Mango Calories…How Many Are There Anyway?

I love writing the Good News. And I’ll give it to you early. A cup of sliced mangoes contains approximately 100 – 110 calories. Why the range? Because every mango variety is slightly different. Not a big deal.

 

For mango slices or WHATEVER. I’m talking about serious measuring cup nirvana here.

Additionally, it’s helpful to know that 1 cup of sliced mangoes = 2 servings of fruit.

In a subsequent post, we’ll delve into the area of mango nutrition, but first just know that:

  • Mangoes add color and texture to your diet.
  • Mangoes are nutritious in any form – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced.
  • Mangoes provide fiber that helps fill you and keep your digestive system happy.
  • Mangoes are naturally low in calories.
  • Eating plenty of fruits and veggies (and mangoes!!!) may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and some cancers.
  • Mangoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, so you feel healthy and energized.
  • Mango varieties have varied growing seasons, keeping you in good mango company almost year round.
  • Mangoes are nature’s treat and easy to grab for a snack. Dried mangoes are especially easy to take on-the-go.
  • If you live in a warmer climate, like Florida, you can grow your own mango tree and overdose on their nutritional goodness for practically nothing. (just water and a tree from a nursery)
  • Mangoes are nutritious AND delicious! (we’ve covered the latter quite a bit thus far, but it never hurts to say it again!)

BTW, I’ve procured a hot little coupon for my fruit loving friends… Enjoy! 🙂

Can you say ROTTEN MANGO? Got a bad one? You’ve come to the right post.

I had no idea what this condition was, but I knew it wasn’t normal ripening. So I dashed off an email to Dr. Richard Campbell, a horticulturist in Florida who is THE authority on mangoes. He was kind enough to write back quickly and told me that the mangoes likely had a fungus called Diplodia.

Being the mango consumer advocate that I am, I asked him if the mango importer would have known/could tell that the mangoes they were shipping off to market were going to have this problem upon ripening. He said the importer wouldn’t have known because the Diplodia “sits latent on the stem and enters as the fruit softens. This is not uncommon in fruit that was harvested immature.”  Okay, someone is off the hook.  Lucky for the importer, because you know I would have HOWLED about it if the answer were different.  Harvesting immature fruit isn’t going to win any importer a Mango Maven seal of approval, but at least the importer wasn’t knowingly pushing doomed fruit onto consumers.

So what to do if you get a batch like this? Take ’em back to the store where you bought them. Tell the produce buyer about the problem and ask for your money back.  That’s about all there is…

I wish I could say I’ve never had a bad mango, but between this batch and Tommy Atkins mangoes, I’ve for sure had my share!  As an aside, I wonder if Richard Campbell hates Tommy Atkins mangoes as much as  I do?   I secretly hope so, but there are some things a mango gal just can’t ask.  For all I know, he may have a pet Tommy Atkins tree in his backyard.  Bah!  I secretly hope NOT.  But I digress…

 

California Keitt Mangoes – Another Reason Why Coachella is so Damned Cool!

Hipsters and other music-lovin’ fiends can blather on & on about Tupac’s hologram and other strange & interesting things that happen at Coachella.  But I’m wondering if they could tell you what is even better about Coachella than all that?  What is even more cool?  Fact is, they probably can’t tell you.  So I will.  Heh.  Guess they’re not THAT hip!

Coachella, my mango friends, is so much more than home to a certain music festival.  It is, in fact, one of the primary growing regions for Keitt mangoes.  (Keitt rhymes with Pete!)  So, forget everything your mother ever taught you about green fruit and ripeness, because the standard rules don’t apply here.    Look at this ripe beaut of a Keitt – it’s big and GREEN.

To my taste buds, Keitts are the tangiest of the mangoes that most of us have access to here in the USA.  The flavor is bright!  What’s nice about Keitts is that they have almost no fiber (or even zero fiber) and are nice sized, so you get a lot of mango goodness in each and every one.  Some can be up to two pounds!  I’m a big fan of these big Keitts. 🙂

So how to tell if these green beauts are ripe?  By touch!  Some of them will have a bit of a yellow blush on them but even still,  that doesn’t mean they are ripe, so don’t use color with Keitts.  They need to yield to touch; if they begin to feel less firm and give a little, that’s a good starting point.  A day or two past that might just make the perfect ripe mango, so buy a few and get some practice.  After experimenting with just a couple, you’ll know just how soft they need to be for perfect ripeness.

Start watching for Keitts in August.  Ask your produce guy/gal when exactly they are coming.  They could last through September and I’ve heard of them showing up in stores in October even.   Last year (2011), Trader Joe was selling them by the box.  If I remember correctly, they were organic to boot.  I hope Trader Joe’s does it again because they were amazing!

Bottom line:  look for the BIG GREEN MANGOES in August & September.  You won’t be sorry.

p.s. I suppose I should mention that Keitts are also grown in Florida.  But for some reason, the mangoes grown in the Coachella Valley seem special.  Why? Who knows.  Maybe it’s because Florida & Hawaii get most of the tropical fruit love here in the USA.  I just feel the need to throw California’s Coachella growers a bone.  Heh.  It’s my blog and I’m stickin’ to it!

BTW, I’ve procured a hot little coupon for my fruit loving friends… Enjoy! 🙂

Types of Mangos – Get the Scoop on Fresh Mangoes

Types of Mangos – Get the Scoop on Fresh Mangoes

It’s tough to fathom, BUT I realize that not everyone wants to read through my detailed posts about each mango variety!  So if you want a quick rundown – this post is for you.  I’ve linked to the details so that you can easily find more information, should you want it.

fresh mangoes

Fresh Mangoes

First of all, you should know there are hundreds of different types of mangoes available in different parts of the world, including the lucky ducks in Hawaii and Florida that have an amazing local selection.  But most folks just get to choose from 5 main types of varieties available at varying times throughout the year.  Here’s a quick overview of the 5 main varieties:

1)  Ataulfo mangoes.  AKA manila, champagne, or honey mangoes.  They are small and yellow and VERY tasty.  An excellent choice.

2)  Keitt mangoes.  In California, they are grown in the Coachella Valley near the Salton Sea.  They are LARGE, tangy, and wonderful.  They are also GREEN when they are ripe.  I typically see them available in the September/October time frame.  An excellent choice.

3)  Kent mangoes.  Medium to large mangoes that start out green, but end up with a gold or reddish blush on the ends when ripe.  An excellent choice.

4)  Haden mangoes.  Medium to large mangoes that start off green, but end up with a pinkish blush when ripe.  An excellent choice.

5)  Tommy Atkins mangoes.  Medium to large mangoes with a beautiful red blush.  Avoid at all costs.  Can you say stringy and fibrous??

Some folks in the north may feel mango deprived and have trouble finding great mangoes in the grocery store.  If that’s you, no worries.  You can buy mangoes online.

Once you get your mangoes in your hot little hands, DON’T cut them open until they are ripe.  How do you know?  They should be soft to the touch AND have little wrinkles on the skin.  THAT’S a perfectly ripe mango.

So head on out – and try to wrangle yourself up some delicious mangoes.  And send me a note and tell me what you found! BTW, I’ve procured a hot little coupon for my fruit loving friends… Enjoy! 🙂

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Mango Nutrition – A Story That May Surprise You

 

Mango Nutrition – A Story That May Surprise You


A woman I know once told me that she grew up on mangoes & rice.  And she meant it literally.  She grew up in the Philippines where both rice and mangoes are abundant – and she was a super fussy eater. But… she LOVED mangoes and rice.  As such, mangoes & rice were what she predominantly ate for breakfast, lunch & dinner.  So while the rest of us may think of rice & mangoes as a dessert, they were her staple.  I remember thinking to myself something along the lines of “that couldn’t have been very healthy.”   But there she was, standing in front of me…looking healthy and of normal height.  So much for any stunted growth thoughts that might have sneaked into my brain. Hmmm.

 

Mango Nutrition – Beautiful Inside & Out!

Well as it turns out, it may have been more okay than I originally imagined.   Here’s at least part of the reason:

Let’s talk mangoes & the 9 essential amino acids.   Most everyone understands that through one’s diet,  if one doesn’t get the essential amino acids, something is going to go amiss on the health front.   Mangoes are interesting from that perspective.  While one serving of mango (1 cup) doesn’t have *high quantities* of any of the essential amino acids, the distribution among the 9 is very respectable, being low in only one area:  Methionine Cysteine – aka M + C.   And wouldn’t you know it, but breakfast grains & cereals (including white rice!) are one of the recommended complements to a food low in M + C.   So when you put mangoes & rice together, you have the 9 essential amino acids covered!  Crazy stuff, huh?

For those of you interested – here’s a list of the 9 essentials:  Check them out on Wikipedia or some other source – to go into detail about each is definitely beyond the scope of this post.

  • Histidine – aka H
  • Isoleucine – aka I
  • Leucine – aka L
  • Lysine  – aka K (not a typo)
  • Methionine Cysteine – aka M + C
  • Phenylalanine + Tyrosine – aka F + Y
  • Threonine – aka T
  • Tryptophan = aka W
  • Valine – aka V

The other nutritional benefits of one serving of mango include:

  • A respectable 3.0 grams of fiber – which amounts to 12% of the Daily Value for the average person.
  • Just over 100 calories
  • 76% of  the Daily Value of Vitamin C
  • 25% of the Daily Value of Vitamin A
  • 11% of the Daily Value of Vitamin B6
  • 9% of the Daily Value of Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
  • 9% of Daily Value of Copper
  • 7% of Daily Value of Potassium
  • low in the bad boys:  saturated fat, cholesterol & sodium.

So my pal who grew up on mangoes & rice wins the prize for surprising us all!  Vegetarians & vegans are *great* at combining foods to make a complete essential amino acid profile.  But I bet there aren’t too many of them out there who would think about mangoes & rice for said purposes.

Thanks to my mango gal pal for inspiring me to look into the mango/rice combo and for helping me to change my thinking about mangoes as a source of nutrition beyond the obvious – “high in Vitamin C – high in fiber”  mantra.

Explore Mango Varieties in Pictures – What Could be Better??

Explore Mango Varieties in Pictures – What Could be Better??

Alright everyone – you asked for it, so here it is.  All the mango pics all together in one place so you can see what the various varieties look like.

This first post of pictures is mangoes that are widely available in most the USA; I’ll add more posts later for other regions.  Florida and Hawaii will each get their own post because they are so darn special.  (truly)  🙂

Ataulfo Mango AKK Honey or Champagne Mango

Ataulfo Mango AKA Honey or Champagne Mango

 

Keitt Mango

Keitt Mango with banana for size comparison

 

Haitian Mango - Francine Mango - Madame Francis Mango

Ataulfo Mango over a Madame Francis Mango (Haitian Mango) over $1 for size comparison

 

Box of Costco Kent Mangoes

Kent Mangoes

 

8 Kent Mangoes Unripe to Ripe

8 Kent Mangoes – Unripe to Ripe

 

Haden Mangoes

Haden Mangoes

I have to add a picture of Tommy Atkins mangoes and then the USA list will be complete!  (except Florida & Hawaii)

 

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Small Mango Mania. Are They Worth the Discount?

In preparation to make another one of Ruth Beranbaum’s amazing mango tarts, I ventured out to the store to pick up some mangoes and other ingredients and stumbled upon a bin of ripe, small ataulfos. When I say small, what I mean is that the whole bin full of atualfos were runt-like ataulfos – perhaps about 4 inches long on the generous side. (ataulfos are small to begin with, these were VERY small – about 2/3 the normal size) The price was appealing – 3 for $1.00. Sold. I bought a whole mess of them thinking I’ll have plenty of leftover mangoes to enjoy even after the tart is long gone.

Boy was that misguided.

Small Mango Mania. Are They Worth the Discount?

 

Here’s what happened. I let them sit for a day and then broke into them when it was time. After I had cut through a few, I started to think Uh-Oh. At least HALF of the mangoes were spoiled. They weren’t overripe, but the flesh had swaths of pale brown running lengthwise.

Unlike some of the spoiled mangoes I’ve seen before, such as ones suffering from Diplodia, these mangoes looked GREAT on the outside. This happens occasionally (good on the outside, bad on the inside) but NEVER have I seen it at the 50% ratio. This tells me that something goes haywire when undersized mangoes are picked when they aren’t ripe. I’m going to reach out to some mango friends for answers, but as mango consumers just know that small/undersize mangoes may be bad news. I’m going to steer away from them in the future – no matter how cute & visually appealing the little buggers are.

You heard it hear first. And to finish story – I BARELY had enough for my mango tart – a birthday offering to my hubby. Never again on the small mangoes.

Red Mango & Scarlett Mango. Really Safeway? Your Produce Marketing BS is being outed… Right Here. Right Now.

Red Mango & Scarlett Mango. Really Safeway? Your Produce Marketing BS is being outed… Right Here. Right Now.

 

Maybe I’m just cranky this morning OR MAYBE someone in the corporate office at Safeway needs a swift kick in the *ss and a new job, preferably one that doesn’t involve mango buying & marketing.

I went to Safeway this morning to grab some milk, cereal, & juice for breakfast and meandered into the produce aisle.  I’d seen crappy mango labeling before at Safeway and have tried to grin and bear it.  But no more.  Now I’m just ticked off because it seems they are hell bent on deceiving consumers with their mango marketing.

Here’s what happened:

I walk over to the mango display.  And as it typically goes, Safeway is stocking some of the crappiest mangoes on earth, the Tommy Atkins mangoes.  (no, I’m not exaggerating – not even a little) Tommys might, in fact, BE the crappiest mangoes on earth, but I’ll hold off on pronouncing them as such for the moment.

In the past, I’ve seen Tommy labeled at Safeway as Red Mangoes.  The “red mango” label always irked me, but today Safeway really upped the ante.   Today, the potentially crappiest mangoes on earth were labeled “Scarlett mangoes.”   ARE YOU KIDDING ME?  “Scarlett???”  That’s some serious mango Kool-aid, Safeway.

The first thing everyone should know is that there is no such thing as a “red mango.”  AND there’s no such thing as a “Scarlett mango.”  This is just the way that Safeway chooses to label & market crappy mangoes to consumers because the name sounds appealing.  I mean, really.  “Red” was enough of a violation.  Then they went to “Scarlett” ???

It gets worse – and this is how I know they are trying to put some serious BS over on the public and really the reason that I decided to write this post.

Guess what was right next to the “Scarlett mangoes”?

“Ataulfo mangoes.”    Labeled correctly.  Labeled accurately.  Ataulfo is the actual name of a variety.   AND more to the point of this post, Ataulfos are REALLY YUMMY – so OF COURSE, Safeway chooses to label the good variety correctly.   Why?  Because a fair number of people know about Ataulfos.  And the people that don’t know about Ataulfos, but are curious, may go home, check them out on the Internet, learn that they are a good variety, and buy them next time.   Either way, Safeway wins.

The “Scarlett Mangoes” and “Red Mangoes” are for folks who don’t know any better – mango newbies.  Since “Scarlett Mangoes” and “Red Mangoes” aren’t real varieties, the consumer can’t find any real information about them. (convenient eh?)  Consumers will pick them up and try them because they are pretty and have a pretty name.  But they will be sorely disappointed and may never buy another mango again.  Read exactly why here.

Until now, no one was blowing the whistle on Red Mangoes or Scarlett Mangoes.  Well consider it blown.

To recap my full and entire beef:

  1. There is no such thing as a red mango.
  2. There is no such thing as a Scarlett mango.
  3. Red Mango is a mango euphemism, where the bad label/variety that Safeway is trying to hide is TOMMY ATKINS.
  4. Scarlett Mango is a mango euphemism, where the bad label/variety that Safeway is trying to hide is TOMMY ATKINS.
  5. Safeway selectively uses the correct labeling on mangoes when it serves them well to do so.
  6. Safeway selectively uses incorrect labeling on mangoes when it serves them well to do so.

The Mango Maven bottom line:

  1. Don’t buy Red Mangoes.  They stink.  Their real name is Tommy Atkins.
  2. Don’t buy Scarlett mangoes. They stink.  Their real name is Tommy Atkins.
  3. Ask your produce person to stock ONLY AtaulfosKentsKeitts or Hadens.

Safeway, are you listening?  You’ve just been officially inducted into Mango Maven’s “Mango Hall of Shame.”   The good news?  There is a way out:  (see item 3 in my bottom line)

🙂

p.s.  Stores in Florida and Hawaii have the benefit of locally sourced mangoes, so the acceptable varieties in those locales is a far longer list than the varieties listed above in item 3.

p.s.s.  It’s also very likely true that other chains besides Safeway rely on the same tactics as I’ve described above.  Safeway takes the heat today, but some other stores may soon be joining the Mango Hall of Shame.

 

How to Tell if a Mango is Ripe: A Foolproof Metric

The topic of mango ripeness is an *important* one because unlike some other fruits, mango varieties come in a wide range of colors. Some varieties are green, some are reddish, some are pinky or orange-ish. Some are pure yellow.  Along with the wide range of colors comes confusion – if you can’t use color as a judge of ripeness, then what can you use?

Here are the two foolproof metrics that should BOTH be present.

1) The mango should be soft to the touch; it should have some give.
2) The mango should have little wrinkles here and there.  (not all over the place, this would probably translate to a little too ripe)

If you’re about to eat a mango that has bases 1 & 2 covered, chances are, unless you’re eating a Tommy Atkins mango, you’re going to have a good mango experience. (Read why you should avoid the Tommy variety here.)

Since it’s kind of hard to know what the wrinkles might look like if you haven’t seen them before, here’s a couple of photos to help you out.  The Haden on the top photo is a little more obvious than the Ataulfos below.

That said, see the subtle wrinkles on the Ataulfo mango that is sitting on the top of the others?  (the one closest to the top edge of the photo)  And the one in the lower left foreground?   You can see the wrinkles forming.  I cut these open shortly after the picture was taken and they were in an absolutely perfect state of ripeness.  If you have mangoes that have reached this stage but need a day or two to eat them, stick them in the fridge and that will hold them over for a bit, but not forever!

Enjoy!

Haden Mango

Haden Mango in a Perfect State of Ripeness

 

ataulfos

Ripe Ataulfo Mangoes

 

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