For years, I gave mangoes a wide berth at the supermarket. Not because of any distaste for them, but because in my mind, mangoes were tropical vacation extravagance, not a fruit to be offered up as an afterschool snack.
I love mangoes, love their exotic fruitiness, their juicy texture, and their luscious golden color, but I always associated them with the pastels of beach vacations. I saw a mango and immediately began dreaming of elaborate breakfast buffets eaten barefoot in silky sand. Then I reached for the same old boring bunch of bananas and resumed my life, daydream over.
A recent shipment of gorgeous mangoes from the National Mango Board had me rethink my attitude towards mangoes as a special treat. I was not only depriving myself of a fruit I loved, but I was also missing out on all the nutritional benefits of mangoes:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
- Tons of fiber
Throw a mango in the blender with a ripe banana, a cup of Greek yogurt, and a little ice and you have the making for a nutritious and delicious smoothie.
Mangoes joined the apples, oranges and bananas heaped in our fruit bowl and are now available for the kids to snack on and to make smoothies spontaneously, no ticket to the Caribbean necessary.
I’ve also been experimenting with mangoes for more elaborate desserts. Last week, I made lighter than air mango souffles with fresh raspberries. They looked truly spectacular when I pulled them out of the oven but lost a good inch before I could even press the shutter on the camera to take this shot. Word to the wise, have everyone ready to go when you pull your souffles out of the oven. Souffles wait for no one!
- 7 egg whites
- 2 mangoes
- ¼ cup of brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla
- ¼ cups of granulated sugar
- butter and a little more sugar to grease the ramekins
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Butter 6 individual ramekins and coat with sugar, knocking out excess sugar.
- Peel and coarsely chop two ripe mangoes. Puree in the food processor.
- Put the mango puree in a medium saucepan. Add the sugar and vanilla. Bring to a low boil on medium heat. Lower heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Put in fridge to cool for 30 minutes.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat whites with a pinch of salt until the turn white and slightly stiff. Pour in ¼ cup of sugar and continue beating until the egg whites hold stiff peaks. When you remove the egg beaters, the eggs should hold their shape.
- Remove the mango mixture from the fridge and delicately blend into the egg whites. I like to fold in twice with a spatula, and then rotate the bowl a quarter turn before rotating twice again, and continuing the same fold then rotate motion again until the mixture is blended, but the eggs are not deflated. Imagine a newborn's fragile head as you mix your egg whites. That's how ginger you have to be with them.
- Divide soufflé mixture among ramekins and smooth tops with a knife. Run tip of knife around edges of soufflés to make it easier for them to rise. Soufflés may be made up to this point 1 day ahead and kept chilled, loosely wrapped in plastic wrap and will still rise nicely.
- Bake soufflés on a baking sheet in lower third of oven until puffed and surfaces are cracked, about 20 minutes.
- Top soufflés with raspberry coulis or fresh raspberries and serve immediately. Serves 6.
The National Mango Board challenged me to spend a week creating healthier eating and snacking habits for my family. Join the conversation and one of my readers will receive a cookbook and a chance to win a shipment of mangos and $200 gift card to Williams-Sonoma.