Jackfruit is a large, tropical fruit, most commonly grown in India and Malaysia. It's one of the latest trends in helping people enjoy a more plant-based diet. Although it is a fruit, when cooked the texture is more like pulled meat. That's why Jackfruit can now be found on vegan menus and recipe books everywhere. It is unlike most other meat substitutes in taste, texture and nutrition. It can literally be cut open from the green, unripe version and turned into the pulled "meat" of your dreams. Wondering why you should even bother eating Jackfruit if you're not vegan? There are so many health benefits that make this fruit worth a shot.
What are the health benefits of Jackfruit?
While jackfruit as a meat sub does not provide large amounts of protein, there are loads of other health benefits associated with this tropical fruit. Jackfruit is loaded with fiber and potassium and a slew of other vitamins and antioxidants. Studies have shown that this strange fruit can actually do a lot of good to your body.
Jack fruit strengthens the immune system, prevents anemia, reduces the risk of heart disease, supports the treatment of blood clotting, keeps the thyroid healthy, regulates blood sugar levels (particularly helpful for those with Diabetes), helps prevent osteoporosis, aids in vision, regulates blood pressure, and prevents intestinal diseases.*
How do you prepare and cook Jackfruit?
In order to use Jackfruit to make savory meat-like foods, you need to use the green or unripe fruit. It is only in season for a short time and may be difficult to find fresh in your area, but if you are up to the task of cutting it up and getting through the rough exterior, check your local Asian market. Find out more about Jackfruit and how to cut a fresh one here.
Our preference is to use ready prepared Jackfruit. You can find Jackfruit ready to cook in vacuum packs or cans at many health food stores, Asian markets and even on Amazon. It can be used for tacos, burritos, bowls and of course our favorite, brisket. Get our recipe for Vegan Brisket, as pictured above, in our FREE Jewish Holiday Vegan Recipe book.
*Source and more info on health benefits of Jackfruit from Healthline.