The Hemp Connection + tips

Food of the week: mango

One of my inCYST graduates called to say hi the other day. She shared with me that she had discovered mangoes, and loved them. However, she was having trouble picking mangoes that were ripe and sweet. I've put the advice on that at the bottom of this post, courtesy of www.freshmangoes.com, and am devoting this post to one of my very favorite fruits.

I learned while researching this post that one averaged sized mango gives you about 40% of your daily requirement of fiber! In addition, that entire mango only has about 110 calories. For you carb counters, it logs in at 17 grams.

I like to use mangos in smoothies. I also like to make mango salsa. The one thing I don't like about mangos is that they can be so…crazy…messy! So I have gravitated toward the frozen mango chunks I found at Trader Joe's. Not only are they quick, easy, and convenient, they make a great snack to munch out of a bowl while winding down with the evening news. I've also seen dried mango, which is much more portable in a backpack than the real, fresh deal.

A few years ago, when I was in Costa Rica, I encountered green mangoes. These are the not-yet-orange-and-ripe variety that are often found canned. You might find them in your local Latin grocery store.

And that reminds me. When I was in the Mexican grocery store with my friend a few weeks ago, he marveled at how cheap the mangoes were. So don't write them off as an expensive, exotic specialty item. Make it a point to find your closest Latin-oriented grocery store, and stock up on the fruits that make eating fun.

Finally, here's a great recipe for a salmon avocado salad with mango salsa.

Who said healthy eating had to be boring or tasteless?

Selecting the ripeness of mangos can be determined by either smelling or squeezing. A ripe mango will have a full, fruity aroma emitting from the stem end. Mangos can be considered ready to eat when slightly soft to the touch and yielding to gentle pressure, like a ripe peach. The best flavored fruit have a yellow tinge when ripe; however, color may be red, yellow, green, orange or any combination. The ideal post harvest storage temperature for mangos is 55ยบ F. When stored properly a mango should have a shelf life of 1 to 2 weeks. We have found that the best way to ripen a mango is at room temperature, on the kitchen counter and if you wish to accelerate the process place in a paper bag overnight (some folks place an apple with the mango in the bag to create more natural ethylene gas and further decrease the ripening time). Once ripened the mango can be refrigerated for a few days, but should be used shortly thereafter. www.freshmangoes.com

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Food of the week: mango + tips