A Local Gem

I am not going to lie there are many things about this country that I dislike… The constant traffic, the humidity, the lack of efficiency in systems, the very sad overwhelming amount of poverty… I guess these are things that most of us wish could improve. But when it comes down to it and I think of the actual land and its fruitful beauty, there is nothing I can complain about. No beach or mountainside has ever disappointed me. I am one of those people who enjoy the drive because I get to look out my window and relish in the magnificent views. Our local trees and plants are stunning, my favorite being the anahaw. And of course, one cannot talk about the wonders of the Philippines and not bring up the illustrious mango.

I don’t believe any other place in the world produces mangoes quite like we do. They are sweet and juicy, just bursting with the most refreshing flavor. Now that it is summer, I find them to be the most satisfying dessert. My favorite way to have them is completely frozen. A few weeks ago I was given a kaing of fresh and ripe mangoes flown in from Guimaras. This province has 8,000 hectares of mango orchards, which is why it is also known as “Mango Country.” I knew I would never be able to eat them all before they went over ripe so I peeled them and threw them in the freezer. Now I get to have a delicious cold treat, perfect for when the heat becomes too much to bear.

Another treat I make with mangoes are popsicles for my kids. When I was young, my Yaya and I would make the same recipe but stick it in a plastic bag and call it ice candy. Because I am working with children, I like to get a bit crafty. Here is a fun activity that will not only keep them occupied but assure you of a healthier alternative to store bought frozen treats. These homemade goodies have no added sugar or preservatives. It also allows you to control the amount of added fat and how many ounces per pop.

Ingredients:

2 ripe mangoes

2 under ripe mangoes (I like those that are already yellow in color but still firm and with a hint of sourness to the taste)

½ cup evaporated milk (feel free to substitute skim milk or even water for a healthier alternative)

Procedure:

  1. Slice mangoes and remove meat from skin. (I save the meat on the seed and consume it separately)
        2. Blend mango with milk until it becomes a smooth consistency.
        3. Pour equal amounts into 6 small plastic cups.
        4. Cover each cup with plastic wrap and secure with a rubber band. (This will keep the stick in the center)
          5. Insert popsicle sticks.
         6. Freeze overnight.

Comments

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