Mango Bread

July 22: National Mango Day

Our elderly neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. O, who live across the cul-de-sac of Islander’s childhood home, have renamed their mango tree as “Mr. B’s mango tree” after Islander’s Daddy. He is welcome to pick all their mangos anytime. After he does that, he leaves a few on their picnic table so they can enjoy the fruits of his labor, too (and eat what their tree produced in their own back yard). He drops off the rest to other neighbors in the cul-de-sac and everyone appreciates the thoughtfulness.

One summer, there was just an overabundance of mangos and we could not eat them fast enough. So Islander decided to make mango bread with the overripe mangos and share with the neighbors, too. Mango bread is the first fruit bread she ever made as a teenager for her ‘ohana (family). Now, instead of mangos (since good ones are harder to find on the mainland), she is sharing the recipe for mango bread with the whole world (wide web).

Make mango bread for National Mango Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from “Flavors of Paradise Cookbook” by Pearl City Community Church)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ripe sweet mangos, finely chopped
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

Chop the mangos finely and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and sugar.

Mix in the oil, eggs and vanilla and stir until moistened.

Fold in the mango bits and their juices until well combined. Stir in the macadamia nuts. Place batter in a well-greased large loaf pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 45-55 minutes, testing for doneness with a toothpick.

Remove from the oven and cool slightly in the pan. Take out the mango bread from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Slice and serve. Store any leftovers in a sealed container.

Notes

  • Optional: Add ½ cup of raisins and ½ cup of coconut flakes in the batter before baking.

  • June is also National Mango Month.

  • Search our blog for more mango recipes.

Fungee

June: National Okra Month

We had a few pods of okra left over and did not want to waste them. So we chopped them up and incorporated the little green bits into cute cornmeal balls called fungee (funjie). This simple side dish is from Antigua and Barbuda but many other Caribbean countries have a similar version. The recipe is easy, and it is often served with stews like pepperpot and fish dishes. We ate ours with grilled pork chops and bacon wrapped bananas. Savor the flavor of a year-round summer like in the Caribbean and during National Okra Month with a fun food from Antigua and Barbuda: fungee.

Recipe

(Adapted from National Foods)

Ingredients

  • 6 okra
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup cornmeal
  • butter

Directions

Chop the okra pods into small rings. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add salt. Then cook the okra in the salted water for about 5 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.

In the same pot, add the remaining 2 cups of water and cornmeal and keep stirring until it becomes like a thick paste consistency (5-10 minutes). Fold in the okra.

Add a little more water if the paste is too dry. Generously butter a small deep bowl. Scoop a handful size of paste and form a rough ball shape. Place in the buttered bowl and swirl it around quickly to keep the round shape. Place each on a flat surface. Serve warm.

Firni

(Afghani Milk Pudding)

June 1: World Milk Day

When we dine(d) at Afghani restaurants in Houston, Texas, Salt Lake City, Utah, and Chicago, Illinois, we always finished our meal with dessert (as we do at all other restaurants we visit!). Because we are full after eating kabobs and rice, a lighter milk pudding balances out our filling dinner. Islander must take her lactase enzyme to be able to eat firni. So when we make this Afghani milk pudding at home, we use lactose-free milk and she is able to enjoy it without painful digestive issues afterwards. Firni is flavored with rosewater, cardamom and nuts. The milk is thickened with cornstarch to give it a pudding consistency. This sweet and simple Afghani milk pudding is perfect for World Milk Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Afghan Kitchen Recipes)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups milk (we used lactose-free milk), divided use
  • 1 cup sugar (we reduced it to ¾ cup)
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1-2 teaspoons rosewater
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • ¼ cup pistachios, chopped finely (optional garnish)

Directions

In a large saucepan or pot, dissolve the sugar in 3 ½ cups of milk and cook over low heat to avoid burning the bottom of the pot. In a small mixing bowl, combine the remaining ½ cup of milk with ½ cup of cornstarch. Stir until smooth and slowly pour into the pot. Mix well with a whisk until the pudding has thickened. Add the rosewater.

Stir in the ground cardamom, saffron threads and silvered almonds. Cook for another minute or two. Transfer the pudding to a larger bowl, cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Ladle into dessert dishes or serving bowls. Garnish with chopped pistachios.

Notes

  • Although we have not tried substituting cow’s milk for nut milk in this recipe, almond milk would be suitable alternative to enhance the slivered almonds.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing milk.