Instead of buying sugar and chemical-filled juices with little nutritional value, I love to drink freshly made juices, full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This Mango Juice is made from one of my favorite fruits, and with a hint of lemon and ginger. I know this drink is sure to blow your mind!
Where Do Mangos Come From?
Mango is a stone fruit, meaning a fruit that has a large single pit in the middle, that originates from South Asia. It thrives in tropical weather, and through trade and migration has spread to most tropical areas and become a staple.
It is extremely common in the Caribbean, Southern Florida, Central, and South America, Africa, and Pacific Islands, and has become a part of the culture in many of these places.
Actually, most of my family members in Jamaica have mango trees in their backyards. Many in Caribbean immigrants in South Florida also have mango trees, and I love when friends bring me a basket full fresh from their trees.
Because of how common mangos are and how long they have been in many of these countries, there are hundreds of varieties, with wildly differing tastes, textures, appearances, and growth requirements.
Mango is probably one of the most popular “exotic” fruits, as a fruit that can only be grown in a small portion of the country but is a household name. In addition, most of our mangos do not come from Miami or Hawaii, but from Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, etc.
Mango Fruit Varieties
I have had the privilege of eating mangos straight off of trees or picked for hours before making it to my plate. The sweetness from being sun-ripened and never refrigerated is out of this world. In fact, if you can go to a tropical country and try locally grown fresh mangoes, I couldn’t recommend it enough.
But since exported mangos are very easily found in the US and other temperate climates, a plane ticket is not absolutely necessary. Mangos are easily found in Walmart, Kroger, Whole Foods, and most other grocery stores, often year-round. They are also usually not very expensive and do go on sale.
You can even sometimes find several varieties. I love to buy Ataulfo mangos (also known as the yellow mango, honey mango, or champagne mango) because they are sweet and firm while having way fewer strings than other varieties.
Red mangos (Tommy Atkins) are what is most commonly found in America, and are usually the cheapest (anywhere from $0.25-2.00 usually, depending on which store, which state, and time of year). Also, specialty fruit farms in Florida have rarer cultivars boasting complex dessert flavor profiles and textures.
When Is Mango Season?
With all of these options, you will want to take advantage of when the growing season is at its peak. This means that you can experience the best tastes, and get the best prices.
Mango season peaks in early summer, May-July. However, with the variety of places that mangoes are imported from, and the variety of times that different cultivars peak in, the season can be considered from February-October.
Ultimately, they are grown somewhere and imported year-round, but I see the best sales in June.
How To Tell If A Mango Is Ripe?
For most fruits you would be able to tell their ripeness by their color. The issue with mangos is that they come in a variety of colors, and you can commonly find a perfectly ripe mango that is green, red, yellow, orange, and any of those colors speckled with black.
The best way to tell is to give the mango a gentle squeeze. It should be soft to the touch, similar to a peach or even an avocado. Mushiness in red mangos usually means it is bruised, but in yellow mangos once there aren’t brown spots it can be taken as a sign of ripeness
Benefits Of Eating Mango
Mango contains lots of vitamin C, nearly all the vitamin A recommended in a day, and many other vitamins and minerals. It also is full of many antioxidants, making it a great choice to prevent inflammation and symptoms of aging.
The vitamins A, C, K, and B complex all improve your immune system, making a mango a day the most delicious supplement you could take during cold and flu season.
Mangos are great for your digestive health because of their fiber content and digestive enzymes. If you suffer from chronic constipation and bloating, adding fiber will help, and again, with mango as your supplement who can complain?
More about mango here!
Health Benefits of Vitamin C In Mango
One mango contains roughly twice the amount of vitamin C recommended in a day. This vitamin is vital for your body’s function and benefits so many different systems.
Vitamin C is essential for the production of several compounds, such as collagen, which is good for keeping your skin elastic and is an essential element of connective tissue, muscles, bones, and other organ tissues. Collagen is also necessary for wound healing, meaning that keeping up your vitamin C intake may speed up healing.
It also helps with iron absorption, making it important for anemic individuals who are trying to increase their iron intake through their diet.
The antioxidants in vitamin C are good for preventing cell damage and lowering inflammation. These two benefits can affect or prevent many diseases, including possibly defending against cancer cells.
Vitamin C has many other applications it could be great for. Some examples are diabetes, macular degeneration, allergies, and asthma.
The absolutely most popular benefit of vitamin C is for the common cold and flu. Vitamin C works best if you have it on a daily basis so that your immune system stays strong and can fight off colds.
How To Prepare A Mango Juice?
In Jamaica, we usually bite the top of the skin to create a tab of sorts, peel it similarly to a banana, then just dig in. This method can be very messy with juicy mangos, but I recommend everyone try it at least once.
For cooking purposes, I’m sure you would prefer a less messy method. I like to peel the mango like an apple, then cut it into vertical thirds, with the pit being in the middle slice. Trim the flesh from the sides of the pit, and slice and dice!
Mango Juice Ingredients
- Mango (I used two big ones, if your mangos are smaller, feel free to use three)
- Sweetener to taste (agave nectar, maple syrup, cane sugar, coconut sugar, etc.)
How To Make Mango Juice?
- Cut mango and ginger into chunks.
- Add the mango and ginger to your High-Speed Blender, along with lemon and sweetener.
- Process until smooth and creamy.
Can Dogs Eat Mango?
Mango can be eaten in small quantities by dogs. It is full of vitamins and minerals while being a yummy sweet treat. For a cooling summer treat, dice mango into pieces and freeze, or puree with yogurt and freeze in ice cube trays.
Other Homemade Drinks To Prepare
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- Energy: 106 kcal / 443 kJ
- Fat: 0.7 g
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Carbs: 26.7 g
- Preparation: 10 min
- Ready in: 10 min
- For: 4 servings
- Cut mango and ginger into chunks.
- Add the mango and ginger to your high speed blender, along with lemon and sweetener.
- Process until smooth and creamy.