When I was a junior in high school, I ventured to St. Lucia for a summer to do a community service program. I spent the summer with about 15 other high school students who I met for the first time, and we worked on building a cafeteria for the kids at a local school in a very poor community.
We lived with the local families, ate their food, and were truly engrossed in their culture. It was an eye opening experience, one that provided me with a new perspective and amazing memories.
During our long days working on the cafeteria- mixing cement and laying bricks- the locals would climb up these huge mango trees and toss down head-sized mangoes for us to eat as snacks.
There was no such thing as cutting these mangoes. We would savagely tear them apart with our hands, peel back the skin and aggressively chomp at the mangoes. Our mango eating skills progressed over time, but there was still no way to do it without getting deliciously messy. We would emerge from eating the mangoes with our face covered in juice and our shirts dripping with yellow/orange.
Whenever I eat a mango, I think of those intensely sunny days in St. Lucia, so far removed from America and everything I knew. What an amazing summer that was.
I still don’t really know how to cut a mango. I did make an attempt, but what is the fun in eating a mango without getting a little messy anyway! I hope you enjoy this simple recipe. Sometimes just spicing up a basic breakfast with a tropical fruit bursting with flavor can make a day feel special. Especially when it comes with a trip down memory lane 🙂
Mango Coconut Oatmeal
- 1/3 or 1/2 cup oats
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup cottage cheese (I added this for protein, but no need to put it in if that grosses you out!)
- 1 mango, chopped. I used a smaller champagne mango, but any ripe mango will do.
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
1. Add oats and water to a small pot. Bring to a boil and stir for about 3 or 4 minutes until water is absorbed to your liking.
2. Add cottage cheese. Stir in for about 30 seconds.
3. Pour oats into a bowl.
4. Add chopped mango and sprinkle with coconut. Relish in the beautiful colors and tropical flavors. Pretend like you are on a beach vacation!