How Do You Like Them Mangoes?

Our island backyard boasts five mature mango trees, for which we consider ourselves blessed. However, it’s probably a good thing mangoes are a seasonal fruit because I honestly cannot imagine what I would do with such abundance year round. Yet in spite of the copious harvest we go through every year, we look forward to mango season like a couple of kids waiting for Christmas. We regularly inspect the trees for flower development and growth, and we get all silly with excitement when we finally see fruit the size of olives forming on the branches. Oh, the anticipation of that sweet, juicy, messy fruit!

It's mango season, baby!

It’s mango season, baby!

Of course, by about Week 3 of the harvest, we can barely look at the green and orange orbs; even the dogs will have lost their zeal. No matter! Being an enterprising woman who lives on a rock, I have figured out ways to incorporate this gift of nature into just about any dish.

So when you find yourself thinking, I literally cannot eat another mango, here is a list of creative ways you can use ’em, not waste ’em:

  • Salad

    Chop not-too-ripe fruit into small chunks and add to your lettuce or bok choy salad greens. Then, add some chunks of either brie, goat, or blue cheese, and chopped green onions. Sprinkle with walnuts and top with your fave Asian-style vinaigrette.

  • Fresh salsa

    Chop mangoes into small chunks, add chunks of fresh tomato and/or pineapple, green onions, hot or flavored peppers, lemon pepper, chadon beni, and lime juice. Let sit for a couple of hours for flavors to permeate. This salsa is delish served as a topping for fish, pork, or chicken.

  • Popsicles or infused ice cubes

    Puree fruit in blender or food processor and pour into popsicle molds and freeze. Or, pour into ice cube trays and use in your favorite drink – extra fun in seltzer water.

    *click for image credit

  • Ice cream

    Mix pureed fruit with one cup evaporated milk and one cup heavy cream and put into an ice cream maker. For a vegan option, omit the milk and cream and use coconut cream instead.

  • Smoothies and cocktails

    Puree mangoes with pineapple chunks, passionfruit pulp, and coconut milk for a lovely smoothie. Add dark rum for a cocktail option or yogurt for a breakfast option.

  • Crisp or crumble

    Chop fruit into chunks and place in a greased baking dish (I use coconut oil). Top with a mixture of oatmeal, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and coconut oil. Bake for 40-45 minutes in a 350°F oven. This one is yummy as a dessert or brunch dish.

  • Cobbler

    Use your favorite fruit cobbler recipe and simply substitute chunks of mango for the peaches or berries and coconut oil for the butter. Yummy on its own or topped with ice cream.

  • Stir-frys

    Adding chunks of not-too-ripe mango to your chicken or pork stir-fry gives it a nice exotic touch. I love making a stir-fry of chicken breast chunks, mango chunks, fresh ginger, snap-peas, and cashews (or almonds) with a light sauce of soy and sweet Asian pepper sauce, served over rice or noodles.

    *click for image credit

  • Muffins and cakes

    Mashed mango pulp makes excellent muffins, breads, and cakes. How does mango cake with passionfruit glaze sound? Or mango banana muffins for breakfast?

  • Yogurt

    A popular breakfast at our house is a bowl of home-made plain or vanilla yogurt topped with fresh mango chunks, banana chunks, and a touch of granola. Fast and delicious.

  • Pancakes.

    Mango chunks or mango puree make an excellent topping for pancakes – so sweet you may not even want the syrup!

And when you have absolutely run out of ideas or you cannot face one more mango, simply slice up your remaining fruit, place into freezer bags, and freeze. Believe me – after a month or two post-mango season, you will be longing for its golden messy sweetness once again.

This list is by no means exhaustive – so tell me, how do you manage an excess of mangoes in your life? Talk about one sweet island girl problem to have, right?

*click for image credit

Now, as for me, I do believe our avocado tree is starting to bear fruit…

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Ivona Bradley

About Ivona Bradley

Ivona (along with her hubby) has retired from the rat race and calls the island of St. Vincent her home. She now pursues an entirely different kind of rat race - mostly dealing with roof rats, mice, bats, and other various critters that seem to love her home as much as she does.

Ivona has swapped her power suits, high heels, and regular salon appointments for elastic waisted shorts, tank tops, and flip flops. Salon appointments now consist of biannual haircuts during her visits to her past home in Canada.

When Ivona isn't busy taking care of her three rescue dogs and volunteering with the local SPCA, she gets creative in the kitchen using whatever local and imported ingredients she is able to snag from the markets and grocery stores. She gets as excited as a child on Christmas morning when rare goodies such as panko crumbs, gouda cheese, or hoisin sauce appear on the shelves.

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7 thoughts on “How Do You Like Them Mangoes?

  1. Oh this resonates with me so much. When my husband and I were living on our rock, during mango season his staff would gift him with mangos. Everyday he would come home with 4-5 lbs (sometimes more) mangos. We wouldn’t have enough space to keep them in our fridge. I remember writing about this on my blog so many times. Here are a couple of my own creations:
    A delicious coffee cake made with mangos: http://www.foolproofliving.com/mango-coconut-coffee-cake/
    A refreshing vodka cooler made with mangos and blackberries:
    http://www.foolproofliving.com/mango-and-blackberry-vodka-cooler/
    Though we no longer live on an island, to this day no mango beats the sweetness and deliciousness of the Caribbean mangos.
    Great write up. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Oh my goodness, my family’s mango tree up in the rain forest is absolutely crazy full right now. Every Sunday we collect a huge basket full and I spend the rest of the week frantically slicing it up to freeze for the end of season before it goes bad. Sugar free mango chutney (lots of mangoes, ginger, peppers, onion, vinegar, and salt all boiled down to mush and stored in jars in the fridge, salsa with coconut chili chicken tacos, mango curries and drying (also for end of season) are happening. If I have to slice one more I may explode.

  3. Love your post, this is our “problem” now & what a problem to have! There are only recipe I can add is Mango Fool, don’t even remember where I got it:
    Blend 2 ripe mangoes, dissolve plain gelatin (or if you can’t find plain, use orange flavor); add a dash of evaporated milk; when gelatin almost set, add mongo mixture, refrigerate until firm, enjoy.
    Mixed fruit smoothie:
    1 mango chopped, 1 avocado chopped, 8oz glass of coconut water or plain yogurt; blend until smooth, enjoy.

  4. We LOVE mangos and mango season and try to make them last as long as possible….mango bread and pancakes are a favorite, with frozen mango chunks in the freezer at all times, the mango smoothie as a staple, our new favorite is mango limeade! We soak the mango seeds (and the leftover pulp that is clinging on) and soak them in water, about 4 med seeds for 2-3 cups water. Then add fresh lime juice (you could add lemon if you prefer, but we have a very productive lime tree, so that’s what we use.) and some honey to taste. Super refreshing on a tropical day.

  5. We had an amazing mango season in Puerto Rico. It was about three months early this year. El Nino? Who knows. I made lots and lots of jam – Vanilla Bean Mango Jam, Cardamon Vanilla Bean Mango Jam, Marmalade Mango Jam, Ginger Mango Jam. Oh, so good. And also some green mango chutney. Everything else we froze cut up (for crisps/crumbles) or pureed and then frozen in ice cube trays (for smoothes).

  6. You guys must not have monkeys like we do in Nevis. We love mango season, but so do these over populated critters running all over the island. Worst part, they don’t eat the whole mango, they just take a bite, throw it down and start on the next one. We have such an over population of them, it’s crazy. Add hot mango chutney to the list also.

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