Cole’s Mango Madness

If you asked Cole what his favorite fruit in the world was, he would definitely say “Mango!”

And really, how can you blame him? They’re perfectly appealing to a kid. Very sweet, soft, and slippery, a mango is truly a golden treasure.

But mangoes have their difficulties, too. While not so maddeningly frustrating as, say, Cole’s second favorite fruit, the pomegranate, mangoes are not particularly fun to prepare. They’re so incredibly juicy and sticky that they give me literal nightmares. They also have the oddest seed of all plants, a oval-shaped oversized disk thing you have to hunt for with a knife. Finally, they have an almost avocado-short ripe window. Wait a few extra hours and you have mush.

But, to appease our son, we have discovered some alternative methods to deliver on his favorite mango flavor without the complications!

Frozen Mangoes

At our local Trader Joes and Whole Foods, they have bags of frozen organic mangoes for relatively cheap. We’ve found the perfect use for them: smoothies!

Mango Strawberry Smoothie at PaleoParents

These drinks pack quite a punch of flavor, but do not mistake them for a low calorie “diet” food. There’s enough fruit sugar and healthy fats from coconut milk in there to make a meal! If your children seem endlessly hungry, coconut milk smoothies are a great way to satiate their endless appetite!

Mango Strawberry Coconut Milk Smoothie


  • 1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk
  • 1 C mango, diced and frozen
  • 1/2 C strawberries, diced
  • 1 banana, chunked and frozen


  1. Pour coconut milk into blender bowl.
  2. Add fruits and push gently down with a spatula.
  3. Blend on high until completely smooth.

Mango Strawberry Smoothie on PaleoParents

As you can see, this drink is a big hit! And no, Finn still doesn’t like wearing jammies.

Dried Mangoes

We stumbled upon dried mangoes when we discovered that Steve’s Paleo Goods actually sells them without added sugar!

After eating them plain for several weeks, we realized we could do our Apple Pie Balls, a nut-free Larabar type snack, with the dried mangoes too! We served these at a book signing last month and they got the seal of approval from quite a few kiddos and parents. This would be a great energizing snack for picnics and lunch boxes since it can sit at room temperature!

Coles Mango Snack Balls on PaleoParents

Coleโ€™s Mango Snack Balls


  • 1/2 C dried Mango
  • 1 C fresh dates
  • 3/4 C banana chips
  • 1/2 C sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 C coconut flakes


  1. In a food processor, pulse mangoes and dates to form a paste.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated and evenly distributed.
  3. Roll into one inch balls by hand.

Coles NutFree Mango Snack Balls on PaleoParents

We hope you enjoy these alternative ways to eat mango as much as Cole! If you’d like another great recipe and our advice on how to prepare fresh mango, check out our recipe for Mango Sticky (not) Rice!

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  • Jessica Lynn

    Hello! Love the smoothie recipe! Does it have to be canned coconut milk or can it be fresh? Is there a difference?

    • Canned full fat seems to be richer than homemade in most cases, but should still work.

  • haha, straw-berry… haha…. I’m tired…

  • Erin

    Trader Joes has “just mangos” no sugar or anything else added. Love all these ball snack variations! Where do you get your unsweetened banana chips?

  • Stephanie

    I wish I could find dried fruit that isn’t covered in sugar, even at whole foods I can’t find any ๐Ÿ™

  • jen m.

    Which food processor do you use? Mine sounds (and smells!) like it’s going to blast off when I blend harder or thick items like almonds, dries mango, dates, etc. I really want to be able to make nut butters and things without ruining my food processor! It would be awesome to have one machine for blending and mixing up items such as these snacks balls, without spending $500. Any ideas?

  • Tara S

    Soooo…when I made the banana bread balls, everything came to a beautiful “crumb” in my Blendtec. The last two times I’ve made this type of snack, it has gotten to a SUPER thick paste that makes the “blade” just spin without touching the fruit…could I be adding too many dates, maybe? Do you pack the dates into a measuring cup (that’s what I did), or do you just toss ’em in there?

    • This happened to us… on stage at Paleo FX this past year! Talk about embarrassment! Yes, that can happen if there are too many dates. We only lightly pack our dates and, if they form a paste that you can’t use in the food processor, we sometimes make the crumble of the dry ingredients and knead it into the dates by hand. Hope that makes sense!

      • Tara S

        Perfect sense. I’ll fiddle with my date ratio, lol. P.S. They are SO good. ๐Ÿ˜€ We’re going to a hockey tournament about a 7 hour drive from here and on a Whole 30…We’re so panicked that we’re going to be stuck somewhere and hungry that we’re taking tons of little snacky things. It was unanimous that we should bring “Paleo Parent Balls”…*pause for hysterical laughter* …and Pumpkin Pucks. You are life-savers! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Rennie

    Quick question: Do you fridge your coconut milk first?

    • When we use frozen fruit and pantry coconut milk works fine for us, but wouldn’t hurt to use it cold ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Mary

    The coconut milk smoothie is great! I wanted a weekend breakfast treat that didn’t involve baking, since I get tired of eggs (my go-to weekday breakfast). I used 3/4 cup homemade coconut milk, roughly 1/2 cup each frozen mangoes & strawberries, 1/2 banana, & 1 scoop of my husband’s Source Naturals vanilla whey powder (from grass-fed cows) to give it something extra. I also threw in 3 ice cubes. It made a ton, probably 16-20 oz. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Trisha Woolever

    Any estimate on how many ounces that recipe yields………. or how many cups. Looks like a LOT (?)

  • Beckie Horner

    Hi there! When you say “fresh” dates – do you mean non-dried?

  • Hailey

    Where do you get dried whole bananas from??