What is jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is native to the Indian subcontinent but is now grown in many other parts of the world. It is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, with some fruits growing up to 80 pounds in weight.
When ripe, the flesh of the jackfruit is sweet and fragrant, with a flavor that has been described as a mix between pineapple and banana. The unripe fruit is neutral in taste and can also be cooked and used as an ingredient in savory dishes.
Jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular as a meat substitute for vegans and vegetarians because its texture is similar to pulled pork or chicken when cooked. It is also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and other essential nutrients.
Where is jackfruit grown?
Jackfruit is primarily grown in tropical regions of South and Southeast Asia, including countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Thailand, and Malaysia. It is also grown in other tropical regions around the world, including in Brazil, Jamaica, and some parts of Africa. In recent years, the cultivation of jackfruit has also spread to other parts of the world, such as in the United States, Australia, and the Caribbean.
Fun Fact: Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh!
Is jackfruit healthy for you?
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit that is gaining popularity around the world for its unique taste and numerous health benefits.
One of the main benefits of jackfruit is its high nutrient content. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. It also contains small amounts of other essential vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, and magnesium.
Jackfruit is also a great source of dietary fiber, which can help promote regular bowel movements and support digestion. Additionally, jackfruit is low in calories, making it an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Another benefit of jackfruit is its high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are important for protecting the body against damage from harmful free radicals, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, and vitamin C.
Jackfruit is a great addition to any diet, and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. So, next time you’re at the store, don’t hesitate to pick up a jackfruit and give it a try!
Is Jackfruit sustainable?
Jackfruit is a highly sustainable food source for several reasons, and this can be argued in different ways.
Firstly, jackfruit trees are known for their high yield, producing a significant amount of fruit that can feed many people while occupying a relatively small land area. With some trees yielding up to 150 to 200 fruits per year, it is an efficient crop that requires minimal inputs to grow, such as fertilizers, pesticides, or irrigation. This means that it places minimal burden on the environment, and it does not require extensive resources to cultivate.
Secondly, jackfruit is a versatile food that can be used in a variety of dishes, from sweet to savory. It can be eaten ripe or unripe, cooked or uncooked, and can replace meat in vegan and vegetarian dishes. This versatility means that it can be used to create a range of meals, and it can help address food security and nutrition challenges, especially in developing countries where access to nutritious food is limited.
Thirdly, jackfruit trees are naturally resistant to drought and have deep roots, making them an excellent crop for areas with limited water resources. This resistance to drought ensures that it requires minimal water, reducing the pressure on water resources, which can help preserve water in areas that are prone to drought.
Jackfruit has a very low carbon footprint and only requires 116 gallons of water to produce one pound of fruit whereas beef requires 1,847 gallons to produce the same amount!
Jackfruit is a shade crop that can be inter-grown with other crops to create a regenerative ecosystem. The jackfruit tree is a perennial so it doesn't require constant replanting, and it requires relatively little care once established.
That means that it helps both the land it’s grown on and the farmers that play a crucial role in harvesting the fruit!
Why does jackfruit make the perfect plant-based jerky?
Jackfruit has great benefits for both your health and the planet, but just as importantly, when combined with our rich flavors, it tastes amazing!
Jackfruit has a meat-like texture that can be shredded and dehydrated to create a chewy, jerky-like consistency. This makes it a great substitute for meat-based jerky.
Jackfruit has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that can easily be seasoned with spices and marinades to create a variety of different flavors. Its neutral taste makes it a versatile ingredient in jerky recipes.
Jacked! is the perfect snack, whether you are craving something delicious and healthy between meetings, or need something to sustain you during a workout or on a road trip!
Jackfruit vs. Durian
Jackfruit and durian are two different tropical fruits that are native to Southeast Asia, and while they may look somewhat similar on the outside, they have several notable differences.
Appearance: The outer appearance of the fruits is different. Durian has a spiky and thorny greenish-brown husk, while the jackfruit has a rough, bumpy and greenish-yellow husk.
Size: Durian is typically smaller than jackfruit. Durian can be around 1-3 kg in weight, while jackfruit can weigh up to 35 kg.
Smell and Taste: Durian has a strong, pungent smell that some people find unpleasant. It has a creamy, custard-like texture with a sweet flavor. On the other hand, jackfruit has a milder aroma, and its flavor is often described as a mix between banana, pineapple, and mango. Its texture is fibrous, similar to pulled pork, and it's often used as a vegetarian meat substitute.
Nutritional value: Both fruits are rich in nutrients, but they differ in their nutritional content. Durian is high in calories and fat, while jackfruit is lower in calories and has a higher amount of fiber.
Culinary uses: Durian is often eaten fresh or used in desserts, while jackfruit is used in various savory dishes and as a vegetarian meat substitute.
Fun Fact: Durian is commonly banned from public buildings and transportation in countries like Thailand and Singapore due to it's pungent smell!
Unripe vs. Ripe Jackfruit
Unripe jackfruit and ripe jackfruit are quite different in their taste, texture, and culinary uses. Here are some key differences between the two:
Appearance: Unripe jackfruit is green and firm, while ripe jackfruit is yellow and soft.
Taste: Unripe jackfruit has a neutral, slightly acidic taste that is often described as "meaty." Ripe jackfruit, on the other hand, has a sweet, fruity taste that is often compared to a combination of banana, mango, and pineapple.
Texture: Unripe jackfruit has a fibrous, meaty texture that makes it a great vegetarian meat substitute. Ripe jackfruit, on the other hand, has a soft, juicy texture that is similar to a ripe tropical fruit.
Culinary uses: Unripe jackfruit is commonly used in savory dishes, such as curries, stews, and tacos. It is often used as a meat substitute due to its fibrous texture. Ripe jackfruit, on the other hand, is commonly used in sweet dishes, such as desserts and smoothies. It can also be eaten fresh as a healthy snack.
Nutritional value: Unripe jackfruit is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and potassium. Ripe jackfruit is higher in calories and natural sugars, but is still a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
What can I cook with jackfruit?
Here are some fun ways to incorporate jackfruit into your diet:
BBQ Pulled Jackfruit: This dish is a vegan version of BBQ pulled pork. You can use jackfruit to mimic the texture of pulled pork and cook it in a smoky BBQ sauce. It's great on a sandwich, in a wrap, or as a topping for a salad.
Jackfruit Curry: You can use jackfruit in place of meat in a curry dish. It will soak up all the flavors of the curry and provide a hearty and satisfying meal.
Jackfruit Tacos: You can make vegetarian tacos with jackfruit as the main ingredient. Just cook the jackfruit with taco seasoning, and serve it on tortillas with all the toppings.
Jackfruit Chili: This is another vegetarian twist on a classic meat-based dish. You can cook jackfruit in a spicy chili sauce, along with beans and vegetables.
Jackfruit Burgers: You can make vegetarian burgers using jackfruit as the main ingredient. Just mash it up with some spices and form it into patties.
Jackfruit Salad: You can use jackfruit in a fresh and healthy salad. Mix it with other fruits and veggies, like cucumber, avocado, and cilantro, and dress it with a zesty lime dressing.