The struggle is real when it comes to cutting a mango. This delicious fruit is so high-maintenance! If you’re working on a mango recipe, peeling the mangoes will definitely slow down your prep time.
It’s no wonder this extra step leaves many home cooks wondering, can you eat mango skin?
Can You Eat the Skin of a Mango?
There are some fruits and vegetables you shouldn’t peel and some that you definitely should—so where do mangoes fall? As with all tropical fruits, they should be peeled, because the skin is hard to chew and digest and it has a slightly bitter taste.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t eat mango skin. It’s certainly not toxic and may even have some hidden health benefits.
Benefits of Eating Mango Skin
Just like the delicious fruit inside, mango skin is packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. In fact, according to a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “functional compounds in the peel, including protocatechuic acids, mangiferin and β-carotene, are known for their antimicrobial, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties.” Evidence also suggests that mango peel powder can decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad kind) and triglycerides while increasing good cholesterol levels.
Drawbacks of Eating Mango Skin
The first drawback is the taste and texture. If that doesn’t bother you, then know that mango skin may contain the residue of pesticides that were used to treat the crops. If you’re going to eat the skin, remove that pesticide residue with a produce cleaner or by soaking the mangoes in a bowl of water mixed with a cup of white vinegar first.
How to Eat Mango Skin
Sure, you could bite into a whole mango and grin and bear it, but a more pleasant option may be blending the unpeeled fruit into a mango smoothie to disguise the texture. Or use the mango skin to make syrup for cocktails. You can also toss them with your favorite spices and turn them into mango chips. Or, you know, throw the mango skin in the compost heap.
Mango Desserts That Taste Like Sunshine
This fresh, luscious tart makes me happy! —Jami Geittmann, Art Director, Taste of Home Magazine
This recipe was inspired by my friend who asked me to make a mango cake. It's easy to prepare, refreshing, light, and tastes absolutely fantastic. Strawberries can be used as well. —Rachel Simoneau, Danbury, Connecticut
As a nice contrast to traditional desserts, this Thai mango sticky rice
recipe is a refreshing treat with a sweet and simple sauce that perks up your post-dinner taste buds.—Monnie Norasing, Mansfield, Texas
These tender dumplings in a chunky fruit sauce are loaded with vitamins C and A, helpful in nourishing and protecting skin. —Roxanne Chan, Albany, CA
All the fun flavors of Puerto Rico come together in a dessert that's both exotic and familiar. Topped with a brown sugar rum sauce, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. —Jennifer Jackson, Keller, Texas
This was the first pie I created myself. Mangoes are one of my favorite fruits, and they deserve to be represented in a pie. Of course, everything is better with coconut. —Jennifer Worrell, Niles, Illinois
I’ve always thought that a ribbon cookie is especially nice. Although it’s a single cookie, it really seems like two or three different cookies because of its lovely layers of flavor. These refrigerated ribbon cookies have a rich chocolate layer balanced by a bright orange-mango layer—a very special combination. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota
Homemade marshmallows are much better than bagged ones. I had yummy results when I flavored my recipe with mango nectar. Look for it in your store’s Mexican food section. —Deirdre Cox, Kansas City, Missouri
I’ve always enjoyed the flavor of mango, so I created this recipe to feature the sweet tropical fruit. —Patricia Harmon, Baden, Pennsylvania
This is fresh, really simple and will keep in a freezer container…if you don’t eat it all the first day. —Sandra Vachon, Saint-Constant, Quebec
Mangoes are my son's favorite fruit, so I was ecstatic to incorporate them into a healthy dessert. You can also use ripe bananas instead of mango, almond extract instead of vanilla or regular milk in place of soy. —Melissa McCabe, Victor, New York
This fruitcake not only can be made weeks ahead, it tastes better that way! You can substitute Brazil nuts, pecans and hazelnuts for the walnuts—or use a combination of nuts. —Jason Boor, Manchester, New York
Here's an all-around wonderful dessert recipe that's easy to whip up and packed with fruity flavor. —Katie Rose, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Your guests will be delighted with my bars. They are packed with nuts and dried fruit. I think that when you take a bite of this treat it’s like a mini-vacation to a Polynesian paradise. —Jeanne Holt, Mendota Heights, Minnesota