pieces750 mL (see note below)
  • 2 ripe mangos, washed, peeled, seeded and cubed
  • 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice 15 mL
  • grated zest of one lemon (see note above about lime zest)
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, minced5 mL
  • butter, for baking dish

Topping:

  • 2/3 c. butter, melted 150 mL
  • 1 c. quick cooking rolled oats 250 mL
  • 1/2 c. all purpose flour 125 mL
  • 2/3 c brown sugar 150 mL
  • 1/2 c. unsweetened grated coconut (optional) 125 mL

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C).
Butter a 9 x 9-inch (22 x 22 cm) baking dish.
In a large bowl combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb, mangos, lemon juice, lemon zest and ginger. Toss to combine.
Melt butter for topping.
Combine oats, flour, brown sugar and grated coconut. Add melted butter and mix with a spoon until all of the dry ingredients are moistened and lumps have formed.
Pour fruit mixture into buttered baking dish. Spoon topping over filling, covering fruit completely.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until filling is bubbly and topping is golden. Adapted from foodnetwork.ca

Note: To quickly chop rhubarb, use the widest slicing blade on a food processor. Be sure the rhubarb is fresh and crisp and refrigerate if necessary to firm it. A large batch can be cut in seconds.

Mango-peach breakfast smoothie

  • 2–3 mangos, peeled, seeded, cut into pieces, about 3 cups packed 750 mL
  • 2 peaches, cut into pieces, about 2 cups 500 mL
  • 1 c. plain Greek yogurt 500 mL
  • 1/2 c. skim milk or cold water 125 mL
  • 1 tsp grated ginger 5 mL
  • honey (optional)
  • 4 fresh mint leaves (optional)

Combine fruit, yogurt, milk and ginger in a blender and purée until smooth. Add honey to taste and blend again, adding more water if thinner consistency is desired. Pour into glasses and garnish with mint. Another option is to cover and refrigerate for one day and serve without ice. This is best served very cold. Adapted from bonappetit.com.

Betty Ann Deobald is a home economist from Rosetown, Sask., and a member of Team Resources. Contact: team@producer.com.

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