From toothpaste to juice, in season mangoes offer a lot


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January is the mango season, and they are plenty in the markets, going for a song. At Sh10 each, one buys a fruit that usually goes for Sh40 when there is no excess supply.

Well, those keen to reap from the fruit this season and afterwards should consider adding value to it. Here are seven ways to add value to mangoes:

For one large ripe mango, you will need a tablespoon of sugar, one-and-half cups of water and ice cubes (optional).

Peel and cut the mango into huge chunks. Blend together with the sugar. Add the water and blend again.

Strain the juice through a sieve to remove the fibre (this stage is optional if the mango had very few fibre).

The juice is ready for serving or can further be chilled.

Choose mangoes that are ripe but not yet soft and peel the fruit. Cut the flesh into strips just a few millimetres thick.

Dry them (in solar dryers or oven drying).

The dried mangoes are ready when they feel like rubber and can be stored in plastic bags if available. If not store them in pots or gourds with lids

Candies are normally referred to as sweets or confectioneries.

It is a familiar food treat available in different varieties and flavours.

This type of candy falls under the hard category. The mango pulp is boiled until it’s hard (no added additives or preservatives).

They are left to cool in the trays, after which they are cut into different sizes and shapes.

Put three cups of vinegar and three cups of sugar into a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Peel the green fruit.

Cut the flesh into small cubes or slices. Add the cut fruit to the pan with one cup of chopped onions if available. Boil for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the mangoes are soft, add salt pepper, chopped mint and two teaspoons each of ground ginger, cinnamon (any other spices that you like). Preferably, serve warm.

Ripe mangoes are sliced into very thin pieces and blended, and the puree is then put in a clean bowl.

The cooking utensil (sufuria) is filled up with a cup of sugar and stirred continuously under medium heat until the sugar turns brown.

Thereafter, a third a cup of water is added and left for some time for the crystallised sugar to melt and mix with water.

After that the mango puree is added and stirred to mix with the solution. Stirring continues until no mango pieces are seen.

Test to know if the jam is ready by putting a drop in a cup of water. If the jam dissolves, then it is not yet ready and, therefore, is to be left to cook for some time.

Once ready, put it in a container and leave it to cool.

Boil water and when ready, add sugar and stir to make it absorb more until it becomes syrupy. Let it cool a bit, and then pour the liquid on the mashed mango inside the fermenter.

Add yeast nutrients together with the mixture in the fermenter, cover and leave it at room temperature for 24 hours.

Then add the pectin enzyme and leave it again for 12 hours. Add the wine yeast and let it work for 10 days. Squeeze the straining bag 2-3 times a day for 10 days.

On the tenth day, squeeze the straining bag until dry, then discard it and the pulp. Let everything settle overnight.

Siphon the mixture to the secondary fermenter and sieve. Store the liquid (wine) in cool place or refrigerate it.

Tooth paste from mango seed

Mango is valued as a dentifrice to heal the gums and soothe toothaches.

The benefits of mango seed may be due to the anti-bacterial properties it possesses. Seeds from all varieties of mangoes “inhibit growth of both gram negative and gram positive bacteria”.

Asians know this better and their grocers store mango seed powder for the purpose.

  • Pry open the fibrous, white, outer seed husk, using a spoon or butter knife, to access the smooth, inner seed.
  • Remove it and discard the husk. Set the seed in a shady, warm area to dry. It takes about a week for it to completely dry.
  • Once dry, it will look shrivelled and leathery and will sound hollow when you tap it.
  • Grind up the dried seeds and store in a glass jar.
    To use the mango seed powder as toothpaste, pour a small amount of the powder on the palm of your hand.
  • Moisten your toothbrush with water and dip it in the powder.
  • It will stick to the moistened toothbrush bristles. Brush your teeth as you would with ordinary toothpaste.

Ms Orwa works in the Department of Dairy, Food Science and Technology, Egerton University.

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