Are you vegan but have a strong craving for pulled pork sliders? Jackfruit to the rescue.
Jackfruit is an exotic fruit that grows primarily in the tropical regions. The fruit shares some properties with meat, making it the go-to choice for vegans when they crave for meat.
It has a characteristic sweet flavor and can be utilized in a wide range of recipes. Its ability to take on flavors naturally and adapt with various cuisines has made the jackfruit quite popular. It’s also high in nutrients and offers a variety of health benefits.
What Is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is indigenous to southern India. It belongs to the Moraceae plant family, along with fig, mulberry, and breadfruit. The exterior of the jackfruit is prickly and green or yellow in hue.
The flavor of the fruit is subtly sweet and fruity. Its flavor is comparable to a variety of fruits, including apples, pineapples, mangoes, and bananas.
The fruit has a texture like shredded flesh, and its ability to absorb and complement a variety of flavors have made it a favorite meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians. Although it’s grown in tropical regions, the fruit is available in most regions.
How to Cook Jackfruit?
Most recipes call for boxed or canned jackfruit, which may be sauteed with spices and other ingredients in a skillet.
As the ripe fruit is quite sweet, use it in smoothies or sweet dishes. It can also be mixed into yogurt or porridge. Raw jackfruit has more of a subtly sweet flavor that goes well with curries and other savory dishes.
A highly versatile ingredient, this fruit can be incorporated into almost any dish. Cook it with vegetables and seasonings, and you can use it as a filling for jackfruit tacos. It can also be used in curries and soups.
Its seeds are yummy too. They can be roasted or boiled before being seasoned and eaten as a snack. You can even make hummus with the seeds.
What are the Health Benefits of Jackfruit?
The nutritional profile of jackfruit is pretty impressive. It has a moderate calorie count, with 155 in a one-cup (165 gram) portion. Carbohydrates account for around 92% of the calories. It has more than three grams of protein per cup, which is quite high compared to other fruits and vegetables.
The fruit provides a good amount of all essential vitamins and minerals. It also provides a generous helping of antioxidants. That makes the fruit a good option to improve immunity naturally. Its potassium and fiber content make it a great nutrition source for heart health.
A very important characteristic of the fruit is that it’s extremely beneficial for people with diabetes. Research has shown that consuming the fruit regularly can help with long-term blood sugar control and management.
Risks and Considerations
Although jackfruit is quite harmless, some people may need to limit or avoid it. People allergic to birch pollen may be allergic to this fruit.
Furthermore, due to jackfruit’s ability to lower blood sugar levels, people with diabetes may need to have their medication dosages adjusted if they consume this fruit regularly.
Nonetheless, consuming the fruit has never been linked with any major adverse effects, and it’s generally considered safe to consume.
How to Prepare Jackfruit?
Ripe jackfruit is very sweet and can be eaten as it is. The raw fruit can be cooked with a variety of spices into a curry, or the flesh can be baked like meat.
To cook it, the fruit needs to be prepared. If you’re prepping the fruit from scratch, wear some gloves, or oil your hands with a viscous oil like olive or avocado oil, as the innards of the raw jackfruit can be sticky.
Cut the fruit in half, and separate the yellow fruit pods and seeds from the skin and core. That can be done with a knife or your bare hands. After you cut the fruit into pieces, boil them on a stove, and strain.
The fruit is now ready to be used in any dish. If you wish to avoid all the initial preperation (we don’t blame you; it can be quite time consuming), you can buy canned versions or pre-prepped fruit from the market.
The ripe fruit can be cooked into sweet dishes. The raw fruit is mostly cooked into savory meals.
How to Store Jackfruit?
The fruit can be purchased raw, canned, or preseasoned and can be consumed raw or cooked. The canned version is best if you’re looking to store it at home. You can also prepare the raw fruit at home by chopping, boiling, and freezing it.