This year we have been lucky enough to have a bumper mango crop! We have 5 mango trees in our yard, and after a dismal season last year, we have been so excited with the hundreds of mangoes that have popped up this year. Anyone who we see has been given bags of mangoes, as there are so many to go around - and we like to spread our good fortune :)
For the first time, this year we bought a net for one of our trees. Lots of the fruit get picked at by the birds, and this year we wanted to trial minimising our loss. As it is now the end of the season, we are thrilled with how the net kept the birds off the mangoes, and will definitely be investing in more nets before next summer.
The picture below is a typical days' pickings. I like to pick the mangoes when they are still a bit green. As soon as they go orange on the trees they either fall off, or attract birds or insects. By picking them green, I know that I can keep a close eye on them and get them out when they are ripe.
After picking them (we use the pool net to get them down off the trees), I wrap each mango that is not quite ripe in a brown paper bag and put them in a box. Every morning I check them, to see if any are ready. I literally pull every single mango out of its brown bag, and give it a gentle squeeze. I can 'feel' if it is ready, rather than see it. Often, our home-grown mangoes don't become a glowing orange all over, like the ones you see in the store. Lots of the time the mango still looks half green, but it is in fact ready to be eaten, and if you wait for them to become orange all over, you are too late and they are spoiled.
Here is a picture of one of the 'pretty' ones from this year's crop:
So, one might ask what to do with hundreds of mangoes?? We know we are so lucky to have this fruit land on our trees, and we like to make the most of them while they are here. Here are a few of our favourites:
The good old 'porcupine' mango
(A delicious curry made using mango sauce)
(These are definitely my favourite this year!)
I make the smoothies using my stab blender, mixing together these simple ingredients:
1/2 cup pureed mango
dollop of honey
I have also pureed a whole lot of mangoes (they have all started to get ripe at the same time and I couldn't use them or give them away quick enough), and frozen them in 1/2 cup serves in the freezer.
These are perfect for my smoothies, or will come in handy for topping off ice-cream or adding to a recipe later on.
I have also made a yummy Mango and Avocado salad (which I didn't take a photo of), which was so fruity and fresh!
And I have wanted to make a Mango Chutney, but I haven't gotten around to it yet... Maybe this week I will give it a try... Let me know if you have any great mango recipes!