According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, mangoes are the healthiest fruit, and one of the most nutritious foods of all food groups. One cup of mango provides 80% of the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin C, 25% of the RDA for vitamin A, 3 grams of fiber, some potassium, and is one of the best sources of beta carotene. They are also one of the least likely of all fruit to contain harmful pesticide residues.* Even in Minnesota they are available year round.
Green mangoes may never ripen but, otherwise, they will fully ripen at room temperature. Mangoes have a large seed that tends to cling to the fruit. To remove the fruit, cut the mango vertically, sliding a sharp knife along the seed on one side, then on the other and, finally, along the sides. To remove the fruit from the skin, place a piece of mango skin-side down on your cutting board and slide your knife between the skin and the fruit.
Here is one of my favorite salads that use mangoes.
SPINACH SALAD WITH MANGO AND CANDIED PECANS.** Serves 4.
* Nonstick vegetable oil spray
* 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
* 6 tablespoons olive oil (split)
* 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (split)
* 1 cup pecan halves
* 1 6-ounce bag baby spinach leaves
* 1 large mango, peeled, pitted and cut into thin wedges
Spray sheet of foil with nonstick spray. Stir sugar, 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar in heavy medium skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes. Mix in pecans. Stir until nuts are toasted and syrup coats nuts evenly, about 7 minutes. Turn nuts out onto prepared foil. Using two forks, separate nuts and cool completely (coating will harden).
Combine spinach, mango and cooled pecans in large bowl. Whisk remaining 5 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons vinegar in small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper. Toss salad with enough dressing to coat.
* Nevertheless, always wash mangoes before using.
** Source: "Bon Appetit", April 2000