Do you eat jackfruit?
I can already see a lot of you knitting up your brows and asking “what?” What on earth is a jackfruit? Well for those of you who don’t know, it’s the new kid on the block. And if you have not yet tasted it, you are really missing out on something. But don’t worry. Now is the time to catch up on what others have been thoroughly enjoying.
Jackfruit is very popular nowadays in vegetarian and vegan circles. It is the new “go to” for your meat alternatives. But is it really all it’s cracked up to be. Well let’s see.
What really is jackfruit?
To be honest, the first time someone sees this fruit they would hardly imagine that it is something that you can eat. It looks like something from another galaxy. It would fit in a galaxy called Land of the Giants if there was such a thing.
The jackfruit is a huge fruit. A single fruit can weigh as much as 100 pounds. I am not kidding you. If your first encounter is with a jackfruit of this size chances are eating it will probably be the last thing on your mind. You would probably be thinking more of running away than eating. Okay. Maybe not so dramatic. Maybe you are thinking of the challenges involved when shopping for this fruit, aren’t you?. How are you even going to get it in inside your shopping cart?
Fortunately not all jackfruit weigh 100 pounds. You can actually get some which are much smaller, like 20 or 30 pounds. As you can see, this is still a hefty weight. Nothing you can easily toss around.
After you have gotten over the shock of the size of this fruit however, the goodness will start.
See these lovely pods (or bulbs)? Just get rid of the seed inside and enjoy the lovely sweetness of this fruit. You can smell it from a mile away…okay, I am exaggerating, but the smell is really strong.
Be careful when you store it in your refrigerator. Make sure it is in an airtight container. If not, you might find out that all the other foods in your refrigerator are jackfruit flavoured.
The jackfruit is rich in energy, dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, it is not a very high source of protein… only 3 grams of protein in a cup of jackfruit. However, its delicious taste and versatility makes it a popular entree. Your plate appears all balanced (when you look at it) and the meal is quite tasty, but it would be best to add other sources of protein to make your meal nutritionally complete. It would therefore be advisable to add foods like seeds and nuts or legumes to your meal to ensure that your protein needs are met.
Despite the low protein content of this wonder fruit, there are a lot of other nutrients that you get from jackfruit.
From just one cup of raw fruits you can get the following:
- 40 grams of carbohydrates – that’s 13% of recommended daily value
- 3 grams of Dietary fiber – 11% of recommended value
- 3 grams of protein – Only 5% Daily value
- 11.1 mg of Vitamin C – that’s 18% of the recommended daily value.
- 4901 IU of Vitamin A – 10% daily value
A good source of B vitamins as well.
- 0.2 mg of riboflavin – 11% daily value
- 0.2 mg B6 – 10% daily value
- 500 mg potassium – 14% daily value
- 61.1 mg magnesium – 15% daily value.
- 0.3 mg manganese – 16 % daily value
- 0.3 mg copper – 15% daily value
Of course this is only a partial list which includes some of the major nutrients that you get from jackfruit. Let’s not leave out the fact that it is high in antioxidants.
Now those of you who answered yes to the question “do you eat jackfruit” can probably tell me the many different ways that you eat it. For some, the best and most delicious way is to just eat the ripe raw fruit. I can tell you it is almost addictive. You always want to eat “just one more” bulb. Jackfruit is also used as a meat substitute in several dishes; tacos, burgers, stews, curry, enchilada….you name it.
One thing I am sure of though is that you cannot eat a whole jackfruit in one sitting….even the ones that don’t weigh a hundred pounds. One jackfruit will certainly go a long way to feed your family and if your family is small you might have to consider sharing it with your friends and neighbours.
Take a look at the jackfruit in this video and imagine yourself trying to eat all of it…in one sitting. An impossible task.
It will stick to you…literally
Yes it is delicious and addictive. You just want to eat more and more. But I must tell you it can be a bit challenging getting to the parts that you want to eat. A sharp knife is a must. The skin of the jackfruit is really thick and when I say it will stick to you, I mean it will stick to you. Jackfruit secretes an extremely sticky latex substance from the rind and fibrous parts of the fruit. It gets on your hand and cause your fingers to stick together. It gets on the knife and messes it up. Just be prepared to deal with all the stain from the jackfruit.
One way to deal with it is to rub oil cooking oil over your hand and over the knife before you start cutting. I have gotten into the habit of just putting on a pair of latex gloves when I have to deal with the jackfruit. But let me assure you that the taste is worth all the effort.
As I said, it can be quite a struggle to cut open the jackfruit and getting to the part that you want to eat but recently I came across a method that made it so simple.
Check out this video showing you how to cut and remove the skin and have the jackfruit ready for eating
How to eat jackfruit
So my favorite way as I said earlier, is to eat the sweet ripe fruit in its raw state. You just remove the seed from the bulb and eat the flesh. Please don’t throw away the seed. They can be used for food as well. You can boil them or roast them. They taste somewhat like yam or some sort of tuber.
Due to its fibrous texture, people often use jackfruit flesh as a meat substitute in vegetarian or vegan dishes. The ripe fruit can be used to make savoury dishes, desserts, or even drinks.
The green fruit is also used in cooking. Because of its bland taste it is more suitable for savoury dishes.
Check out this video from Alyssia at Mind Over Munch where she shares with us 3 recipes using green (unripe) jackfruit.
So, do you eat jackfruit? If not, it is time to give it a try.
You will definitely want to grab some some on your next grocery trip. The jackfruit is a tropical fruit but you might be able to find the canned version in your local grocery. If not, you can definitely find them on sites like Amazon.
Try the recipes above or go ahead and experiment to your heart’s content. Do share your jackfruit experiences with us in the comments section below.