How to Store, Pickle and Freeze Mangoes
Mangoes are one of my very favorite fruits and I use them often to make smoothies, pickles, juices, and even a spicy relish.
And over the years I have researched and learned a lot of things about them so I am writing this article to give you essential tips and tricks to help you prepare your mangoes so that it can last longer.
Now if you have never had a mango, basically it is a juicy stone fruit produced from numerous species of tropical trees. They are sweet but creamy when ripe and slightly tart and crisp when not fully ripe. Citation.
There are many different types of mango around the world. They differ in color, shape, flavor, and seed size. Mango skin can be green, red, yellow, or orange but its inner flesh is mostly a golden yellow.
How to tell if a Mango is Spoiled or has gone Bad
Mangoes that are spoiling will typically become very soft, develop dark spots and start to ooze, basically showing signs of rot.
Some slight discoloration may not necessarily indicate that your mango is spoiled. In fact, it may mean the mango has more sugar content. So I advise that you cut open your fruit for more evidence, if the fruit is translucent, most likely it is not safe to eat.
Discard of any mangoes if mold appears or if the mangoes have an off smell or appearance.
And also you should discard any mangoes with any signs of damage, as bacteria can easily enter through these blemishes and contaminate the fruit.
Should Mangoes be put in the Refrigerator or Pantry?
To know this you must first determine the ripeness of the fruit. If your fruit is not fully ripe (the mango texture is hard and the mango is not emitting a fruity fragrant scent) it is best to put it in a pantry. Once it is ripe place it into the refrigerator.
How to tell if a Mango is Ripe or Unripe
It is best if you know the difference between a ripe and unripe mango if you want to determine how to store them.
You can tell if a mango is ripe without cutting it by it’s smell and level of firmness. If it is ripe it will be soft but not mushy and it will have a sweet, fruity fragrant scent. Unripe mango will be firm or hard in texture and won’t have that extra fruity scent.
The color of a mango is not a determining factor in its ripeness. So don’t judge a mango by it’s color. A mango that is green is not necessarily unripe.
How to Refrigerate your Mangoes for Short Term Use
By refrigerating ripe mangoes you are extending their lifespan for 5-7 days. In deciding to refrigerate your mangoes you can consider two ways.
- Refrigerating the whole fruit by washing them and putting them in the fridge
- Peeling and cubing the mangoes first then putting them into an airtight container and placing them into the fridge.
How to Freeze Mangoes for Long Term Use
Mangoes can be kept for a long time up to 1 year if you freeze them properly. Take these steps to freeze your mangoes
- Select the mangoes that are ripe and wash them carefully
- Peel them using a knife or potato peeler
- Cut them into slices or cubes
- Place them on to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 24 hours. The freezer temperature should be 0°F (-18°C).
- Once the mango pieces are hard, transfer it to a freezer-safe bag and freeze.
- It should be good for 1 year.
How to Pickle Mangoes
Mango pickled is one of my very best favorite snacks. There are so many different flavors and textures in a pickled mango. It is crisp, tart, sweet and spicy.
Here is my favorite spicy Mango Pickle recipe
- 4 large unripe Mangoes
- 2 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 Hot Pepper to taste ( you can use jalapeno or scotch botnet or a combination of both)
- 1 cup of water
- First, peel the Mangoes and cut them into your desired size.
- Next, add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix together.
- You can also experiment with this recipe to suit your taste and use fewer or more peppers for your liking.
- Place mangoes in a clean jar, pouring all the vinegar and water mixture over the top and covering with a lid.
- Refrigerate overnight to allow the flavors to develop.
Use as a snack or add to salads, sandwiches etc
What Causes a Mango to Spoil
The place you keep your fruit can have a surprising effect on whether that stunning mango gets to its sweet and juicy best – and also how long they last.
The spoilage of food is a naturally occurring process. To understand how to maintain the quality of food and prevent spoilage, we need to know what can cause it.
Factors that affect how long a mango remains consumable are:
1.The type of mango itself– If you purchase unripe mangoes they will obviously last longer because it will take some time before it reaches its peak for consumption.
Once the mango reaches its peak and is fully ripe you can refrigerate it for up to one week.
2. Microorganisms– Some microorganisms can cause food-borne illness. These microorganisms grow best at room temperatures (60-90°F), but most do not grow well in the refrigerator or freezer.
3. Enzymes– are naturally present in food, they are responsible for texture, color and flavor changes.
4. Pressure, humidity, & the composition of surrounding air– Oxidation is a chemical process that occurs when air reacts with food and causes changes in the color, flavor and nutrient content.
5. Light-if fruits are exposed to light it can cause loss of color and vitamin. Light also may be responsible for the oxidation of fats
6. Insects, Rodents, Parasites and Other Creatures– It is important that we maintain the highest level of hygienic conditions in the storage of food.
7. Physical Damage– food that has bruises or cracks leave areas where microorganisms easily may grow. It is important to be gentle when handling fruits because most times we consume them raw.
8. Storage Temperature– Unripe mangoes should be stored in a pantry until they have fully ripened. If you put mangoes in the fridge before they are fully ripe, they’ll lose some of their favor and not taste as good. Once mangoes are ripe, you can put them in cold storage like the fridge.
The internal temperature of your fridge should stay at around 40°F (4°C).
9. Time– The time from when the mango is harvested to when it reaches your table is a determining factor in how long your mangoes last.
How to Ripen Your Mangoes
Sometimes you are gonna get unripe mangoes and if prefer or need them ripe and juicy, I have a few easy methods you can use to ripen them:
1- Paperbag Method
Place your mangoes into a paper bag and leave it in there overnight. Check the fruit every day by feeling the texture and smell of the mango.
Mangoes wrapped in a paper bag will release ethylene, which is an odorless gas that speeds up the ripening process. If you want to expedite this process put a banana or apple in the paper bag as well. Adding more ethylene-emitting fruits will increase the ethylene in the bag, giving you an even juicier mango usually overnight.
2- Rice or Popcorn Kernel Method
Submerge the mango in a bowl of uncooked rice or popcorn kernels. This tip can be traced back to India where people placed unripe mangoes in bags of uncooked rice to speed up the ripening. In Mexico, the trick is similar but they use uncooked popcorn kernels instead of rice.
The reason behind the ripening here is that the rice or popcorn helps trap ethylene gas around the mango, resulting in a much faster ripening process.
3- CounterTop Method
This method is the longest method but it is the best natural way. It is as simple as placing the mango on the countertop of your kitchen and check it daily for signs of ripeness
Health Benefits to Eating Mangoes
There are many health benefits gained from eating mangoes. This fruit is packed full of many nutrients and low in calories. One cup of mango has 99 calories.
Studies have linked mangoes and its nutrients to other health benefits, such as improved immunity, digestive health, and eyesight, as well as a lower risk of certain cancers.
Mangoes are a good source of folate, several B vitamins, as well as vitamins A, C, K, and E, all of which help boost immunity. One cup of mangoes contains nearly 70% of the RDI for vitamin C which helps aid the body with immunity, iron absorption and growth and repair.
Mango is also packed with polyphenols which are plant compounds that function as antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential in protecting your cells against free radical damage, which can bind to and damage your cells.
Mango also contains magnesium, potassium and the antioxidant mangiferin, which all support healthy heart function. It has many digestive enzymes, water, dietary fiber and other compounds that aid different aspects of digestive health too.
However, it is recommended that you consume no more than two cups (330 grams) of mangoes per day at most because of the high levels of sugar in it.