Mangoes are know as the king of fruit in India and is one of the most popular tropical fruit there is. Every part of the mango tree and fruit is used in Ayurvedic medicine. To learn more about how this delicious fruit and tree is used, here is a link, if you’re interested.
Growing up in the south of India I used to look forward to mango season. Around December-January, the flowering begins and this lasts till the end of February. By mid-April to July is when mangoes are in abundance in the south of India where I come from. Different varieties of mangoes are harvested at different times. I used to love going to the fresh market with my mum, as a little girl during the hot summer months. This delicious summer fruit is lined up in fruit stalls in every market, on every street corner in little carts and even vendors carrying baskets of fruit on their head and selling from door to door in residential neighbourhoods. I remember fondly the smell of mangoes and rain and how excited I used to get because I knew as a child that after the rains, what my parents would call “Mango Showers” there would be an abundance of mangoes.
Towards the close of summer in Karnataka, the state I’m from in India, we would get a few pre-monsoon showers, this meant mangoes would ripen quicker and there would soon be an abundance of mangoes available everywhere. My family ate ripe mangoes on a daily basis, when in season and used it in so many different ways from curries, to salads, to pickles, to chutneys and more.
My favourite mango is the green mango available in south India, eaten with chilly powder and salt, sold as street food from little carts by street vendors. I used to love using my tuck money everyday to buy green mangoes, even though my mom did not approve of me eating green mangoes daily, because I would eat too much and then get a stomach ache (lol)!
My grandma, used to make this delicious mango pickle – my mouth is watering as I write this, recalling those memories. She used a much greener and rawer mango than the one I liked. Even before the mangoes were made into spicy pickle, the mangoes had to be chopped a certain way and dried in the sun for 21 days. It was then salted in these large earthen pots and soaked for days in coarse sea salt. I remember so well what a big event this was in our family home – the making of this mango pickle or Amm Ka Achar as it’s called in Hindi.
I can’t recall all the names of the different varieties of mangoes available in the south of India, as there are over 150 varieties harvested yearly. What I do recall is the name of the most popular mango in our family home. It’s called Alphonso or Badami. This mango has skin that is bright yellow with a ting of red when its fully ripe and its delicious flesh is almost the colour of saffron, firm yet sweet and juicy.
Here is a recipe if you want to try making your own mango pickle. This recipe however calls for green mangoes. Presently where I’m living, I don’t get green mangoes or enough sun for 21 days straight to make my grandmas recipe. However, I do have fond, loving memories of my nana (as we called her) asking one of her grandchildren to run up to the terrace and turn the sliced mangoes over so both sides could get sun. This, we had to do repeatedly. Whenever it was my turn, I would sneak one or two pieces in my pocket and eat it at a later time with salt….such great memories of my childhood and mangoes.
Anyways, before I go on and on about my childhood and mangoes, let me share with you an easy, simple and quick recipe that requires only 5 ingredients, takes 5 minutes to make and is ABSOLUTELY delicious and satisfying. This might be my most favourite smoothie recipe. Give it a try and see for yourself.
Mango Spinach Smoothie
- 1 Vitamix Blender Any high powered blender will also work
- 2 cups fresh mangoes or frozen Approximately 2 mangoes
- 2 cups baby spinach Approximately 2 handfulls
- 2 cups coconut yogurt Can use yogurt of your choice
- 1/2 cup unsweetend almond milk Can use milk of your choice
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- Add all the above ingredients in the order mentioned to a blender such as a Vitamix. Start slow, by selecting variable 1 and then go up to 10. Allow it to blend on high speed for 30 to 45 seconds for a silky smooth smoothie.
- Serve in bowls, top with whatever you like and enjoy. You can also store in reusable bottles for later.
- Will last in the fridge for up to 3 days. However, it's most delicious consumed straight away.