The mango is renowned all over the world as the ‘king of fruits’ – hugely popular centuries ago among princes of the east and believed to be the food of the gods in ancient India – so there is no doubt it’s the perfect choice for your Valentine.
South African mangoes are grown in Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal and are available from December well into April, which means they are still around right now to make your Valentine’s Day especially sweet and colourfully vibrant!
Pop down to your local supermarket and you’ll find the fibreless Kent and Keitt mangoes which will impress your Valentine with their delectably sweet flavour. These green-skinned mangoes (Keitt has a slight apricot blush) remain green even when ripe and ready to eat. To judge ripeness, gently squeeze the fruit: ripe mangoes ‘give’ slightly under your fingers. Firm mangoes ripen at room temperature over a few days.
Mangoes are high in vitamins A, C, and biotin, and the mineral potassium. This yummy fruit is also a source of vitamins B1 and B6, and is free from fat, sodium and cholesterol – so many more reasons to serve mangoes to the ones you love.
Start the day off with breakfast in bed, cinnamon French toast with grilled mango cheeks, from there on your day can only improve! Or better yet, feed your loved one delectable treats off a sumptuous mango grazing board !
Remember that when you can’t find fresh mangoes you’ll find dried mango, atchars, jams, pickles, juices, tinned fruit and all the other mango products; on shop shelves all year long.
Cinnamon French toast with ricotta cheese and grilled mango cheeks
- 2 mangoes, for 4 cheeks and wedges
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons low fat smooth cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon castor sugar
- A little butter
- 1 white loaf of bread, thickly sliced
- 150g ricotta cheese (can substitute low fat cream cheese)
- Cinnamon sugar
- To cut the mango cheeks, hold the fruit vertically and use a sharp knife to cut down either side of the stone – adjacent to with wider part of the stone.
- Peel the skin off each cheek or use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of the skin. The smaller pieces of mango flesh on the other side of the stone can be cut as wedges.
- Grill or fry the mango cheeks and wedges briefly on a hot griddle, set aside.
- Beat the eggs, cream cheese and castor sugar to make a batter.
- Heat a little butter in a frying pan until hot.
- Dip the bread slices into the batter, turning them over to soak both sides.
- Fry the slices in the hot butter until golden, turning to cook both sides.
- Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with cinnamon sugar, a dollop of ricotta cheese, a mango cheek and a wedge.
Mango Grazing Board
Grazing boards are a colourful, healthy and easy way to entertain, you can scale up or down and also easily accommodate special diets and fussy eaters! Less time in the kitchen and more time with family and friends! Here’s a few tips to get you started.
Serves: 4 – 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 0 minutes
What to put on your grazing board:
- Fresh or dried mango slices
- Mango pickle
- Dried mango
- Cured meat
- Salami sticks
- Roasted peppers
- Marinated olives
- Crackers and crisps (or veggie crisps )
- Dips such as hummus or pesto
Everything served on a grazing platter should be bite-size and easy to pick up and eat without cutlery.
- Slice or cut fruits and vegetables into strips.
- Make a dip or hummus.
- Roll up charcuterie (e.g., prosciutto) or fold in quarters (e.g. salami).
- Put nuts in a small bowl (in case guests are allergic to nuts).
- Place olives in a small bowl.
- Cut any garnishes (e.g. kiwi, pomegranates).
- Arrange crackers, crisps and cheese straws around the outside of the platter.