A new superstar has been sweeping the health world in a very unique way. Jackfruit contains a variety of nutritional benefits, but also has been praised as the perfect substitute for something very surprising: meat.
What is Jackfruit?
Actually a member of the fig family, jackfruit is a large spike-covered fruit that grows on trees in tropical climates. It has been a staple in south and southeast Asian cuisine for years, but is quickly becoming more and more popular in the West.
Jackfruit as a Meat Substitute?
Jackfruit is special as it has a tender flesh that shreds easily with a fork. It also has very little sweetness before it has fully ripened, which makes it easy to take on savory seasonings. Think perfectly melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork, without the pork. How cool is that?
Why is Jackfruit a Big Deal?
Jackfruit contains a good amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, and minerals such as potassium and magnesium. On top of that, this diverse fruit works as:
- A meat substitute that is not soy-based (such as tofu)
- A meat substitute for those sensitive or allergic to gluten
- An alternative for those with sensitive digestive systems
- A fun and interesting change for recipes
Jackfruit checks all the boxes when it comes to pleasing all dietary restrictions!
How Do I Cook with Jackfruit?
There are a couple of things to look for when choosing jackfruit. You can either get it fresh (talk to the produce manager at your grocery store), or in a can. When using it as a meat substitute, choose green or young jackfruit for savory dishes. When using for pastries or sweet dishes, choose yellow or sweet jackfruit. Hint: if it's in water or brine, it's probably young jackfruit. If it's in syrup, it's going to be the sweet kind.
Since you're cooking a fruit and not a type of meat, jackfruit can just be simmered in a sauce or sauteed in a pan until heated through. If you're looking for an amazingly simple way to have shredded pork made in 5-minutes or less, use jackfruit!
We've created a delicious Jackfruit BBQ Pulled Pork-Style Sandwich for your cooking pleasure. This is also an amazingly simple taco recipe for you to try from Vegan Richa.
No matter how you slice it, shred it, or overall enjoy it, jackfruit is the new and exciting way to spice up your meat-free meals!
[Credit: Hendon, Louise. What is Jackfruit? Why Should You Eat It? Paleo Magazine.]