Mangos are one of nature's superfruits. They are only 100 calories per cup and are full of more than 20 different vitamins and minerals. In fact, one serving has 100 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. Because they are so healthy, I don't feel guilty snacking on one (or three) in between meals. Ripe mangos are tastier and offer the most nutritional bang for your buck. Fortunately, choosing a ripe mango is super easy!
How to choose ripe mango
- Inspect visually: Look closely at that fruit! A ripe mango will be round or football-shaped. It will also be full, especially around the stem end. Shriveled skin and wrinkles typically mean your mango is overripe. Never pick thin or flat mangos, which are probably stringy on the inside. In addition, pass on blemished or dark-spotted mangos, which are probably injured or overripe.
- Hold it: Check that the mango is plump and heavy for its size—this means it's nice and ripe (and juicy!) on the inside.
- Squeeze please: Now that you've got the mango in your hand, give it a gentle squeeze. A ripe mango will indent slightly when you press into it with your thumb. Be sure to feel all around the mango! You want it to be soft to the touch, but not mushy or so soft that your fingers sink right into the skin. Pick a firmer mango if you don't plan on using it for a few days.
- Sniff sniff: Put the mango to your nose. A ripe mango will give off a strong sweet, fruity, fragrant aroma around the stem. Stay away from mangos that don't smell at all, which means they are underripe. Put the mango back if it smells like alcohol! Mangos have a high sugar content, which means they ferment naturally. A strong alcohol odor is a definite sign that the mango is overripe!
How to ripen mangos
So what do you do with all those underripe, rock-hard mangos that your husband brought home from the supermarket? (You told him to check KCL for tips before he left—but did he listen?) Just pop those underripe mangos into a brown paper bag. They should ripen up nicely after a few days on the kitchen counter.
- Store your ripe mangos in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. They should stay fresh for up to three days.
- Don't pay attention to the color of the mango—it doesn't indicate ripeness. Ripe mangos can range anywhere from pink to green to yellow, depending on the season and variety. Instead, familiarize yourself with the different varieties at this website.
How to use
- Mangos are known for their sweetness, so why not whip up a yummy dessert like coconut cake with mango glaze? Or make tapioca pudding with mango nectar or mango sticky rice.
- Want to add mangos to your dinner menu? Chop up fresh mango and skewer alongside chicken for a summery grilled meal. Or make mango salsa to top halibut or salmon. If you want to put some international flare on the dinner table, whip up Thai mango chicken!