What is jackfruit?
Tremendously versatile, high in magnesium, vitamin V6 and rich in antioxidants, jackfruit is a highly nutritious choice for the food lover looking for something a little different. So, what is jackfruit and where does it come from? For starters, it is the largest fruit tree in the world.. It is extremely nutritious and can be used in a long list of meat alternative food products. The plant is a member of the breadfruit family and the fruit itself is quite large growing up to three feet in length and weighing up to 100 pounds. The oblong green fruit has a fleshy exterior. When cut open the inside of the fruit reveals many edible yellow bulbs all joined at the core of the fruit. The seeds of the plant are also edible.
Jackfruit trees are amazingly productive. One plant can produce over 200 fruit in a single year.
The jackfruit tree is found in many Asian countries across Southeast Asia, particularly and is the national fruit of Bangladesh. The fruit is now grown commercially in parts of Australia and the United States such as South Florida where a tropical climate exists.
What does jackfruit taste like?
Because it is a tropical fruit many are unfamiliar with, many ask what does jackfruit taste like? Well, the most common description is that jackfruit is very similar in taste to pulled pork. Others have described a taste like pear, pineapple, banana and papaya. Young jackfruit is not as sweet and its flavour has a more neutral quality. The unripe jackfruit is often canned and advertised as green jackfruit highlighting its relative lack of sweetness. Whatever the description of the taste, one thing is for certain… it is delicious!
How to eat jackfruit?
Another common question asked is how to eat jackfruit? Well as mentioned above there are numerous ways. It can be eaten raw and fresh, added as an ingredient into wintery soups. It is also a common ingredient in chips, ice creams, jams and juices. But most commonly people add it to a sandwich due to the delicious pulled pork taste that it can provide for the vegan and vegetarian.
Does jackfruit taste like meat?
As we’ve already mentioned, Jack fruit has a taste that has been likened to pulled pork. Many advocates for jackfruit believe that the secret to making this fruit a meat substitute is the preparation of complementary sauces and dressings including barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, paprika and the like.
While it is often used as a meat substitute, the raw product can be consumed as a dessert with ice cream and some have likened this taste to juicy fruit chewing gum.
Is canned jackfruit healthy?
As with most canned foods, the canning process may cause the food to lose some of its goodness. However, if there are no other alternatives, canned jackfruit besides being a good source of protein, still represents a healthy food choice.
Benefits of eating jackfruit
This remarkable tropical fruit is packed with nutrients, fibre and antioxidants. Just two cups of this fruit contains 350 calories and the following assortment of vitamins and minerals.
Six grams of fiber
5.6 grams of protein
20% of recommended daily vitamin A intake
36% of recommended daily vitamin C intake
22% of recommended daily riboflavin intake
30% of recommended daily magnesium intake
28% of recommended daily potassium intake
30% of recommended daily copper intake
32% of recommended daily manganese intake
Jackfruit seeds are known to be particularly nutritious.
All that nutrition provides the human body with the following benefits:
Boosts the immune system, having antioxidants that help combat free radicals and good levels of vitamin C to boost immunity against cold and flu.
The high dietary fiber content boosts digestion and helps to prevent constipation.
The fruit contains phytonutrients like isoflavone and lignans.
Has a lower glycemic load than wheat or rice but is still able to boost energy levels significantly without affecting blood sugar levels. This energy boost is derived from vitamin B and vitamin B6
The potassium contained within the fruit will help to protect coronary health by regulating blood pressure, and helping to reduce the risk of stroke or heart disease. Potassium is known to counter the effects of sodium and reduce tension in the walls of blood vessels, thereby lowering blood pressure 
Good for eyesight as it contains a mix of vitamin A, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein which all help to maintain vision.
High calcium levels help to promote bone health.
Besides the health and nutritional benefits, the delicious fruit has some benefits that make it part of the solution for an economically sustainable future.
As one jackfruit tree can produce up to 200 pieces of fruit each year it compares more than favourably to meat as a source of food. Jackfruit is readily available in many parts of the developing world and increasing its consumption could help to solve potential future food shortages.
Using Jackfruit in your daily menu
This versatile fruit is often featured in vegetarian recipes and vegan recipes. Your typical jackfruit recipe will often liken the finished product to pulled or shredded pork in texture and many recipes claim that a meat eater will not notice any difference from many meat meals.
Popular menu options include taco, bbq, salad and curry options. It also has been known to make a great addition to a natural smoothie.
Here are two popular jackfruit recipes.
BBQ jackfruit burgers with avocado coleslaw
With all the texture of a traditional meat burger these bbq burgers are easy to prepare. For the burger you will need 2 X500 gram cans of green jackfruit in water as opposed to syrup or brine; 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil;1 diced onion; 2 crushed garlic cloves; 1 tsp paprika (smoked preferably); 1 tsp dried oregano;a pinch of chilli flakes, 1 cup of bbq sauce and 1/2 tsp ground cumin. 6 burger buns, lettuce leaves.
For the coleslaw you will need: 3 cups of raw shredded cabbage, 1 1/2 cups of shredded carrot, 1 1/4 cups of diced sweet onion, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 1 tsp of salt , 2 large peeled and pitted avocados
To make the burger patties, drain the jackfruit then use two forks to separate jackfruit pieces and remove any seeds. Put olive oil in a pan on medium heat and add onion and garlic. Fry until tender then add jackfruit and other herbs and spices. Cook for fifteen minutes.
While the burger mix is cooking, you can prepare the slaw as follows. Combine carrot, onion and cabbage in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl mash enough avocado to make 1 cup of creamy pulp then add lemon juice and other seasonings. Once thoroughly mixed add the avocado mash to the large mixing bowl. Dice/shred remaining avocado and add to coleslaw which is now ready for serving.
When the burger mix is cooked, halve buns, top with lettuce and add mix to each bun. Serve with a side serve of slaw.
Jackfruit tacos with pickled vegetables
This recipe uses Upton's natural sweet and smoky jackfruit. One 300 gram packet will suffice. Other ingredients required for pickles,one cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of water, 1tbsp salt, 2tbsp sugar, 1 thinly sliced red onion, for tacos: 12 corn tortillas, 2 peeled and grated carrots, 1/2 cup of pickled jalapenos, Avocado salsa/salsa verde or other salsa according to taste.
To make pickles: Heat water and vinegar in saucepan on stovetop then stir in sugar and salt and wait until fully dissolved. Place onion slices in a jar and pour the warm brine mixture over the top. Allow this mixture to cool and stand overnight. The mixture can be safely stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
To make Tacos: Pan heat jackfruit for ten minutes and warm tortillas in the oven. When ready, spoon jack fruit onto tortillas and add pickles and salsa.
Can I Buy Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is becoming more readily available in Australia as its popularity rises and its versatility becomes more widely appreciated. You can buy ripe jackfruit whole from your local grocery store , however in most cases, a whole fruit is an awful lot of fruit to eat. Other options are canned or in natural packaged form provided by organic companies such as Upton’s natural.
You can buy organic Jackfruit Australia through Buy Organics Online.
How much does jackfruit cost
The cost of fresh jackfruit will rise and fall with the laws of supply and demand similarly to other fruits. The best way to buy jackfruit initially is to purchase a small supply through Buy Organics Online. 300 gram packets of jackfruit can currently be purchased for under $10.
At Buy Organics Online there are a range of jackfruit Australia products available for purchase that have been sourced from the most trusted brands in the marketplace. With a delicious flavour and great health benefits, this is a product well worth adding to the kitchen pantry. Don’t delay, purchase from Buy Organics Online today!
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