You scream, I scream...
Ice-cream. We all LOVE it but know that even too much of a good thing isn't always great for us. The word 'ICE-CREAM' is often associated with indulgence, treating oneself, and special occasions. Fruit, on the other hand, is more often associated with being healthy, fresh, and more acceptable for everyday consumption. Well, if you love ice-cream but are looking for a healthy, affordable, easy-to-prepare alternative, look no further. Today's post is inspired by a picture that Sarah Bell Nutrition posted on Instagram sometime in December of an easy mango and lime 'sorbet'. You can take a look at this post that she wrote earlier this week with a whole lot of delicious 'nice-cream' recipes that require nothing more than fruit, a few simple ingredients, and a good old food processor. I'm going to be giving the Banana, Coconut & Cacao recipe next week.
So although today's recipe is not my own, I've been preparing it at least once a week because it's just so delicious. I decided that I have to have it on record here on Taste & See for future use, in case I forget about it by this time next year. This gorgeous summer fruit, which is available in season in South Africa between December and April, is one of the things that I look forward to each year. Fresh stone fruits, figs, mangoes, grapes, and litchis all bring back memories of childhood holidays at the coast. Summer fruit makes me think of sunshine, sand, and sticky faces. Some of the best memories if you ask me.
Today we'll be taking a look at the main ingredient in this recipe, the star of the show - Mango. Why should you be eating mango? And what is it made up of? Does it have any proven health benefits? You'll have to read on for these answers :)
Mangos are one of the most popular fruits in the world. There are a number of different mango varieties that are available around the world at different times of the year . Each variety has a unique flavour, texture, and colour. In South Africa the main areas for mango cultivation include Mpumulanga, Limpopo, and Kwa-Zulu Natal . Mangos were first grown in India over 5000 years ago, but their seeds travelled to the Middle East, South America, and East Africa sometime around 300-400 A.D and have been grown all over the world since . The main varieties that are grown here in South Africa include:
Tommy Atkins, which has a thick skin
Kent, which is green-yellow with a sweet, juicy, fibreless flesh
Keitt, which has an oval shape and a yellow skin with red blush
Sensation, which is smaller than the other varieties
Here's something fascinating that I didn't know: mangos are related to cashews and pistachios . A mango has one long, flat seed that can be found right in the centre of the fruit, with a juicy flesh that surrounds it. Mango ripeness can't really be judged by colour, as with many other fruits. To determine mango ripeness all you need to do is gently squeeze it and determine whether it gives in slightly to the pressure, meaning that it is ripe, or whether it is firm, meaning that it is unripe . A firm mango will easily ripen at room temperature after a few days, but if you would like to speed up the process, place the mango in a paper bag along with a banana at room temperature .
Nutrition & Health Benefits
One cup of chopped mango is approximately 100 calories . Some of the most notable nutritional benefits of mango include its high vitamin C, vitamin A, and dietary fibre content . One cup of fresh mango provides up to 100% of the daily value of vitamin C, which plays an important role in supporting healthy gums and teeth, proper wound healing, and collagen formation in the body . Vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants and phytonutrients inhibit the oxidation of body cells by neutralising free radicals that would normally target lipids found in cell membranes . Free radical damage is associated with oxidative stress and has been linked to numerous health problems, so we want to avoid it as much as possible. Mangos, like most other fruits, are a rich source of polyphenolic compounds, which also have antioxidative and/or anticarcinogenic benefits . The main polyphenols found in mango pulp (the stuff that you normally eat) include:
Mangiferin, a polyphenol unique to mangos
This article takes a look at the specific mechanism of action of mangiferin, and is really worth a read if you have an interest in biochemistry and nutrition :) Another interesting article that I found whilst doing research for this post is this one, which documents a study that was done to compare the effects of dietary supplementation of freeze-dried mango pulp with the effects of a hypolipidaemic drug, fenofibrate, and a hypoglycemic drug, rosiglitazone, in reducing body fat, altering glucose metabolism, and changing the lipid profile of mice that were on a high-fat diet . Although this study was not conducted in humans, the results showed that freeze-dried mango supplementation was associated with reduced body fat percentage, improved glucose tolerance, lowered insulin resistance, and improved lipid profiles in the diet of the mice fed on a high-fat diet .
Even the mango seed, a waste product from the fruit, has potential health benefits . This review takes a look at the composition of the mango seed kernel and analyses the possibility of using it as a nutritionally beneficial component in food products. Why the mango seed? Well, this waste product, which is usually tossed in the bin, has gained a special scientific interest of late thanks to its high content of bioactive compounds, which are associated with improvements in human health . More research is needed before the processing and use of mango seeds will be used as a functional component in the food industry, but who knows, it could very well be a means of reducing environmental waste whilst imparting nutritional benefits to consumers :)
Enough about that, now for the good stuff :) As I've already mentioned, I didn't come up with this recipe myself. For the original recipe (and a number of other DELICIOUS fruit-based nice-cream recipes, check out Sarah Bell Nutrition's blog here). I have, however, made a couple of changes to this version. I always loved mango & orange juice as a child, so I enjoy adding a little bit of freshly squeezed orange juice and some orange zest in place of lime. I hope that you enjoy this! It has already got a big thumbs up from my family and husband-to-be ;)
Adapted from: Sarah Bell Nutrition
Juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 Tbsp orange zest
A little bit of water
Peel & chop up the mango. Place it on a baking sheet or in a freezer-safe container lined with baking paper. Freeze.
When your mango is frozen, simply place it in a food processor along with the orange zest and juice. Process until it has a creamy texture. Add a splash of water if necessary to help the processor along.
For a 'frozen yoghurt' version, add 1 Tbsp of plain yoghurt to the mix. YUM!
The original recipe makes use of lime zest and juice (DELICIOUS), but I've been enjoying preparing a mango & orange version. Both are scrummy!
 Mango.org. Mango 101 [YouTube video on the Internet]. 2012 November 30. Available from: http://www.mango.org/Choosing-Using-Mangos/How-to-Cut-a-Mango.
 South Africa Travel Online. South African Mangos [Internet]. [date unknown] [cited 14 Jan 2017]. Available from: http://www.southafrica.to/nature/flora/mango/Mangoes.php.
 Mango.org. National Mango Board Nutrition Messages [Internet]. [date unknown] [cited 14 Jan 2017]. Available from: http://www.mango.org/Mangos/media/Media/Documents/Research%20And%20Resources/Downloads/Industry/Market%20Support/Nutrition_Messages_Eng.pdf.
 Masibo M, He Q. Major Mango Polyphenols and Their Potential Significance to Human Health. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2008 Oct;7(4):309-19.
 Lucas EA, Li W, Peterson SK, Brown A, Kuvibidila S, Perkins-Vaezie P, Clarke SL, Smith BJ. Mango modulates body fat and plasma glucose and lipids in mice fed a high-fat diet. Br J Nutr. 2011 Nov;106(10):1495-505.
 Torres-Léon C, Rojas R, Contreras-Esquivel JC, Serna-Cock L, Belmares-Cerda RE, Aguilar CN. Mango seed: Functional and nutritional properties. Trends Food Sci Technol. 2016;55:109-17.