Mango Madness!

Mango. Some say the nectar of gods, this tropical sweetness is the taste of summer for many Australians. To think that I had not tasted a "real" mango until migrated to Australia is crazy, the mangoes here are AMAZING!

The mango is the second most eaten tropical fruit in the world! Of course, they not only taste amazing, one mango has up to 3x the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C and lots of antioxidants, including beta-carotene. A little bit of trivia for you, there are over 1000 varieties of mango in the world, and us Aussies only eat 9 of them!

As we enter Summer, mangoes are starting to appear at pop up stalls and at farmers markets - we are fortunate enough to have a long season for mangoes in Australia, with the season progressing like this:

Northern Territory: Oct-Dec

North Queensland: Mid Nov-Jan

Central QLD, Southern QLD and Northern NSW: Late Dec-Late Feb

The peak time for mangoes is in December, where you will see amazing prices for this fruit, December is also when you will start to see local mangoes that haven't traveled far for sale - I recommend these mangoes, they are fresher, and there is something sweeter in knowing they were grown just down the road.

So, why is the The Kitchen Coach on about mangoes? Well - besides their deliciousness, I love the idea of capturing a harvest, preserving it and enjoying them in a convenient (and affordable!) manner. So, my challenge to you is this, when the price is right, and mangoes are selling cheap - grab a tray (or two!) and follow my easy mango processing techniques to have them ready for my two preferred mango preservation techniques, freezing or dehydrating.

Mangoes are messy, sticky and sometimes hard to get ALL the flesh out - the simple scoop technique will have you flying through a tray of mangoes in no time.  Watch below for the simple cup scoop technique:

So what to do with all these mangoes? Here are the options:

- Freeze: this is the best way to store them if you want to use them in smoothies or cooking, it is best to store the cheeks whole, and the fruit from around the seed can be pureed and made into mango cubes (just blend up and pop in an ice cube tray, once frozen pop into a container and keep in the freezer);

- Eat Fresh: the best way to eat mango! Mango goes well in salads, smoothies and even fresh iceblocks like shown below (love my Zoku!):

- Dehydrate & Preserve: if you have run out of space in the freezer and your belly, then drying mango is a great way to preserve the season, cut your mango into bit size pieces (no more than 1/2 centimetre thick) and pop in your dehydrator over night at around 50 degrees. I recommend keeping them in a cool place. You can also make mango chutney and preserve these for adding to subcontinental cuisine!