Project Body Smart | RECIPE: Mango Lime Dressing
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RECIPE: Mango Lime Dressing

Mango

Mango

OVERVIEW

The mango is a stone fruit that grows in tropical locations and is known for its big flavor and sweet juice.

There are over 1,0000 different mango varieties cultivated around the world. Given its widespread geography, it’s no surprise that mangoes are used in many different cuisines including Thai, Indian, Mexican, Filipino, and Caribbean. (It’s even the national fruit of India, Pakistan and the Philippines, and the mango tree is the national tree of Bangladesh.)

In the US, mangoes are commonly imported from Mexico, as well as Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Guatemala and Haiti. The mango growing year has two seasons: one in the spring/summer and one in the fall/winter. As a result of its geographic locations and growing seasons, mangoes are generally available in the US all year long.

IDENTIFICATION

Among the many types of mangoes, there are two types you’re most likely to find.

Mangoes of the Tommy Atkins variety are generally the most common. They are a fairly large, heavy fruit, with a rounded oval shape, and red, yellow and green colored skin.

You may also encounter Altufo or “champagne mangoes”. These are longer and narrower with a bright yellow color.

While flavor and bouquet vary by variety, ripe mangoes have a sweet, aromatic scent. The flesh is yellow-orange colored, fragrant, and juicy.

NUTRITION INFO

One half-cup of raw mangoes contains about 50 calories, 0.68g of protein, 0.31g of fat, 12.36g of carbohydrates, 1.3g of fiber, and 11.27g of sugar.

Mangoes are packed with vitamins — most notably, they are a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin A, and vitamin C. (One cup of mangoes fulfills 100% of your daily vitamin C needs.) Mangoes also contain copper, potassium, and magnesium.

SELECTION

For ripeness, look for bright color: Tommy Atkins mangoes should be red and yellow, with limited green patches. Altufos should be bright yellow. Certain mangoes (such as the Keitt variety) are green when ripe, but for most varieties this means they’re not ready to eat yet.

The fruit should have a slight give to it when pressed gently. If it feels very firm it is not ripe and may take a few days yet to ripen. Alternatively, if it is very soft and squishy that means it’s over-ripe.

Some mango varieties – including Altufo mangoes – are sensitive and should be handled with care. Check the mangoes for any major blemishes, bruises or soft spots before buying.

STORAGE

Let mangoes ripen on the counter. Putting them in a paper bag can hasten this process.

Once ripe, you can store mangoes in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Cut mangoes will last for a few days in the fridge, but the fruit is best enjoyed shortly after being cut for maximum flavor and freshness.

PREPARATION

First you must remove the tough, thin skin. You can do this with a sharp paring knife or a sharp vegetable peeler. If the mango is ripe enough, you may be able to make a few small cuts around the top of the mango, then simply peel the skin away with your hands.

When cutting through a mango, exercise caution: they can be quite slippery due to their juiciness.

At the center of the mango is a large, tough white pit. This is particularly true for common mangoes (Altufo mangoes have a smaller pit and more flesh.) Note that the flesh surrounding the pit is tough and fibrous; the riper the fruit, the less tough and fibrous flesh there will be. Cut around these areas.

For breakfast, mangoes can be enjoyed as topping for yogurt, oatmeal or cereal, or add to smoothies.

Mangoes can also be enjoyed in savory preparations. Sweet, aromatic mangoes are a great canvas for building lots of flavor. For example, use mango slices in a salad, stir cubes of mango into guacamole or homemade salsa, roast mango chunks with chicken or pork, or puree to make a tropical glaze for grilled meat.

Mangoes are great in desserts: use them in fruit tarts, add them to coconut rice pudding, or turn them into sorbet. Of course, mangoes are so sweet they make a great dessert on their own: add a sprig of mint to garnish a serving of cut mango and enjoy.

RECIPE: MANGO LIME DRESSING

Mango

A dressing with fiber? Who knew! The mango gives this dressing a naturally sweet and creamy texture – which is ultimately what we crave in sauces and dressings. It’s sure to wake up your taste buds and be a welcomed change to your usual vinaigrette.

INGREDIENTS

mango, ripe, chopped into small pieces (or 1 cup forzen defrosted mango chunks)
1
lime (use zest from 1/2 of the lime and juice from whole lime)
1
apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp
extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup
thyme
1/2 tsp
sea salt
to taste
honey (optional)
1-2 tbsp

DIRECTIONS

Prep Time: 2 minutes   Cook Time: 0 minutes   Yield: 1 cup

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until very smooth. Store for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Note: this dressing will get thicker in the fridge – you can let it sit on the counter for a bit or add a bit of water to it as you go if you’re storing it for the week.

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