Friday, June 25, 2010

You mango me crazy...

For the almost half of my life, I did not eat mangoes. I am not sure I had even heard of them until high school and the first time I tasted one it came from a jar and was packed in syrup. Since then, they have become pretty popular. They grace our smoothies, shampoos and flavor chewing gum. My kids love them and from Cinco de Mayo through the summer they are pretty affordable. Their health benefits are numerous: they contain phenols, a powerful antioxidant; they are high in iron; and contain vitamins A, E and selenium to name a few. So why do I HATE mangoes? Have you ever tried to peel and cut one? In the photo, you can clearly see the pit, yet whenever I cut one the only way I can distinguish the pit from the fruit is when my knife hits it. I have seen cooking shows where they score it in the peel and one well-placed horizontal slice yields perfect cubes, yet I have never had this work in real life. I have tried peeling and then slicing only to have mush on my knife and juice running down my arm. It's for these reasons that I avoid making mango salsa, mango smoothies or just buying them to snack on. They beckon you with their beautiful skins, painted various hues of red and green while concealing their golden-orange flesh which is so difficult to remove that you need to be a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu just to try. In spite of all these negative reasons I was convinced to buy some by a pleading seven-year-old boy and a very attractive sale price. I wish I could say this time was different but I could barely harvest enough flesh out of three of them to produce 2 cups of puree for ice cream. According to the recipe, three mangoes should have yielded enough for the puree and 1 1/2 cups diced to serve with the ice cream. Stinkin' mangoes!

Since our chickens began laying, we have had an abundance of eggs. So much so that we can usually give away a dozen a week. We scramble them, fry them, bake them, feed them to the dogs and sometimes even to the chickens. I've made chiffon cake, angel food cake and several quiches. Now that it is summer, egg production has gone down just when I found a new thing to do with them. My friend has a food blog and posted this recipe for mini frittatas. They were so easy to make and I substituted bacon and cheddar for the ham and parmesan since those were the ingredients I had on hand. They bake in a mini muffin pan so you don't have to worry about having the middle loose or your oven on for an hour in the summer. They were a big hit with my family and needless to say, we had no leftovers.

Speaking of eggs, remember how they were bad for you because of the cholesterol and needed to be avoided or at least consumed in moderation? Well avoid them no more, they are good for you! The whites contain the most perfect form of protein you can consume and the yokes are an egg-cellent source of choline, a nutrient required for healthy liver function among other things. New studies show that they may even reduce your risk of heart disease. History has demonstrated that food dietary guidelines fluctuate with the current scientific studies and hypotheses so how can we know what is best to eat? Don't be swayed by the trends and processed foods with healthy things added in. If it looks close to how it was created in nature, how could it be wrong?

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