Freezing mango is a simple way to ensure you can continue to eat mango even during its off-season, when imported mangoes are usually more expensive. Being able to freeze mango ensures that you can take advantage of in-season sales where you can get flats of mangoes for a relatively cheap price. Mangoes can be a bit tricky to freeze because you want to be sure that they are nice and ripe, for the most part, and it’s hard to tell what the fruit will actually be like until you cut into a mango. But if you do find suitable ones, you can freeze them in halves, chunks, or a puree. You also have the option of using a syrup pack.
Image used under Creative Commons from Saad Akhtar
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Use and Texture After Thawing
Freeze only the flesh of the mango, not the skin or pit. It will be difficult to remove the peel from a frozen mango and rather messy to try to remove it from a thawed mango. Keep in mind that while you can freeze mangoes, the texture will be softer. They might not be as good to eat out of hand once thawed, but you can still use them as fruit for a cereal topping, for example. You can also use them in smoothies or ice cream recipes, or chopped into tiny bits for a mango salsa recipe.
How to Prepare Mangos For Freezing
Choose mangoes that are ripe enough to eat; wash them and peel them. Cut out the seed.
Halves or cheeks
- Place each half on a baking sheet that’s lined with parchment or wax paper, or wrap each half in freezer-safe plastic wrap.
- Place the mangoes in the freezer where they won’t be smashed by anything. Let them freeze until they are firm and don’t leave juice on your hands when you touch them.
- Place the mango halves in a freezer bag and store in the freezer until needed.
- Do not place individually wrapped halves into the bag from the start — put them through that initial separate freezing stage. If you put them all in a bag from the start, the weight of the mangoes on top will make the mangoes at the bottom freeze in a misshapen mass.
- Cut them to the size you want and spread them out on a lined baking sheet.
- Place the sheet in the freezer and wait until the chunks have frozen.
- Pour them into a freezer bag and store in the freezer until needed.
- Cut the mango halves into chunks and puree in a blender or food processor.
- Pour the puree into freezer-safe containers. Do not fill the containers all the way — leave some space at the top. The National Center for Home Food Preservation says to leave 1/2 inch in a pint container with a wide mouth, 1 inch in a quart container with a wide mouth, 3/4 inch in a pint container with a narrow mouth, and 1 1/2 inches in a quart container with a narrow mouth.
- Cover and freeze.
- Cut the mango into chunks or slices and place in a freezer container.
- Pour a sugar syrup over the mangoes.
- Cover the container tightly and store in the freezer until needed.
It’s best to thaw the mangoes in the refrigerator. Use them as soon as they’re thawed.
It can take time to fully prepare and freeze mangoes, but the reward — mangoes during the off-season — is well worth it.