Thursday 20 September, 2018

Mangoes: Health benefits and tasty dishes

Mangoes are one of the world’s greatest joys. The sweet fruit are bursting with goodness and are also highly versatile – you can put them in drinks, salads, desserts and even pickles. Here’s what you need to know:

Vitamin bomb: Mangoes are a fantastic source of Vitamin C. Just one cup will give you 100% of your daily recommended amount, according to mango.org, as well as 35% of your Vitamin A needs (important for eyesight). One cup also provides a useful fibre boost and is only 100 calories, making it a healthy and delicious treat.

Indian origins: Mangoes originated in eastern India and Myanmar before making their way round the world. India remains the world’s largest producer of mangoes but consumes much of this domestically. The world’s biggest importer of mangoes is the US and the top exporter is Mexico.

Weird but true: Mangoes are related to pistachios and cashews. The fruit belongs to the Anacardiaceae family – which is characterised by plants that bear fruit featuring a stone, flesh and a skin. A less popular member of this family is poison ivy, a flowering plant which causes a painful itchy rash when you touch it.

Path to health: A US study in 2012 found that people who ate mangoes had a healthier diet in general. The study said that mango intake was associated with lower consumption of sugars and salt, and higher consumption of fibre and potassium. So keep eating!

(Image: Mango salsa by Maggie Hoffmann via Flickr)

Mango goes with chilli: In many countries unripe mangoes are eaten as a snack served with chilli, lime or soy sauce. Unripe mangoes can also be used in one of Thailand’s spiciest salads – som tam. It’s a sweet/sour mix of green papaya, green mangoes, tomatoes, chilli, peanuts and dried shrimp in a wonderful dressing that is so delicious you won’t mind that your mouth is on fire.

Mango goes with avocado: This is a great one since both grow well in the Caribbean. Martha Stewart has this simple but delicious mango-avocado salsa, while if you want to make it a bit more filling, try this salad recipe which includes chicken. For a great dinner dish, here’s a recipe for jerk shrimp with mango and avocado. Yum.

Can mango be curried? This recipe says yes. The author says the recipe, which features mango cooked in a raft of spices, originates from southern India and results in a wonderful combination of sweet and savoury flavours. It can also be used in curries featuring other meats – this recipe for mango chicken curry looks great.

Mango goes in smoothies: Do you have kids that don’t really like eating breakfast? One great way to get round this is to whizz them up a smoothie. You can combine mangoes with banana, milk, yoghurt, berries and all kinds of other good things for a filling start to the day. This site here has some good recipes to get you started.

Mango goes with alcohol: Yes indeed! Here’s a recipe for a simple mango daiquiri that uses lime, mango, sugar syrup, white rum and ice. This dark rum strawberry-mango mojito also sounds rather delicious. If you’d rather have a vodka-based drink, you could replace orange with mango for an innovative Screwdriver. And if you need more inspiration, Buzzfeed has come up with this list of 17 mango cocktails to please any tastebuds.

On the other hand: Sometimes the best things in life are the simplest. A fresh mango straight from the tree is a thing of beauty. Procure, peel, eat and enjoy. Lovely.  

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