The Skinny on Jackfruit
Jackfruit grows on a jack tree (also, jak tree), which is is “a handsome tree” of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Jack trees are monoecious, having both male and female leaves on the same plant.
When ripe, the external fruit omits a malodorous scent similar to decayed onions.
Jackfruit is the national fruit of Bangladesh.
With proper care and attention a jack tree will produce fruit for up to one-hundred years.
Jackfruit trees have grown in India for up to 6000 years.
Jackfruit is believed to be a source of healing as the entire fruit is used in variety of means to combat everything from topical wounds to fever and asthma.
The wood of the jackfruit tree is prized for its physical beauty and functional attributes. The color of the wood may change with age from yellow to dark red. The wood is also naturally resistant to termites and fungus and is comparable to teak for its strength.
Jack tree woodchips are boiled with alum to produce a yellow dye, used for coloring silks and the cotton robes of Buddhist monks.
As food the jackfruit is also varied, everything from its flesh to its seeds have been used to make wonderfully diverse creations such as chutneys, curries, and strong liquor!
Jackfruit provides a little bit of both Vitamin C and B6 (23% and 16%, respectively).
Jackfruit is awesome but it may be intimidating, but only if you’re intimidated by jack fruit. If so, fear not, jackfruit in a can is a thing!
When we heard Trader Joe’s sold cans of jackfruit in brine, we could not wait to get one home and crack it open. Our foodie vegan interwebs were flooded with mouthwatering pics of plant-based faux-pulled-pork recipes, we just had to get in on the action!
It must be pointed out however that while jackfruit is commonly used as meat substitute because of it’s fleshy consistency, it contains very little plant protein (1.7g per serving) so, we added cooked lentils to our tacos for that reason. You are free to add any plant protein of your choosing, gotta keep it balanced 💚
This is a basic recipe, more a suggestive list than step-by-step how-to, to hopefully inspire a lightbulb of your own. Once you get the foundation down, the rest of the house is up to you!
What we used for our Jackfruit Tacos:
1 can of Trader Joe’s Green jackfruit in brine.
2 C cooked lentils
1 pepper, sliced (choose your color)
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup chopped cabbage
3 Tbs Cholula sauce, or chipotle sauce
1 Tbs chili powder
1tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
small white corn tortillas
Drain the brine and mash the jackfruit with a fork or by hand in a medium microwaveable bowl. Add the lentils, Cholula, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mix until evenly coated, cover and place in fridge for at least an hour.
Heat non-stick pan, add peppers, cabbage and corn, reduce heat to medium-low, cook until the color pops and you can see a bit of brown.
Remove the jackfruit mix from your fridge and heat in microwave for a minute, stir. If not fully warmed, heat for another 30 seconds.
Heat non-stick pan or griddle and warm your tortillas. When everything is ready, build your tacos! This recipe yields 14 small tacos (as seen in the pics).
Get funky with it, add avocado, spoon a little salsa, use hard-shells! The world is yours, we just wanted to flex a few food-porn pics and expound on the newfound (for us) virtues of this wonderfully diverse fruit which has taken the foodie-web by storm!
As always, thanks for reading and eat well!
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©2017 ecoRDN 💚
Information compiled from NutritionValue.org, Bangladesh.com, and National Tropical Botanical Garden