Photo of MangoWe could all use a little bit of sunshine during the winter months which is why we’re featuring the delicious mango. There are hundreds of varieties of mangoes grown in tropical climates around the world. They range in weight from a few ounces to several pounds. Their most common form is oblong or kidney shaped, though they can also be round or oval.

When selecting a mango, don’t focus on colour. It’s not the best indicator of ripeness. Squeeze the mango gentle. A ripe mango will give slightly. Ripe mangoes will sometimes have a fruity aroma at the stem ends. Always judge by the feel.

Mangoes ripen after they are picked so it is fine to buy them unripe. Just make sure the skin is blemish free.

Keep unripe mangoes at room temperature. They shouldn’t be refrigerated before they are ripe. Mangoes will continue to ripen at room temperature becoming sweeter and softer over several days. To speed up ripening place mangoes in a closed paper bag with a banana and store at room temperature. Whole ripe mangoes may be stored for up to five days in the refrigerator but are best served at room temperature. They may be peeled, cubed and placed in an airtight container in the freezer for six months or longer.

To cut, hold the mango lengthwise and slice down on each side of the pit to cut the mangos cheeks away. You can also then cut a long thin piece away from each side of the pit.

With a sharp knife, make long slices in each cheek without cutting through the skin. Now create a criss cross pattern by rotating the mango cheek and slicing across the cuts previously made. Turn the mango cheek over and push the fruit out. Use the knife to cut away the chunks of flesh from the skin.

Mangoes are great to eat as is, and make an excellent addition to a salad, chutney or Thai recipe. They are easily substituted for other fruits in crisp, pies, flans or sorbets.  Half a mango has 67 calories. It’s a good source of Vitamin C, B6 and fibre.

Here are some of our favourite mango recipes:

Mango Banana Smoothie: This fun green smoothie is a great start to your day!

Strawberry Mango Feta Toast: Diced strawberries, mango and feta cheese provide the perfect balance of sweet, savoury and tangy for a quick brunch or lunch toast.Strawberry Mango Feta Toast

Flounder with Mango: A great match for white fish is the mango relish on top.

How do you incorporate mangoes, a touch of tropical, in your winter meals?

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