Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes!
Even if I wrote an ode to mangoes, it won’t do justice to this juicy and sweet tropical fruit. When I say that I love mangoes, you just have to know that it’s the understatement of the century!
I love to devour mangoes as is, in various mango desserts such as cheesecakes and custards, mango beverages such as slushies, milkshakes, smoothies, and mango salsa and salads!
Given my absolute craze for this truly divine fruit, I always make sure to buy mangoes in bulk so that I can enjoy them in various ways till the next season.
Wondering how do I keep them fresh for so long? Well, it all comes down to storing mangoes the right way. When you store mangoes properly, they can stay fresh for a long time.
Read on to find out how to store mangoes in 3 different ways!
There are at least 3 basic ways in which you can store mangoes – storing them at room temperature, in the fridge, and the freezer.
Whichever method you pick depends on the ripeness of the mangoes and your intended purpose of use. So, let’s explore the 3 ways in details:
Storing at Room Temperature
This method is ideal for storing unripe mangoes. Here’s what you need to do:
- Check the ripeness of the mangoes. Unripe mangoes have a hard and sturdy exterior and they don’t have a noticeable sweet smell.
- If the mangoes are unripe, put them in a container with airflow or a plastic bag.
- Store the container in a dark area of your kitchen or pantry.
- Make sure to check the mangoes every 2 days to see if they have ripened. Depending on how unripe they were when you bought them, it can take up to 8 days for the mangoes to fully ripen.
Storing in the Fridge
This method is ideal for ripened, whole mangoes. Here’s how you can store them in the fridge:
- Check the mangoes to see if they are ripe. Fully ripened mangoes are a bit soft to the touch and have a fruity aroma.
- Put the ripe mangoes in the cold storage of your fridge.
- Fresh mangoes will easily last in your fridge for about 6 days. After that time, make sure to check the mangoes for signs of rot such as mushy skin, black spots, and a sour smell. Throw them away if the mangoes have discolored on the inside.
Storing in the Freezer
This method works best for storing peeled, cubed mangoes that you can enjoy during the off-season. Here’s how to store mangoes in the freezer:
- Use a potato peeler or a sharp knife to peel the mangoes and then cut them into small cubes or slices.
- Put the cubes in a single layer on a baking tray and flash freeze them overnight. This will ensure that the pieces don’t clump together.
- Put the frozen mango cubes in a heavy-duty freezer bag, push as much air out of the bag as possible, and seal it.
- Put the freezer bag in your freezer horizontally. This will ensure that the mango cubes freeze evenly.
- Make sure to devour the frozen mangoes within 6 months of freezing them.
Tips on Keeping Mangoes Fresh
Here are some tips that you can use to keep mangoes fresh:
- When picking out mangoes that you plan on storing for a while, choose the ones that are ripe yet firm. They will stay fresh for a longer period than ripe mangoes that are soft to the touch.
- If the mangoes are fully ripe, then put the whole, unpeeled mangoes in the fridge. They will easily last in your fridge for about 6 days.
- If you want to keep mangoes fresh for a long time, then peel them, chop them into tiny squares, coat them with lemon juice, and freeze them in airtight bags. The juice will slow the browning process and keep the cut mangoes fresh for a long time.
Tips on Picking Out Mangoes
Tips on Picking Out Mangoes
- The first trick is to weigh the mangoes and pick the ones that weigh the heaviest for their size.
- Make sure to look at the shape of the mango; you want a plump mango rather than a flat one.
- Don’t forget to sniff the mango to gauge its freshness. Ripe mangoes have a fruity and sweet aroma near the base of their stems. However, if the mango has a sour smell, then it’s probably overripe.
- Since mangoes come in a wide variety of colors, don’t focus too much on the hue. Instead, touch and feel the mango to see if it’s ripe. A ripe mango tends to have a slightly yielding feel, but they are not squishy or mushy.
- Look for mangoes that are plump and fleshy, with minimal spots and marks. Stay away from mangoes that have shriveled skins.
- If you plan on freezing the mangoes, choose ripe yet firm mangoes as they thaw nicely.
How to Ripen Mangoes
Here are some ways in which you can ripen mangoes:
Leave Them in the Fruit Basket
This is inarguably the simplest way to ripen mangoes. Just leave unripe mangoes in your fruit basket at room temperature for a few days until they ripen. Even though this method is pretty time-consuming and can take a few days, it does yield the best results.
Put Them in a Paper Bag
If you don’t want to wait too long for the mangoes to ripen, then you can put them in a paper bag or use a newspaper to tightly wrap them in. Leave the mangoes undisturbed overnight.
Take the mangoes out of the bag or newspaper when they start giving off that signature fruity aroma and feel soft to the touch. To further speed up the ripening process, you can add apples and bananas to the paper bag.
Place the Mangoes in a Bowl of Uncooked Rice
Alternatively, you can put unripe mangoes in a large bowl of uncooked rice. Just like the fruits mentioned above, rice will help ripen the mangoes. Make sure to check the mangoes every 6 to 8 hours. They will ripen within a day or two at most.
Do I Keep Mangoes in the Refrigerator?
When it comes to unripe mangoes, don’t put them in your fridge as the refrigerator will stop their ripening process.
As for fully ripe mangoes, you can easily store them in the fridge to ensure that they remain fresh. Whole mangoes that are fully ripe can be stored in the fridge for about 6 days.
As for peeled and cubed mangoes, it’s better to eat them right away or freeze them to use in milkshakes and smoothies. This is because when cubed mangoes are stored in the fridge, they tend to oxidize, which causes them to change color— they turn brownish-yellow. Even though these mangoes are safe to eat, they do look a bit unappetizing.
The Bottom Line
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to store mangoes. When it comes to unripe mangoes, store them at room temperature. As for ripened mangoes, you can store them in the fridge.
To enjoy mangoes off-season, peel and cut them and then freeze them in Ziploc bags. Make sure to follow the tips that I’ve mentioned to pick out and keep mangoes fresh. Follow the aforementioned ways to ripen mangoes.