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Ingredient Spotlight: Mango

Fresh Cut Indian Mango

Hidden beneath a leathery-green outer skin, mangos have a sweet and tangy flesh that is packed with vitamins and minerals.  Mangos are high in Vitamins A and C, and 1 cup contains just 107 calories. They also provide your body with 12% of the daily amount of fiber that it needs.

Mangos grow on the largest fruit trees in the world, growing up to 130 feet tall. They are native to India, which is the largest producer of the fruit. Tommy Atkins, the most widely grown variety, is a larger fruit with a mild sweetness and firm texture.  The Ataulfo mango is also a popular variety, slightly smaller with a sweeter taste and lighter color.

Read about the top 6 mango varieties here.

Cutting your mango

Mangos have a large seed, so cutting them can be tricky.  Here are 5 easy steps to cut them correctly:

  1. Peel the mango from top to bottom.
  2. Determine the tallest line of the mango. Place the mango on the cutting board and find the side that seems the tallest—the pit will be sitting along that line.
  3. Slice in half, avoiding the pit. Holding the mango with a paper towel, position the chef’s knife, aiming it at the center of the fruit; you may need to adjust the angle of the knife if you find that you hit the pit. Slice the sides off the mango, avoiding the pit.
  4. Cut around the pit. Holding the fruit vertically, trim the remaining flesh off the pit.
  5. Slice the cut halves.
  6. Finish the mango by slicing the pieces horizontally into smaller wedges.
[via Real Simple - Video: “How To: Cut a Mango”]

Adding mango to a variety of dishes

Beyond smoothies and fruit salads, mango pairs well with avocado, salmon, chicken, curry, chili powder and quinoa. Try adding a mango salsa to a bowl of chili and salt-crusted salmon fillet. Mango, avocado and red onion combined with a bright splash of lemon come together to make a light salsa for snacking on with tortilla chips. Whichever way you decide to use it, mangos are a sure way to give any quick recipe a boost!

 

- Alivia Duran

 

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