What is jackfruit?
Over the years, jackfruit has been grow mostly in Asia but the plant is now gaining popularity across the globe.
The jackfruit plant grows in tropical and subtropical parts of the world such as Florida, Australia, most Pacific Islands, India, Malaysia, the Caribbean, Brazil, Puerto Rico and Central and Eastern Africa .
This tropical fruit is usually yellow or green and has a spiky exterior layer. Jackfruit is one of the largest fruits globally; it weighs approximately 35 kilograms.
The fruit is delicious, and its taste is comparable to a combination of bananas, pineapples, and apples. The texture of this fruit resembles shredded meat.
As a result, the majority of vegetarians and vegans love this fruit. More often than not, people use jackfruit to make certain desserts and recipes.
You can also consume jackfruit seeds and leaves. In the United States, jackfruit is mainly found during summer.
Nutrition value of jackfruit
Unlike before, people now know the nutritional benefits of jackfruit. And this is the reason why the fruit has become popular in the United States.
Jackfruit is ideal for people looking to lose weight. The fruit has approximately 155 calories per cup. Moreover, the fruit is an excellent source of vitamin A/C, fiber, protein, magnesium, potassium, among other minerals.
Jackfruit is one of the few fruits that contain a higher percentage of protein. All in all, jackfruit helps in boosting your overall health due to its antioxidants.
Benefits of the jackfruit plant
- Regulates blood sugar levels: Another health benefit of jackfruit is that it helps in managing blood sugar levels. According to previous studies, experts reported that individuals who consumed jackfruit had more stable blood sugar levels. Generally, jackfruit has a low glycemic index, GI; therefore, it helps prevent blood sugar spikes. Also, since it provides at least 3 grams of protein per cup, jackfruit is a good blood sugar regulator.
- Protects you from a wide range of diseases: Jackfruit plays a considerable role in boosting an individual’s immunity system. It contains antioxidants that decrease the risk of getting diseases. Typically, antioxidants reduce inflammation and safeguard your cells from oxidative stress.
Some of the antioxidants that are present in jackfruit include:
- Carotenoids: Health experts prove that carotenoids prevent cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and inflammation. Regular consumption of jackfruit protects individuals against chronic diseases.
- Vitamin C: Another oxidant found in jackfruit is vitamin C. Vitamin C is responsible for reducing inflammation. Therefore, it prevents the risk of getting terminal illnesses like cancer and cardiovascular disease. Ultimately, jackfruit can protect you from chronic diseases.
- Safeguards you from skin-related issues: Antioxidants help in boosting good skin health. Jackfruit contains vitamin C, which is an excellent antioxidant. The fruit reduces rapid skin aging. Some cosmetic manufacturers incorporate jackfruits into some of their face and body products to slow down aging.
- Protects you from cardiovascular diseases: As mentioned earlier, jackfruit prevents cardiovascular diseases. The fruit contains fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Some Indian residents use the roots of jackfruits to treat asthma, ulcers, diarrhea, among other conditions. Even so, there is no scientific proof that jackfruit can cure the above health conditions. But in general, jackfruit is an excellent addition to your diet.
Are there disadvantages of eating jackfruit?
Even though jackfruit has a wide array of benefits, it also carries several disadvantages.
Occasionally, the fruit can pose a danger to your health. People who have pollen allergies are often advised to avoid consuming jackfruit. This is because they are most likely to be allergic to jackfruit.
Additionally, people with unstable blood sugar levels may require changing their medication if they consume jackfruit regularly.
Remember, the medication is usually meant to regulate blood sugar. So, when a diabetic patient frequently consumes this fruit, they may have to reduce their medication dosages.
Nonetheless, jackfruit does not cause severe health allergy risks. Most of them are easily treatable. However, it is essential to be cautious before eating jackfruit regularly.
How to eat the jackfruit?
Fortunately, you can consume jackfruit when it’s cooked and when it’s raw. If you wish to prepare it, you have to cut it into two first.
Then, use a knife to eliminate the yellow fruit pods and seeds from the skin and the core. You can also use your hands to do this. Consider wearing gloves when handling the white section since it is usually very sticky.
You can use jackfruit to prepare mouthwatering dishes and desserts. It all depends on the level of its ripeness. Usually, unripe jackfruit is excellent for preparing special recipes.
On the flip side, ripe jackfruits are ideal for making desserts. Vegans often use jackfruit as an alternative to meat. For example, instead of using meat on tacos, you can place jackfruit.
Feel free to top it up with a few spices and green toppings. Furthermore, you can add jackfruit to curries and soups.
The seeds of jackfruit are eatable. You can boil or roast them to make them more savory. Adding jackfruit to your diet is beneficial. It helps you boost your immunity and overall health.
Are jackfruit leaves edible?
It is entirely safe to consume jackfruit leaves. They often serve as the perfect accompaniment to your meals.
Jackfruit leaves are famous since they offer a wide array of benefits. Health professionals often insist on consuming jackfruit leaves on an empty stomach.
The leaves boost healthy glucose tolerance. Thus, they are ideal for people with abnormal blood sugar levels.
Advantages of eating jackfruit leaves
- Induce weight loss:
If you desire to lose weight, jackfruit leaves will work perfectly for you. They help you burn excessive adipose and fatty tissues around the arms, abdomen, and thighs. Jackfruit leaves also protect individuals from cardiovascular diseases and blood pressure issues.
- Excellent anti-aging properties:
Consuming jack fruit leaves reduces the signs of aging. They make the skin look younger and rejuvenated. In general, jackfruit leaves will protect against rapid aging by improving your bone health and eyesight.
- Detoxification properties:
Additionally, eating jackfruit leaves helps you detox your body. Consequently, they protect you from stomach upset.
Jackfruit tea leaves
Today, jackfruit leaves are used to make certain products. Some use the leaves to manufacture green tea. Once the leaves are ready, they get harvested.
Then, they are dried in cool temperatures. Afterward, they are milled to produce fine tea. Usually, qualified herbalists and microbiologists supervise the process of making Jackfruit tea.
How to prepare jackfruit meat
Jackfruit is flexible since you can prepare it using a wide range of techniques. One advantage of this fruit is that it produces a lot of food.
Thus, it is perfect for large families. In most instances, it won’t be necessary to prepare the entire jackfruit. Luckily, you can store the remaining pieces in the refrigerator.
When dealing with jackfruit leaves, it is advisable to wear protective gloves. But why?
Typically, jackfruit has natural latex. So, if you are allergic to latex, you have to safeguard your skin. However, if you choose to work on it using your bare hands, use a knife. Note that you have to be careful so that the knife does not slide.
One of the best ways you can prepare jackfruit is by using a pressure cooker. During this process, the first step would be to cut the jackfruit into two.
You can use a knife or your hands for this. Ensure you have a broad working surface for easier preparation.
Continue slicing the jackfruit until you have several large pieces. Do not remove the cover. Once you have several pieces of jackfruit, boil them for approximately 45 minutes.
Ensure the meat of the jackfruit is soft and resembles the texture of cooked chicken before you stop boiling it. A pressure cooker will help you save time since it only takes 10 minutes to boil jackfruit.
After boiling the jackfruit, remove its outer skin. You can eat the seeds and the fleshy part of the jackfruit. If you want to use jackfruit to prepare a specific meal, it would be best to use the fleshy part.
So, carefully remove the jackfruit meat and use it to prepare your meal. If you have leftover jackfruit meat, store it in the refrigerator.
Please note that raw seeds can be harmful to people taking medications. So, it would be best to boil or roast your seeds.
Jackfruit meat as a vegan meal
As seen earlier, jackfruit is increasingly becoming popular in Asia among vegans and vegetarians. Its texture resembles that of meat.
Below are some of the best recipes where jackfruit serves as an alternative to meat.
- Jackfruit “Tuna Melt” Sandwich: Whenever you are craving a tuna sandwich, a jackfruit sandwich will be the ideal alternative. Jackfruit meat has a flaky texture resembling that of tuna.
- BBQ Pulled-Pork-Style Shredded Jackfruit: Shredded jackfruit is an ideal alternative to pork. If you are vegan, use jackfruit meat in place of pork. The fruit is tasty, and its texture is fibrous.
- Jackfruit Fish-Free Tacos: Vegan tacos often comprise of jackfruit. They have a meaty texture and are tasty enough to make you feel like you are eating a fish taco!
- Jackfruit ‘Crab Cakes’ with Tartare Sauce: Jackfruit offers high versatility. You can use it to prepare almost anything, including crab cakes. Consider topping it with tartare sauce to make it savory.
- Jackfruit Christmas Dinner: Seasoned jackfruit is the perfect alternative for thanksgiving turkey. It is mouthwatering and offers a broad spectrum of health benefits compared to turkey. Thus, it is ideal for vegans and vegetarians.
Nowadays, people are more aware of the health benefits of vegan diet and vegetarian recipes.
Therefore, the majority of people are looking for the best meat alternatives. Subsequently, there are several whole-plant-based meat brands entirely made from jackfruit.
There are many pork ‘lovers’ today. But most people avoid eating pork frequently due to the negative health risks involved. So, food experts had to look for an alternative.
How do you create pork from jackfruit?
It didn’t take long before experts identified that jackfruit would serve as the perfect alternative to pork. Generally, jackfruit has a fibrous texture and is densely packed.
It has several meat qualities. In most instances, unripe jackfruit is perfect for preparing meals. On the other hand, ripe jackfruit tastes best when eaten raw.
Unlike most plants, the jackfruit plants need less maintenance. It does not require any special pesticides, herbicides, or any particular irrigation system.
Jackfruit is a hardy tree and produces lots of fruits when in season. In fact, in some areas, jackfruit can go to waste. This is mainly because most people are not sure how to prepare and consume this fruit.
Ultimately, jackfruit is one of the few fruits that do not live up to its full potential. When plant professionals discovered this, they had to look for a way to cater to the needs of consumers by coming up with a new product.
They came up with a chemical-free technique that enabled them to transform jackfruit into a shredded meat-like product.
This shredded meat-like product can be used to make a wide range of vegan recipes. It helps consumers save time and effort when preparing jackfruit. You can find jackfruit products from local stores or grocery stores.
Indisputably, dealing with harvested jackfruit is labor-intensive, especially for a modern kitchen. So, shredded jackfruit is an ideal alternative.
What Does Jackfruit Meat Taste Like?
Generally, jackfruit meat often has an unripe pod with a fibrous texture. The pod is usually tasteless. However, you can season it before roasting or boiling it.
More often than not, jackfruit meat will pick on the taste of the spices used to season it. Its texture resembles that of cooked chicken. Therefore, it serves as the perfect alternative to vegan/vegetarian tacos and burgers.
On the other hand, ripe jackfruit is sweet. It has a fruity smell and tastes like a blend of apples and bananas. The seeds of jackfruit naturally have a milky taste.
However, the taste slightly changes when they get boiled or roasted. Roasted jackfruit seeds are crunchy and make the perfect bread topping.
What should not be eaten after eating jackfruit?
Based on previous studies, you should not eat jackfruit with milk. Health experts consider the two a dangerous combination.
People reported that a combination of jackfruit and milk is likely to lead to skin-related issues and indigestion from the early years. Also, you should not eat jackfruit with any dairy products.
Nevertheless, most of these reports are not backed up by scientific proof. Over time, scientists have conducted several studies to prove these claims. Most of these studies show that combining jackfruit and dairy products is not safe.
Even so, combining jackfruit and curd is beneficial for one’s health. Based on a previous survey in 2007, mixing jackfruit with curd improves curd quality. These two can provide you with double the benefits.
Health benefits of eating jackfruit and curd
Jackfruit often provides a wide range of nutritional benefits. It helps in regulating blood sugar levels and preventing cardiovascular diseases.
This fibrous fruit also has antioxidants that protect you from inflammation and lower cholesterol levels. All in all, jackfruit helps in improving one’s immunity.
On the flip side, the curd is rich in minerals like magnesium and potassium. It also contains vitamins that offer great health benefits. Unlike other dairy products, curd is light; hence it is easily digestible.
By nature, curd is a probiotic. Thus, it offers excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It relieves stomach upset and ulcers. Besides, curd reduces skin aging and improves your overall immunity. It is also perfect for keeping your hair healthy and shiny.
You should try out the jack fruit plant
Today, jackfruit is popular especially in Asia. The fruit offers a wide range of health benefits and serves as a perfect alternative to meat. It has a fibrous texture that resembles cooked chicken.
Consequently, a good percentage of vegans use this fruit to make sandwiches, tacos, and burgers. Jackfruit grows in tropical climates and is in season during summer.
However, you can always purchase canned jackfruits. Food experts also manufacture shredded jackfruit products that serve as the best alternative to pork.
You can consume jackfruit leaves and seeds as well. Consider roasting or boiling them. Ultimately, jackfruit is one of the best fruits for vegan recipes.