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Nothing beats a sweet and tangy snack on a hot summer’s day. However, trying to find desserts that are healthy and simple to make can prove challenging! Thankfully with a bit of ingenuity, you too can make simple mango slices take on a whole world of flavor!
With its sweet, zest, and spicy flavor, mango on a stick makes an excellent vegan and healthy alternative to most traditional desserts. Perfect for entertaining, for children and adults alike! Here is a quick and simple recipe to make this Central American dish at home.
- Thick wooden skewer
- 1 large ripe mango.
- ½ tsp fresh lime juice.
- ½ tsp red hot sauce.
- ⅓ tsp chili powder.
- Cayenne pepper to taste.
- Salt to taste.
- All ingredients ready? Let's begin!
- Press the skewer into the center of the large end of the mango. Once the skewer is sufficiently fixed in the soft interior of the mango, hold the mango vertically and hit the flat end of the skewer on a hard surface to force the skewer tip into the mango seed.
- Peel the skin off the mango.
- Holding the stick side down, use a knife to make 4 or 5 slices at a downward angle toward the bottom of the skewer.
- Make more slices in the opposite direction around the mango (similar to the shape of a pineapple or flower).
- Mix the lime juice and red-hot sauce. Drizzle this combined sauce around the mango, from top to bottom.
- Sprinkle chili powder around the sides of the mango, including the top and bottom.
- Add a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and salt to taste. Enjoy your Simple Mango on a stick!
Notes & Tips
- The recipe is intended for one mango for one person. However, the ease and speed of the recipe mean that upwards of 4 mangos can be prepared in less than an hour, so there is no reason not to take the time to make a whole batch for friends and family!
- Caution must be taken when applying the chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt. This is because the intense and spicy flavors can overwhelm the subtle fruity taste of the mango.
- Because of the risk of masking the flavor of the mango and overpowering its natural flavors, it is advisable to taste a small piece of the mango being prepared to best gauge the quantity of spice to be added.
- Alternatively, if you or any of your guests are sensitive to spicy cuisine, these hot sauces and spices can be substituted with milder alternatives or removed altogether from the recipe.
Why You Should Slice The Mangos
While it may be tempting to simplify and speed up the recipe by not slicing the mangos into delicate flowery shapes, there are excellent reasons for doing so:
- The aesthetic of the petals elevates this snack from a simple fruit to a work of art, which is bound to be a hit at the next birthday party, barbeque, or family gathering.
- The petals allow all the spices, sauces, and lime juice to penetrate every nook and cranny of the mango, creating a complete flavor experience rather than just a surface-level one.
- The slices lead to a less messy meal, as it traps the mango juice and allows for a simpler eating experience.
- It’s tradition! Any walk around Central America, such as a visit to the local food truck in Mexico, will tell you so!
Correct Mango Selection & Storage
The essential component to this recipe is making sure the mangos are ripe; fortunately, there are some straightforward steps to follow to make sure a mango is fresh and ready to eat:
- Ripe mangos exude a sweet, fruity aroma around their stems. In comparison, unripe mangos produce a neutral smell, and overripe mangos a sour, fermented smell.
- Ripe mangos have a soft texture, similar to a peach. In contrast, unripe mangos have a hard surface, and overripe mangos have a mushy texture.
- The color of the mangos does not determine their ripeness. Preferable visual cues of ripe mangos are that they are rounded, the flesh around the stalk appears firm, and the stem itself protrudes outwards.
A simple method of expediting the ripeness of mangos includes wrapping them in a newspaper or storing them next to apples or pears. The reason being is apples and pears produce ethylene gas which helps ripen neighboring fruit.
Another alternative to ripen mangos is to use a microwave, although this should only be done as a last resort, given that it negatively affects the taste of mangos.
To ripen a mango in a microwave, poke 4 to 5 holes in the mango with a knife to allow steam to escape, wrap the microwave in a small towel and microwave the mango for 10 seconds. Repeat microwaving until the mango is soft to the touch.
Ripe whole mangos should be stored at room temperature or in the fridge for no longer than days before consumption. Cut mangos can remain fresh for a few days in the fridge if stored in a container or for up to 6 months in the freezer.
Variations Of The Recipe
Melted dark chocolate can be drizzled over the mangos for more adventurous and less health-conscious diners as the recipe’s final step. Giving the mangos a sweet, spicy, zesty, and chocolaty taste!
Feel free to freeze the mangos after applying the melted chocolate to give it a satisfying crunch! Just ensure that the freezing process includes a sealed container to focus on chilling the melted chocolate rather than crystallizing the mangos!
Similar Healthy Snacks
For a similar healthy, fruity snack that the whole family will enjoy, see the following link Homemade Banana and Sultana Flapjacks.
Alternatively, for a healthier and vegan friendly alternative of a classic dessert, why not give the following Vegan Potato Milk Brownies’ recipe a try.