Mango is one of our family’s favorite fruits. Available year-round in the produce aisle and in the freezer we use it regularly throughout the year for smoothies, fruit salads, and a simple snack.
We were invited to a cooking with kids class to learn more about cooking with mango, but due to our after-school activities couldn’t make it that evening. Thankfully we were able to team up with Whitney from Mommies with Style and her family to have a fun afternoon of cooking and snacking on mango treats. The above photo is of her son, Cole, and my daughter, Audrey, snacking on some of our creations. In addition, my son, Aidan, joined us.
Not only was it lots of fun to cook with the kids and snack on the recipes, but it was great to learn some new ways to serve up one of our favorite fruits.
Mango Banana Smoothie Recipe
The recipe provided by the mango board looked great, but we made some adjustments to the recipe to make it our own. The addition of coconut milk in place of regular milk was a nice tropical touch. We also adjusted the fruit slightly. With the extra banana it was pretty sweet, so you could even leave out the honey.
The kids can open and cut bananas, help slice mango, measure the ingredients, and of course press start on the blender.
- 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and chopped
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- 1 cup ice
- 2 bananas
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Frozen Yogurt Dipped Mango Pops Recipe
This was by far the favorite of all the kids. It may have had something to do with the toppings the kids could put on top!
It’s super simple to make these and easy for kids of any age to get involved. The kids made the yogurt dip and were experts at dipping and topping the mango ‘pops.’ You could make this recipe dairy-free by using coconut milk yogurt, almond milk yogurt, or soy yogurt.
We used shredded coconut, mini chocolate chips, and Nerds as toppings.
Cinco de Mango Quesadillas with Mango Salsa
Quesadillas are a great option for dinner, make great leftovers, and are a perfect food for parties. You can make them in a variety of ways, but this chicken and mango recipe was great! The best part is you can adapt this recipe to suit your tastes and lifestyle.
Whitney suggested using a crock pot to cook the chicken-making a delicious and flavorful shredded chicken. You could also leave off the chicken and sub it with meat, pork, egg, or leave it off for a vegetarian option. If you’re dairy free you can sub in Daiya cheese which melts perfectly! I tried it with the leftovers and it worked out beautifully. Lastly, you can use corn tortillas or gluten-free wraps if you can’t eat wheat or gluten.
My favorite part was definitely the mango salsa! It was sweet and had a little kick, too!
Tips for Cooking with Kids
Since this was not just about cooking with mango, but also about cooking with kids I thought I would share a few tips I have learned over the years while cooking with our crew.
- Get kid friendly tools: If you have young kids I highly recommend shopping for some kid-friendly tools like plastic measuring cups and spoons or kid-sized kitchen products. You can find them at kitchen shops, but I also highly recommend looking at Montessori catalogs. They have a lot of kid tools that little ones love, and they’re much easier to use than the adult versions.
- Set up space: Prepping your kitchen for little helpers is key. Instead of trying to get them to cook at adult height try bringing ingredients to the table, using a counter and stools (like we did), or setting up a chair or stepstool in a safe manner.
- Make it fun: Starting kids with the fun stuff will help build their skills and make it easier to learn the hard stuff later. My kids all started with baking, cooking pancakes, slicing fruit with butter knives, and other basics.
- Teach safety from a young age: Basics of kitchen safety are important to go over with kids starting at a young age. We talk not only about how knives are sharp and how to use them safely, but also about food safety like washing your hands after you handle eggs or raw meats.
- Make time in the kitchen: I know how busy it can get, but making time to cook with your kids or assigning them a night when they can cook (with you as sous chef) will give them confidence and skills that will last a lifetime.
More About Mangoes
- Mangos pack a nutritional punch at just 100 calories per cup.
- Mangos provide 100% of your daily vitamin C, 35% of your daily vitamin A, and 12% of your daily fiber.
- Mangos are fat free, cholesterol free and a good source of dietary fiber.
- Mangos are the world’s most popular fruit and are available year-round, so you can always get your hands on a perfect mango.
- 6 varieties of mango make up most of what is available in the U.S. Because each variety comes into season at a different time of year, you’ll always find a mango in your produce aisle.
How To Choose & Use Mango
- Selecting Mango: Don’t judge a mango by its color – red does not mean ripe. To find a ripe mango, just squeeze gently. A ripe mango will be slightly soft like a peach or avocado. A firm mango will ripen at room temperature over a few days.
- Prepping Mango: To cut a mango, simply slice off the sides of the fruit, avoiding the large seed in the center. Once you have these two sides, you can get to the flesh and slice or dice as needed. Then, simply scoop it out of the skin. For more on how to cut a mango or delicious new recipes, visit Mango.org.
- Storing Mango: Keep unripe mangos at room temperature. Never refrigerate mangos before they are ripe. Once ripe, mangos can be moved to the refrigerator to slow down ripening for several days.
Visit www.mango.org for additional information on mango varieties, availability, recipes, videos, and more.