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Articles - A Healthy Diet:

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Cooking with mangoes

Mangoes taste sweet, but also slightly piquant and their special flavour adds to many dishes. Mango fans love them plain, in fruit salads or as juice, but they’re also a wonderful addition to creamy desserts, yoghurt, rice pudding and all sorts of cakes and tarts.

Mango jam is a real treat especially if the sweetness of the mango is combined with a slightly sharp fruit like rhubarb or maracuja. The acid also keeps the mango flesh from turning brown. Mango teams up very successfully with savoury dishes too, lending even the most humdrum dish an exotic note. It tones down the strong flavour of salad leaves like rocket, chicory and radicchio. Add mango to soups, stews and rice dishes, or serve a piquant mango chutney with fish, poultry, lamb or venison.

Sources and nutritional value

Mangoes are juicy – some people say you need to eat them in the bath – and their flavour is slightly reminiscent of a peach. The mango originated in the tropical and sub-tropical areas of India, where it has been cultivated for 4,000 years and revered as the “fruit of the gods”. Mango trees grow up to 45 metres in height and can live over a hundred years. The fruit is easily digestible and rich in important nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A and its precursor beta-carotene. In consequence, eating mangoes is good for vision, for the immune system and for metabolic processes.

Preparing mangoes

Wear an apron, because preparing mangoes can be a messy business and mango stains are hard to remove. You’ll find several helpful video clips and photos on the Internet. Use a sharp knife to cut down each side of the flattish mango pit. You are left with three slices; cut the flesh of the two outer slices lengthways and crossways into cubes, but don’t cut through the skin. Then peel them off the skin. Slice away the flesh from around the mango pit.

Shopping for mangoes

Mangoes aren’t cheap, so make sure you’re getting a quality fruit. The fruit should be neither too hard nor too soft and it should smell sweet and fruity. The skin will feel leathery and will give slightly when you press it gently. The colour doesn’t tell you much a green mango can be as ripe as a golden yellow one. But look out for black patches on the skin, they mean that the fruit is already overripe. Store them at room temperature and use them within one or two days of buying them.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de