Mango flowers are a retro type “recipe.” This was something that was was popular to make, and serve, in the middle of the 20th century. I say “recipe” because this doesn’t really have any ingredients except for a mango. This “recipe” is simply a series of instructions for cutting the Mango into a “flower.” It’s not even the most complicated or fancy version of a mango flower, either.
What you will need to make a Mango Flower?
- Mangoes–One mango for two mango flowers
- A Sharp knife
Mangoes have large flat seeds inside of them. One of my friends, a Pacific Islander, refers to the mango seeds as “bones.” Apparently, the “official” name of Mango Seeds, or Kernels, is Gutli, and they are supposed to be edible, but that’s another topic for another blog post, or perhaps a different website entirely. My interest is only in the mango flesh, and how to turn it into a Mango Flower. Let’s get started.
How to make a Mango Flower:
1. First get enough mangoes to make one mango flower for each serving.
Each mango will produce two flowers. You want the mangoes to be ripe, but not too ripe. I like to use medium sized mangoes for making mango flowers.
2. Cut the mango in half parallel to the “bone” or seed.
If you’re not sure where the seed is, look carefully at the mango. One side will be wider and flatter than the other. The seed runs parallel to this side. Cut into the mango and try to cut as closely as possible to the seed kernel. One you have cut one side off, you will need to carefully cut the seed off of the other half, too. Don’t throw away the seed. There’s still a lot of mango flesh on it. If you’re making a large number of mango flowers, you might have enough little pieces left over, to make some cucumber, jicama, and mango salad to pack for your lunch, or you can just be like me and “gnaw on the mango bones.” (That’s what food critic calls it.) I consider the flesh left on the seeds be be my reward for making all of the flowers.
3. Carefully, run a knife through the flesh of the mango in parallel lines, then cut perpendicular to those lines.
Be careful not to cut through the skin of the mango. You only want to cut the flesh inside of the skin. You want the mango to have lots of little cubes of flesh visible from the top view.
4. Gently separate the squares of mango flesh by pulling while turning the mango inside out, pushing the skin against the flesh from the back.
The mango is actually pretty forgiving as long as you’re not really rough during this process. I usually start separating the squares then pick up the mango and push from the outside.
5. Once you have turned the mango “inside out,” you have a mango flower.
It’s that simple. You can arrange the mango flower on a plate atop lettuce leaves and serve with some cottage cheese or yogurt, or you can include them as part of a fruit platter. I think the nubs of mango sticking up remind me of a chrysanthemum.
It’s very simple, and not super fancy, or elegant, but I can imagine a time when mangoes were not as common as they are today. This would definitely impress your guests back in the day.
Our favorite way to serve mango flowers is simple.
We give them a squeeze of lime juice and a light dusting with some chile-lime seasoning. Our favorite right now is Cielito Seasoning, but we’ve also love Tajin. They’re both delicious. Tajin even has a low sodium version for those who are watching their salt intake.
Mango Flowers are a healthy option.
Unless you have a mango allergy, mangoes make a very healthy option. They’re a piece of fruit with no added sugar. They’re loaded with nutrients, and mangoes are fat free, sodium free (unless you add Tajin), and cholesterol free. Plus, eating mango flowers can help you to get in your five servings of fruits and vegetables.
The following nutrition label provides the nutrition information for 1/2 of a medium sized mango, or 1 mango flower, without tajin or cielito seasoning added to the top.
Obviously, if you’re adding a chili lime seasoning, you’ll need to add any sodium or calories from the nutrition label.
Disclaimer: Nutritional information is calculated using online tools such as those available at cronometer.com or verywellfit.com. We make every attempt to ensure that the information is calculated correctly, but this information should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. In addition, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition-fact sources, databases, and the algorithms used. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful. Under no circumstances will PattyCakesPantry.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information provided.
My technique isn’t the only way to make mango flowers. Check out this guy who transforms a mango into a flower sitting atop a stick. This looks like an easier way to eat the mango, and it might be a more fun way to entice your children to eat fruit. It’s pretty impressive.
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