Mango ripening – Don’t judge a mango by its colour.

A ripe mango means that summer is at its peak. Mangoes are good to eat with just about anything.

Picking Mangoes in Queensland

Picking Mangoes in Queensland

  • As they are with the juice running down your chin.
  • Cut into cubes laced with some Country Valley yogurt.
  • Made into ice cream.
  • In a salad with coriander, basil and mint.
  • A salsa with some finely chopped red onion and herbs, and place on top of grilled chicken or fish.
  • A fruit salad with passion fruit pulp, papaya, lime juice, lime zest, basil and mint.



A mango with a blush on its cheek is ripe. However, don’t be fooled with a slightly green mango. Feel if they have as this can also be ready to eat. It is more the feel of a mango. If it has a little give then begin slicing. Always ripen at room temperature – pop on top of pears or apples. Once ripe then into the fridge momentarily until ready to eat.

Smell the mango. A ripe mango smells fruity (sniff at the stem end) the fruit giving a tad when you press it.  A light or darker green mango will be ready to eat if it smells ripe.  So for mango ripening- don’t judge a mango by its colour.

Slightly Green ready to eat. Feel if they have give.

Slightly Green ready to eat. Feel if they have give.

SPEED RIPENING – You can speed ripen by putting an unripe mango in a brown paper bag with a banana.  Ripe mangoes keep longer at 14 to 15 degrees so once tripe into the fridge. Want to keep it for months so you can use on demand? Then peel, chop and freeze a mango in an airtight container, it will keep for 6 months.

IDEA: put into ice cube trays then once frozen into a zip lock bag. An ideal treat for the kids or self when you want something sweet. Also, slice the cheeks off and place freezer paper between them.  Freeze them and use them for that summer taste in purees, mocktails, cocktails and smoothies. Lash out and make Mango Icecream made from coconut milk –  Recipe below.

Unripe mangoes are an acquired taste and feature in Indian and Thai cuisine. Their sourness works well in a salad or chutney.

Like it Tart tasting? Use your mortar and pestle to crush two red chili peppers and 3 tablespoons of sea or kosher salt. Let the salt and chilli sit together for an hour or so.  Use as a dip for slices of unripe mango.
If you are lucky enough to have a glut of mangoes, slice the cheeks off and place freezer paper between them.  Freeze them and use them for that summer taste in purees, mocktails, cocktails and smoothies.

Mango Icecream
Recipe Type: Sweet
Cuisine: Dairy Free
Author: Harvest Hub
Make lush Mango Icecream without all the sugar. This is a dish the kids can make and pop into popsicle forms or into icetrays and give as treats.
  • 2 cans coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 cup mango, about 3 mangoes
  • 2 egg yolks, optional – this thickens it
  1. Put mango into food processor and pulse. Then add remaining ingredients and pulse. If using an icecream maker put into it and turn for about 30 minutes.
  2. If making by hand – Place in a metal or plastic dish and put into freezer. Around the 30 minutes, as it starts to freeze at the edges take it out and stir with a spatula or hand mixer. Return to freezer. Repeat process every 30 minutes for about 4 times.
Curry Prawn & Mango
Recipe Type: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Author: Harvest Hub
Very quick and easy to make. For a bit of pepper heat add chopped chillies.
  • 3-5 tbs coconut oil (Harvest Hub)
  • Curry Paste use Curry Masters Fish Goa, Harvest Hub
  • 1 can 600ml coconut milk
  • 750g peeled green king prawns
  • 2 ripe mangoes, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 cup coriander leaves, firmly packed
  • 2 limes, use one for zest grated and juiced
  • To garnish: 1 lime cut onto 4 wedges
  • Jasmine Rice
  1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the paste 2-3 minutes.Add the prawns and coconut milk and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the prawns are just cooked through. Add the mango and the coriander leaves and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Serve with steamed jasmine rice and garnish with lime wedges.


Not all gas is bad…

The word gas tends to conjure a multitude of images ranging from your heater to, well … let’€™s just call them – smells!

In fact, when it comes to ripening fruit and vegetables ethylene gas, a naturally occurring ripening hormone, really is your best friend.

Did you know that no avocados ripen on trees? It is the action of picking that ‘triggers’€™ the process that ripens the fruit. They are sent to the market unripened to assist with transport and to prevent them from bruising.

How then can you turn your unripe avocados into ‘€˜Guacamole’€™?

The thing that helps avocados ripen and in fact lots of other fruits and veg, is ethylene. It is naturally omitted when plants are ripe, damaged or stressed. You know that old saying ‘One bad apple spoils the barrel’€, well that refers to the fact that a rotting apple emits ethylene causing the others to ripen quickly. When we touch a pallet of mangoes they are warm as they are naturally ripening.

Ancient Egyptians and the ancient Chinese both recorded farming techniques that used natural ethylene to ripen fruit such as bananas, mangoes, tomatoes and avocados.

Large supermarket chains use an ‘artificial’€™ ethylene gas to ripen. The reason being is so that they can control their supply chain. Into cold storage and limbo, then out to ethylene chambers to ripen the produce quickly. This is why the fruit and veg doesn’t last very long on the shelf and in the fridge.

Harvest Hub produce has only being picked within days by the Grower which means, sometimes, the fruit might need to be naturally ripened. There is no supply chain – no storage. Just fresh seasonal produce. So go the natural and seasonal way by using nature’€™s ripening tool – just put the avocado in a paper bag with a ripe banana, apple or kiwi fruit and let the naturally occurring ethylene do its thing.

Now. Did someone say ‘Guacamole’?

Guacamole Dome with Tortilla Wedges (a variation on the theme)

Serves 6:

  • 1 cup corn oil
  • 8 corn tortilla, each cut into 12 slim wedges
  • 2-3 ripe avocados
  • ½ medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 -2 Jalapeno peppers, deseeded and finely chopped (replace with red capsicum if not want hot)
  • 1/3 cup of cilantro (basil) or flat leaf parsley
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

In a fry pan heat oil over medium heat. Fry tortilla wedges in batches until crisp. With a slotted spoon transfer to paper towel and drain.

Cut avocados in half and remove pits. Scoop out avocado and put in a bowl to mash with a fork. Add onion, peppers, coriander or parsley, lime juice and salt. Mix well. Stir in tomato gently -€“ do not muddy colour.

On a platter mound guacamole in the centre with a dome, Place cucumber slices around the edge. Arrange tortilla wedges points up all over the dome in pincushion fashion. Serve.

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Vegetables breathe too!

How to make your vegetables last

Put your carrots in a sealed bag.

Harvested vegetables ‘breathe’  – yes, after they have been picked and it’s how we store them that determines their longevity. Do they really breathe? They respire, giving off a ripening plant hormone known as ethylene.

Fruit give off lots of ethylene gas and this can cause deterioration in vegetables. That’s why you store your fruit and veggies in different areas of the fridge. Maybe we need to know a little more about which fruits and veggies to put side by side and which ones need to be in different environments. Simply put: keep heavy ‘breathers’ away from ‘light breathers’.


Make up several small fruit bowls with high breathers in one and low breathers in another.

To ripen an avocado, for example, pop it into a paper bag with an apple, pear or banana outside of the fridge and in 2 to 4 days it will be ripe.Or pop it on top of the apple bowl. When it is ripe put it into the fridge.

We know that the cold temperature of your refrigerator slows the respiration of fruit and vegetables.

A suggestion – Don’t wash your vegetables before you put them in the fridge. Water sits on the vegetable or fruit and stops them from ‘breathing’ plus it encourages bacteria to activate which will speed up the wilting process. So leave the dirt on and also leave the outer leaves on – they are nature’s packaging. That’s why we leave as much as possible there for you.

So it seems there are four main factors to consider: Light (especially for potatoes; temperature; moisture in the air; air circulation – drying out of the produce.

STORAGE methods for:
Some vegetables need to be kept out of moist environments and beans are one that prefer air circulation. They are known as Medium breathers. Put them in a container but leave one end of the lid up so air can flow in. The beans will last for over a week that way. Both broccoli and sweetcorn  like plenty of air circulation but don’t want to dry out.
On the other hand, some stored vegetables like a moist environment. The refrigerator can dry out the vegetables. Ever wondered why they become flippy floppy in the crisper? Without humidity they will quickly shrivel and lose quality. Place those vegetables in a polyethylene bag and make 1cm holes in the sides of the bag to allow for ventilation.
Carrots like to be in a closed moist environment and will stay firm if you pop them into a bag – not the crisper.
Lettuce are medium breathers and like a half open/half closed atmosphere.
To keep herbs use a ventilated bag with a slightly moistened towel or pop them in a glass of water standing in the fridge.
Store unripe tomatoes with fruit so that they can ripen – in a paper bag with an apple or banana which releases the ripening agent ethylene gas. Now tomatoes will lose flavour going into the fridge but if the hot weather hits it might be a good idea. Store fruit in the fridge only after they have ripened.
Don’t sit bananas on top of other fruit or that fruit just won’t last the distance.


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