08 June 2014

Freezing Mangoes

I grew up helping my parents can peaches, pairs, apricots, applesauce, and sometimes plums.  We froze strawberries and peaches and any other berries we could get our hands on in huge quantities, as well.  

Thus when I was in college I asked my mom to pass on to me something her dad had done for her:  canned fruit in pint jars to stock the dorm room with something awesomely delicious and homemade.  She was quick to oblige, and supplied not only me, but also a good friend and roommate with a goodly supply of peaches in pint jars.

My husband grew up freezing fruits and berries, too, but he had the bonus experience of helping his mom make all kinds of berry jams.

These are traditions we've continued into our adult lives, even staying up late into the night in graduate school to make sure we got all our grape juice canned before the grapes we picked would go to waste.

Food preservation looks a bit different in South Texas, though.  Because there's no winter to speak of, there's almost always something wonderful in season, and the idea of putting things away for the colder months just doesn't have the same urgency.

Nevertheless, try as you might, you just can't root out the food preservation habit once it's established.  Your brain replays these messages over and over.

Home-made is cheaper.
Home-made tastes better.
Home-made in the cupboard is faster than a last-minute trip to the store.

Last week, my husband found some for $2.50 a box, which we thought was a great deal.  We're hoping to get more this week.  Our latest project, therefore, is to find as many ways to preserve mangoes as possible.  Our ideas so far?

We'll freeze them--a couple of quarts are already in the freezer, just waiting to be made into smoothies and sorbets!
We'll dry them.
We'll make jam out of them.
We'll juice them, and research whether it's best to freeze or can the juice.
We might even make sauce out of them.  Mango sauce on pancakes, anyone?

How I Freeze Mangoes

While I would hesitate to say there's one correct way to freeze mangoes, this is the way I'm doing it.  At least this summer.
  1. Cut up the mangoes.  I do this by making two slices, one on either side of the seed.  Then I do the messy job of getting as much fruit off the seed as possible, after which I move on to the easy part of slicing each mango "half" while it's still in the peel, and then scooping the slices out of the peel with a spoon.
  2. Add a preserver.  Depending on how long you expect your mangoes to last in the freezer, it can be nice to add something to keep them fresh.  I add a little sugar (a Tablespoon or so for every two or three quarts) or Fruit Fresh (according to package instructions).  Lemon juice might also work, if you don't mind the tart flavor with the sweet of the mango.
  3. Scoop into quart Ziploc bags or other container of choice, and put in the freezer.  These will of course freeze in the shape they're in when they first go into the freezer, so it's good to find a flat space for them until they're frozen solid.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds so yummy. Mango sauce on waffles would be like a dream.


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