Jackfruit is all the rage at the moment, and it’s making some vegan meals look too good to be true.
Coming from someone who eats meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, not to mention snacking on chicken breast, steak and pork (pretty much a vegetarian’s nightmare), I would be the last person interested in jackfruit, but I can’t resist!
So what is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is thought to have originated from Southern India, but can now be found almost everywhere, being produced in SE Asia, tropical climates of America and in the Caribbean. The enormous fruit, sometimes weighing up to 35kgs, is low-calorie, high-fiber and full of iron, potassium and calcium. Though, its nutritional value is not the reason for its popularity.
Jackfruit is a healthy, sustainable and vegan replacement for meat in dishes that are dense in red or white meat. Its texture is freakishly similar to succulent, high-quality meat! Even it’s cooking process is similar, especially if you’re baking, slow-roasting or stewing this fruit.
Young jackfruit is the best to work with when cooking, but requires a little bit of preparation. Take a sharp knife and slice across the fruit. Once opened you’re looking for the pods of fruit flesh wrapped in a white seed – separate these pieces from the fruit and their seeds, wash and then drain.
After this, the delicious ‘mock meat’ is ready for cooking meals like…
Roasted Poblano and Jackfruit Tacos
‘Pulled Pork’ sandwiches
Benefits of replacing meat with jackfruit
Although I’m an avid supporter of a high-protein, high meat diet, I do see the benefits of cutting out all animal products from your diet at least one day a week. There are a number of arguments supporting a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle based on health, environmental and/or ethical reasons, and from some of the recipes I’ve seen for vegan meals, it’s not as boring as it might seem.