Have you heard of jackfruit? It’s a peculiar-looking fruit with a textured green exterior that conceals golden nuggets of flavor. Eating jackfruit is like eating a delicious blend of pineapple, mango and banana. However, there is one catch: it is very challenging to cut open! This tropical treat is rich in nutrients and has been used as a meat replacement due to its texture. Here’s what you need to know about this incredible fruit.
Jackfruit is the largest fruit that grows on a tree — some have grown up to 100 pounds. They’re covered in a bumpy, hard green skin, with a pale-colored flesh on the inside. Because it’s a tough fruit and yields a lot of food per tree, it’s a huge source of food and income in regions where jackfruit is grown, like Southeast Asia, South America, and the Caribbean.
Because of its texture, versatility, and vitamin content, jackfruit has been gaining popularity as a meat replacement for vegans.
Fun fact: Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh! It is part of the fig family, yet tastes like pork. Not to mention, it looks nothing like pork. Apparently, it is becoming widely popular in the U.S. as a meat substitute, especially for pork and pulled pork dishes.
Unlike pork, it has a lot of nutritional value and is packed with Vitamins A & C, calcium, potassium, and much more. It also has a lot of added benefits including boosting energy, aiding in healthy digestion, and can protect against cancer.
Is It healthy?
It is super high in potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium. It’s also got a decent amount of calcium, vitamin A, iron, and even a little bit of protein. One cup of jackfruit offers 25 percent of your daily B6, and as some of you know, B complex vitamins are hard to come by in a vegan diet.
What Does It Taste Like?
The taste of jackfruit has been described as a combination of pineapple, mango, and banana, but when boiled, it’s described to taste more like a potato. The raw flesh is crisp and firm, harder than an apple, but it can be cooked into a softer, “meaty” texture.
How Do You Eat It?
Part of what makes jackfruit so incredible is how versatile it is. You can make so many recipes from one fruit. Whether you eat it fresh and raw to enjoy its soft, sweet, fruity flavor or cook up the potato-like unripened fruit into a curry, there are tons of options.
Stir-fry, juice (try a jackfruit coconut smoothie!), chips, ice cream, and baking flour from jackfruit seeds (highly nutritious) are all ways jackfruit can be used and it makes an excellent meat replacement thanks to its texture and neutral cooked flavor. Shredded, it has a striking resemblance to pulled pork, and when simmered in broth for about 10 to 15 minutes, you’re on your way to a tasty BBQ sandwich or tacos and who doesn’t want to try a fruit that tastes like pork?