Is Jackfruit the Vegan Meat Escape?
2019’s the year of veganism. At least that’s what global surveys state. With the practice going mainstream, the vegan food industry has also had a major boom. It’s almost as if in the blink of an eye, the market has flooded with plant-based alternatives. And an egg-shaped, humble member of the breadfruit family, has been shoved to the limelight. The practicing vegans are treasuring the fruit while the vegan market seems to be buzzing with one chant only; Jackfruit, Jackfruit, Jackfruit!
Is the fruit casting a spell over the masses and entrancing anyone and everyone who gets to know about it, or is there genuinely something extraordinary about it? Well, continue reading to unwind the twisted truth of this magical fruit!
What is Jackfruit?
Belonging to the Moraceae family, the jackfruit tree grows in tropical regions. The major source of the fruit, are the rainforests in the western regions of India, Southeast Asia, Philippines, Brazil, and Central and Eastern Africa. These places are typically supplying the entire, global vegan market.
Also known as Pauper fruit or Jack tree, Jackfruit has a large and bulky structure. It has thick, yellow, succulent flesh with edible seeds. This green and oblong, humongous fruit has a strong, distinctive, but unpleasant odor in its unopened state. It is the sweet and nutritious pale-yellow plump bulbs that collectively form the fruit. Due to its bumpy outer appearance, the fruit has also been called alligator fruit.
On record, the smallest jackfruit on the tree has weighed 15 pounds. And that, my friend, was once in a blue moon thing. Usually, the fruit weighs 25 pounds or more. At times, the fruit can also touch 100 pounds, and so, it is the largest tree-borne fruit.
According to several studies, Jackfruit provides a burst of nutrients in a single 165grams serving that is equivalent to a cup. Offering a moderate amount of calories (155), the Jackfruit also supplies the human body with 40grams of carbs, 3grams fiber, and 3grams protein. Unlike other fruits like apples, Jackfruit consists of far more nutritional content. Apart from this, the Jackfruit provides the following vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
People with blood sugar management issues ay find Jackfruit particularly useful as it has a low glycemic index (GI). The fiber and protein reduce the rate of digestion after heavy meals to prevent sudden blood sugar levels.
What makes it meat’s substitute?
The Jackfruit is not merely a meat substitute because of its similar texture and appearance when cooked, but also due to its nutritional value. The Jackfruit provides around 3grams of protein in 165grams serving, which sufficiently enough to balance out. An individual consuming Jackfruit instead of meat can easily maintain the required protein level. Thus, the growth and development of the body remain healthy.
Also, numerous nutrients found in meat are present in Jackfruit, such as carotenoids. Carotenoids are an important substance that lowers inflammation as well as chances of chronic diseases. Meat and Jackfruit both are a rich source of vitamin A, which is vital for boosting the immune system. People consuming jackfruit regularly are less likely to fall ill.
Moreover, both the meat and jackfruit consist of a lot of antioxidants, which keep the skin healthy and fresh. Antioxidants are also known to prevent signs of aging. Even more, meat and jackfruit have high contents of potassium and fiber. Hence, the presence of jackfruit in one’s diet may improve heart health significantly.
Concisely, jackfruit consists of almost all the nutrients that are present in meat. Thus, jackfruit forms an amazing alternate to meat.
Some interesting Jackfruit Recipes to Try
Jackfruit has a sweet, mouth-watering taste. But in its unripe state, it may have dense, fibrous, and meaty taste. Some say the taste resembles that of a mix of banana, pineapple, and mango. This exotic fruit gets mostly consumed in its raw state. Just cut the yellow-green fruit into half, and remove pods and seeds from the skin, using a knife. But you can incorporate this fruit in interesting recipes as well.
You can turn this nutritious fruit into almost anything you want. If cooked properly, the jackfruit taste can mimic that to red meat, fish, chicken, and whatnot. With increasing popularity, many expert chefs and vegan food enthusiasts have proposed interesting jackfruit recipes. If you haven’t tried any jackfruit recipe yet, you ought to give a try to at least one of the following!
- Jackfruit Pot Pie
- Teriyaki Jackfruit Sushi
- Jackfruit Mushroom Springrolls
- Jamaican-Caribbean Black Beans Jackfruit Mango Wraps
- Mexican Jackfruit Tacos
- Jackfruit BBQ sandwich