Annie and LJ are a fictional couple introduced to the readers of the Healthy Healing Eats blog in January 2020. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.
“Wow, the mango’s aroma is amazing,” thought LJ as he walked into the backyard to begin his early morning meditation. “Another beautiful summer day, and it is going to be hot.” After finishing, he walked over to the espaliered mango tree and began examining what looked like a promising harvest. The tree had been grafted five years before and now produced three varieties, Honey, Keitt, and Kent. The Honey mangos with their waxy, smooth leathery, deep golden skin, and small wrinkles were at peak ripeness. After picking four, LJ inspected the sweet green Keitts. “These will be ready within the next few weeks, perfect timing.” Next, he checked the flowers of what would become dark green succulent Kent mangos. Their season was from December to February.
In the kitchen, LJ washed the mangos and began preparing them for a breakfast smoothie. As he worked, Annie walked in. “Good morning, sweetheart. Those look good. Did you just pick them?”
“I did, and there’s lots more where these came from. The tree is really producing. We should think about some mango recipes since we will have a steady supply for months. Remember when we decided to graft different varieties on one rootstalk, we did it so that their seasons would be consecutive, and we could enjoy mangos year around.”
“I’m glad we did mangos remind me of sultry breezes and sunny days. The Honey variety has a creamy sweet/sour taste. Since they have a small seed, you get more flesh. They go well in salads or grilled. And they are fibreless, so they make great smoothies too,” laughed Annie.”
“Nice save,” said LJ as he handed her the honey mango smoothie. What do you think about making plans to use the Keitt mangos in several recipes? They are getting ready to come into season, and they can get big. Maybe we could think about some salads; their firm flesh and fruity flavor makes them a tasty addition like in a Mango Jicama Slaw. Or we could make a Mango Pesto Avocado Stack. That is a sweet, creamy, and spicy combo for sure!”
“LJ, as you know, I am your loyal sous chef, so whatever you dream up, I am right there, but before we start doing the mango tango, what exactly is the nutritional value of these little gems?”
“Some say there are about 1000 varieties of this ancient fruit. They are native to India. Their tough skin makes them easy to transport and are a source of more potent antioxidant and anticancer properties than its flesh. They are a low-glycemic fruit known for their enzymes that breakdown and support the digestion of protein. Their prebiotic fiber feeds the good gut bacteria and regulates cholesterol levels. They are immunity boosters due to their high vitamin C. The beta-carotene in mangos helps produce vitamin A, which has anti-aging properties. They also have a phytochemical compound that supports liver health by destroying the bacteria that create liver abscesses. The Kent mangos that we will eat later this year originated in Florida. What is unique about them is they start out green and stay green no matter how ripe they get. They are versatile because they are less fibrous, which makes them excellent for weight loss juice or dried snack.
The Tommy Atkins mangos are also from Florida. They are not the tastiest mangos but have a juicy fibrous flesh, which aids in digestion. They are delicious combined with lemons to make a Mango-Chili-Lemonade, for example, or in a Pineapple & Apple Chips With Spicy Mango Salsa.”
Do you suppose we could graft another variety on the tree? I read that Haden mangos season is March through May. They are bright red with fine fibers and a custard-like flavor, making them excellent for a Mango Colada, or The Sweet Escape. These mangos are also known for their delicious fragrance.”
“Okay, Annie, which is more delicious, their fragrance, or as a libation?”
Andrea Breaux is the Founder of Healthy Healing Eats. She writes about food-as-medicine and earth-friendly lifestyle practices. Find her weekly blog, recipes, and products at healthyhealingeats.com.