How to Store Mangoes the Right Way

Yes, mangoes freeze well!

With peak mango season, which runs from May through September, arriving soon, we thought it would be a great time to share some mango storage tips and tricks. As any mango fiend will tell you, the healthy tropical fruits are at their best (and tastiest) once they've reached peak ripeness. While a mango that is not yet ripe often lacks the juiciness and burst of sweet, fruity flavors mangoes are known for, overripe mangoes actually begin to ferment, and tend to have a sour taste and smell.

So, how do you know when a mango is ripe? Ripe mangoes will have a yellow or orange/red exterior, as opposed to green, and will have a fruity aroma. Ripe mangoes also yield slightly to the touch when you press on them gently with your fingers, much like ripe peaches.

Now that you know how to pick out the perfect mango at the grocery store or farmers market, keep reading for some expert mango storage tips!

How to Store Mangoes

As you may have guessed, how you store mangoes depends on whether or not the mangoes are ripe. Unripe mangoes are best stored at room temperature, and not in the refrigerator. At room temperature, the fruits will continue to ripen, growing sweeter and softer over the course of a few days. To speed up the ripening process, place mangoes in a paper bag at room temperature. Once the mango yields slightly to the touch, it's ready to eat.

If your mango is already ripe, go ahead and eat it! While ripe mangoes are delicious solo, they're also a great addition to your morning smoothie, an excellent oatmeal topper, and even taste delicious when diced and baked into a cake.

Can You Store Mangoes in the Fridge?

Yes, you can totally store mangoes in the refrigerator. In fact, if you find yourself with a ripe mango that you're not quite ready to eat, go ahead and pop it in the fridge. The cool temperature inside the refrigerator will slow down the ripening process, meaning you now have a bit more time to enjoy the fruit. Whole, ripe mangoes will stay fresh in the fridge for about five days.

How to Store Cubed or Sliced Mangoes

So, you've already cut into the flesh of a mango but don't want to eat or cook with the entire fruit in one sitting? Luckily, you can store peeled and sliced (or cubed) mangoes inside an airtight food storage container in the refrigerator for about a week. Just give your sliced or cubed mango a sniff before you eat it, as it may have gone bad. If it has a sour smell, toss it.

Can You Freeze Mangoes?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze mangoes. In fact, they are one of the fruits that freeze exceptionally well. To properly freeze a mango, wait until it's ripe and then follow the steps below:

  1. Peel the ripe mango and cut it into slices or cubes.
  2. Arrange the mango pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure that none of the pieces touch each other.
  3. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least two hours, up to overnight.
  4. Once the fruit pieces are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and squeeze as much air out of the bag as possible. Seal the bag tightly and label it with the date.

When frozen using this method, mango will stay fresh for up to six months. To defrost frozen mango, simply put it in the refrigerator overnight or place the bags of frozen mango chunks in a pot of cold water. The fruit should be fully defrosted in about three hours.

Mango that has been frozen and defrosted is often slightly mushier than fresh mango, but still has a very similar taste to the fresh fruit, meaning it's great to use in smoothies, frozen cocktails, or baked goods.

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