Mango, like most fruit, is one of those things you purchase with the good intentions of making all kinds of nutritious smoothies, or delicious cakes and salads, only to find it’s gone bad before you even get around to using it.
A good way to get around this issue is to freeze your mango, which means you can enjoy the fruit not only when it’s in-season but all year-round.
Mangos can be frozen whole or in chunks or puree - with the latter two being a more convenient way to preserve the flavor and save you time later on.
But regardless of which way you choose to freeze your mango, you can’t simply stick it in the freezer and hope for the best.
Keep reading to find out more about how to effectively freeze, and defrost, this succulent fruit so you preserve it for months on end.
How to freeze mango
You can freeze mango whole, but it can be difficult to cut later on and will take on a slightly different texture when thawed, not only this, but it'll also take up more freezer space.
Your best bet is to instead freeze your mango in chunks or puree to save you time and effort later on.
To freeze mango chunks:
You’ll need: a knife, a vegetable slicer, and a corn holder
- First, wash your mango thoroughly and dry it off.
- Next, you’ll need to peel your mango with a vegetable peeler to remove the skin.
- Slice off the top and bottom of the mango with a knife, then insert a corn holder from one end to steady the mango while you slice it.
- Slice off the cheeks of the mango
- Carefully cut off the flesh from the pit
- Now you can cut the mango up into your desired sized slices or chunks.
- Once cut to size, place the chunks or slices on a baking tray and freeze them for 3-5 hours so they turn firm. This process is supposed to prevent the mango pieces from clumping together which can make it harder to separate later on.
- Once your mango is firmly frozen, transfer the pieces into a zip-lock freezer bag or container and label it with the date before storing them in your freezer until you wish to use them.
To freeze mango puree:
You’ll need all of the above, as well as a food blender or processor
If you have some mango scraps or chunks leftover from a recipe, you can make them into a simple puree which will save you time in the future.
Cut your mango into chunks if you haven’t already done so. The more powerful your blender or processor, the larger your chunks can be.
Whizz the mango pieces into a smooth puree using a food processor or blender.
Once blended, you can transfer the puree to a freezer bag or airtight container and label it with the date.
And it’s as simple as that: just pop your container or bag into the freezer and you’re good to go.
How to defrost mango
Defrosting mango couldn’t be easier, but there are a few different methods to choose from…
Thaw in the fridge: this is the safest way to defrost pretty much anything, though it’s not so convenient if you need the mango at short notice, as it can take a few hours to fully thaw in the fridge. Ideally, place the bag or container in the refrigerator the night before so it’s ready for when you need it.
Use cold water: fill a pot with cold water and simply submerge the fruit in it. This can take anywhere between an hour to four hours but is usually quicker than defrosting in the refrigerator.
Skip defrosting: if you’re making a smoothie or cocktail, you can simply add the frozen mango chunks or puree as they are, just add less ice than you usually would. If you’re using the mango in a cooked dish, you can also add it frozen, just allow a few extra minutes for the recipe to adjust to the icy mango.
Factors to consider before freezing mango
Method of Freezing
How you choose to freeze your mango could save you time and effort later on. For example, you’ll likely need the mango to be cut up, so it’s always best to cut your mango into chunks before freezing, as it’s much harder to cut the mango after freezing.
If you intend to puree the mango, you can do this with the frozen chunks but it may be easier to just do this before freezing, as it’ll save you prep-time when it comes to making a smoothie, cocktail or whichever recipe you choose.
This is especially handy for those early mornings when you may be in a hurry; you can simply grab your frozen pureed mango and blend it with your other ingredients.
It’s always worth planning ahead when using frozen food. Will you be able to add the frozen mango straight to your recipe, or does it require defrosting first?
If so, factor in this extra time, for example, place your frozen mango in the fridge to defrost overnight so it’s ready to use the next day.
That said, with fruit you can usually use it frozen, particularly if you’re using it in a smoothie, cocktail, or cooked meal.
On the other hand, you won’t want frozen mango in your salad, so if you're intending to use it for this it’s best to defrost it beforehand and then drain it to get rid of excess water that will make your food soggy.
If you store your mango correctly, it should last between 10-12 months, though you may notice the texture and taste is different if you leave it longer than this period.
It’s also important to ensure your mango chunks or puree is properly sealed to reduce its exposure to freezer burn.
RipenessFreeze your mangos when they’re ripe, as they’re not going to ripen in the cold!
Pick or purchase your mangos when they’re at their freshest and ripest and freeze them straight away to preserve their juiciness and flavor.
Mangos are available all year round in parts of the US, though generally, the warm summer months are when they’re at their best.
Mangos are the perfect fruit for freezing, and freezing mango chunks or puree is a great way to enjoy your favorite smoothies, salads, and recipes all year round, whilst also saving you meal prep time later on, and reducing your food waste.