We all know that mangoes don’t last that long. When they are in season they are plentiful and relatively cheap. And if you’re like me, take advantage of a good deal when you see one. So you couldn’t resist these mangoes when they were sold at your local grocery store or fruit stand.
Or maybe you have a few mango trees in your garden and the harvest this year is overwhelming.
Whatever the case, you ended up with more mangoes than you can use before they go bad. And you want to save them all for later. You’ve already seen them frozen in the supermarket, so the only question you have is: how do you freeze mangoes?
In this guide, we’ll cover the options for freezing and thawing fruit, and what to expect once thawed. If that’s what you’re looking for, read on.
Can you freeze mangoes?
Usually, fresh fruit can be distinguished from frozen and thawed. And for some uses it makes a difference, for others not so much.
With the mango, the thawed fruit is a little softer, but the flavor is largely the same. Thawed mango chunks look like this:
As you can see, after defrosting, there is some water in the container. If you plan to use frozen mango in a fruit salad, thaw and strain before adding to the bowl. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a super soft salad, and nobody likes that.
Frozen and thawed mango works just as well as a fresh mango in cooked or mixed dishes. But when it comes to eating them as is or tossing them in a salad, it’s a matter of personal preference.
How to freeze mango
Before you start preparing, make sure your mangoes are ripe. Ignore the color because a ripe mango will not be evenly colored. Gently squeeze the thickest part to feel ripeness, similar to a peach. The mangoes should yield a little. If it’s your very first mango, don’t think too much about it. The more mangoes you go through in your life, the better you’ll be able to tell if it’s ripe or not.
Now that you know it’s ripe, it’s time to choose the freezing method. In this guide, we’ll go through three methods: freezing the diced or chunky fruit in simple syrup, or pureeing the mangoes.
The first is the least time-consuming and best if you don’t plan on freezing the mangoes for a long period of time (say half a year or more). Freezing in sugar syrup requires a little more handling time, but the fruit retains its quality better over the long term. Finally, if your plan calls for pureeing the mangoes, you can do so immediately and freeze the mangoes as is. In this way, it is immediately ready for use after defrosting.
Freeze sliced or chunked mango
This one is super easy and allows you to only thaw as much of the fruit as you need at one time, making it quite versatile. And that’s how it works:
- Peel the mango and cut the flesh of the fruit into chunks, slices or strips. The size and shape of each piece is up to you. Think about how you plan to use the mangoes once they have been thawed and choose accordingly. If you don’t have any fixed plans, relatively small cubes are suitable for almost all purposes.
- Take a baking sheet and line it with a silicone mat. If you don’t have one that fits in your freezer, use a casserole dish or other flat dish that fits in the freezer. If you don’t already have a silicone mat, use parchment paper instead.
- Arrange the chunks or slices on the baking sheet so that they don’t interfere with each other.
- Place them in the freezer and leave them there until the fruit freezes. I usually leave them there overnight.
- Pour the frozen fruit into freezer bags. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bags tightly. Place the pouches in the freezer for long-term storage. If necessary, label the containers so you know what’s inside and when you frozen it.
That’s it. Pretty easy, right?
Freezing Mango in Simple Syrup
This method requires a little more time. For this reason, I only recommend them if you want the mangoes to retain the best possible quality and you plan to keep them in the freezer for a long time. If storage is short (a couple of months at most) or if the recipe doesn’t rely on the texture of the mangoes, it may not be worth the effort.
- Peel the mango and cut into pieces. Size and shape are also freely selectable here.
- Prepare simple syrup. All you need is lukewarm water and sugar. You can read more about the different types of syrups at the National Center for Home Food Preservation ( NCHFP) website. For bonus points, you can add 1 teaspoon of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) ( UM) for every 4 cups of syrup.
- Mix the solution until the sugar dissolves and the liquid is clear.
- Place the fruit in one or more airtight containers and cover with the syrup. Be sure to leave some headroom in the container as water expands as it freezes.
- Seal the container and place in the freezer. Make sure he stays upright until he freezes. If you find it useful, include a label with the name and date for future reference.
Not sure which type of plain syrup to choose? There is no best for freeze mango. If you freeze this fruit often, try different varieties and compare the results. If this is your first time freezing them, try the medium syrup and see how it goes.
Freezing pureed mango
If you only have some leftover mango after making a fruit salad or decorating a cake, processing it into a mango puree might be the way to go. Ditto if you need it mixed for the recipe; You can also make it before freezing and have it ready to use after thawing. How to proceed:
- Peel the mangoes, cut them into chunks and put them in a blender. The more powerful your blender, the larger the chunks can be.
- Blend until smooth.
- Pour the liquid into freezer-safe containers.
- Label the containers if necessary and place in the freezer.
When choosing containers and bottling, think about how you intend to use the puree. If it’s going to be used in a smoothie, it makes sense to break it up into portions large enough for a single smoothie. If you only need a tiny amount at a time, ice cube trays work great.
Read Also: Can you freeze buttermilk?
How to thaw frozen mango?
Now it’s time to thaw the fruit. There are several methods to choose from:
- Thaw in the fridge. The fridge is the safest way to thaw just about anything). Its only downside is that it takes quite a long time to thaw. Set out the bag or container the night before you need it and let the fridge do its work overnight.
- Use cold water. If you are in a hurry, cold water is the best choice. Prepare a pot of cold tap water and immerse the fruit in it. It should be ready within an hour, around 3 or 4 hours depending on how deep you defrost.
- Skip the thaw and toss it as is. With smoothies or cooked dishes, just like smoothies, defrosting is often not necessary. If you throw frozen mango in a smoothie, add a little less ice than usual and you should be fine. For cooked dishes, add a few minutes of cooking time to adjust to the icy mango.
How to use frozen and thawed mango?
There are quite a few ways to use thawed mango (and thawed fruit in general). Below are some of the most popular ideas:
- Make a smoothie. The traditional way to use frozen fruit is to add it to your morning smoothie. Because everything is mixed, the slight change in texture is imperceptible. Also goes well with pineapple and kiwi.
- Use in cooked dishes. Thawed mango should work beautifully in any cooked or baked dish that calls for this tropical fruit. The subtle change in texture and flavor won’t be noticeable, and chances are the recipe will turn out perfectly.
- Use in frozen cocktails to add extra flavor. If you leave it frozen, it will help chill the drink without diluting it with water from melting ice.
- Used in salsas. If you need a tropical punch in your salsa, thawed mango might be just what you’re looking for. Make sure it’s fully thawed and stretched before slicing and tossing in.
- Enjoy alone or toss in a fruit salad. For these purposes, the mango frozen in simple syrup is the best option. But even if you freeze them without the sugar solution, it still makes sense to try them at least once. You might find it all right.