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Prairie Fare: Munch on Some Mangoes

Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Service food and nutrition specialist Julie Garden-Robinson, NDSU Extension Service food and nutrition specialist
Mangoes are very nutritious, with ample vitamins A and C.

By Julie Garden Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

NDSU Extension Service

“Well, that didn’t work!” my husband said.

He and our 12-year-old daughter were slicing some mangos. Because of the large pit, our fruit slicer wasn’t effective.

“I’ll look up ‘cutting up a mango’ online,” our daughter announced.

“I like mangoes! Did you know we were supposed to get to taste kumquats at school? Then they brought us some stinkin’ tomatoes because there were no kumquats!” our talkative and opinionated 7-year-old announced as she entered the kitchen.

I was amused at this conversation, which I overheard from our nearby home office. I was happy about the interest in trying less familiar fruits. I wasn’t thrilled with my daughter’s description of tomatoes, though.

Within a few minutes, our older daughter was happily cutting up mangoes according to the directions she found.

Although we enjoy mango juice, and we’ve had mango salsa and other mango-containing dishes, mangoes haven’t been a common item in our home. We noticed that they were bargain-priced at the grocery store, so we added some to our grocery cart.

Mangoes are very nutritious, with ample vitamins A and C. A cup of sliced mango has about 65 calories and just a trace of fat.

Mangoes often are associated with Indian cuisine. However, they are used widely in Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Mangoes are a fruit crop grown in Florida and usually available from May to October. Mango trees also flourish in Hawaii and California.

When selecting a mango, choose fruit that is firm and free of blemishes, with no sap on the skin. They should have a sweet aroma. Unripe mangoes can be placed in a covered bowl or bag to speed the ripening process.

To prepare a mango, follow these steps based on information from the former 5 A Day national awareness program and provided by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service:

  • Rinse the mango under running water.
  • Cut the mango in half lengthwise by slicing off each fleshy cheek vertically along the flat side of the center seed.
  • Hold one mango half peel side down and score the fruit down to the peel (but not through it) in a tic-tac-toe fashion.
  • Hold the scored portion with both hands and bend the peel backward so that the diamond-cut cubes are exposed.
  • Cut cubes off the peel, then remove any remaining fruit clinging to the seed.

Now you’re ready to try some mangoes. You can slice them into pancake batter to add flavor and nutrition to your breakfast or another meal. You can layer them in a parfait or make fruit kebobs on skewers.

To make mango salsa, add some sliced red onions, peppers, cilantro and lime juice to sliced mangoes and serve with grilled fish or chicken.

Here’s an easy recipe that would make a delicious breakfast drink or snack. It’s from

Mango Shake

2 c. low-fat milk

1 medium fresh mango, pitted

1 medium banana

2 ice cubes

Put all ingredients into a blender. Blend until mixed and serve immediately.

Makes two serving. Each serving has 220 calories, 3 grams (g) of fat, 9 g of protein, 43 g of carbohydrate, 3 g of fiber and 110 milligrams of sodium.

(Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., L.R.D., is a North Dakota State University Extension Service food and nutrition specialist and associate professor in the Department of Health, Nutrition and Exercise Sciences.)

NDSU Agriculture Communication – April 28, 2011

Source:Julie Garden-Robinson, (701) 231-7187,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
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