Add versatile jackfruit to your grocery list

Jackfruit can be enjoyed fresh, frozen or canned.

May 25, 2017 - Author: , and Lynsey Felty, MSU Dietetic Intern

Have you ever walked into the grocery store produce section and come face-to-face with a large, spiky green piece of produce? Whether you have or not, likely the first questions that come to mind are: What is that, and how do I eat it? Meet the jackfruit.

According to a University of Florida Extension fact sheet, jackfruit is grown in tropical climates and can grow up to 60 pounds. Young, unripe jackfruit are used as a vegetable in soups and baked dishes and can even be fried. Fresh, ripe fruit can be eaten raw or in salads, dried or canned in syrup. The seeds have a chestnut-like flavor. Jackfruit are growing in popularity as a meat alternative.

When selecting a Jackfruit, choose one that “gives” when you press down on it. A couple days before it has ripened it will give off a sweet smell. Don’t let size steer you away from trying this delicious delight.   

How to prepare a fresh jackfruit:

  1. Sanitize cutting surface and line with plastic wrap or newspaper for easy clean up
  2. Wash hands and put gloves on (Jackfruit produces natural sap)
  3. Oil knife (keeps sticky inside from coating knife)
  4. Cut jackfruit in half
  5. Take seeds out and set aside
  6. Cut in half again and remove center core
  7. Bend the fruit backwards and the flesh separates from arils
  8. Edible portion is yellow in color

One cup of sliced jackfruit provides 160 calories, 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of fiber, 10 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin A, 20 percent of the recommended value of vitamin C, 6 percent of the recommended daily value of calcium and 6 percent of the recommended daily value of iron.

Jackfruit is used in this vegetarian version of pulled pork.

Barbeque Pulled Jackfruit

Recipe by Sam Turnbull published in itdoesnttastelikechicken.com

Serves: About 4

Ingredients

    • 2 20oz Cans of young green jackfruit in brine/water (not in syrup)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ onion, sliced
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • ¼ cup low sodium vegetable broth or water
    • ¾ cup BBQ sauce

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking pan.
    2. Drain and rinse jackfruit. Cut jackfruit into smaller pieces by cutting it from core to edge for pulled texture.
    3. Add olive oil to a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat, and when hot add the onions and garlic. Sauté until the onions are tender and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped jackfruit and vegetable broth. Cover and continue to cook another 8 to 10 minutes, until the jackfruit is soft enough that it can be mashed. Mash jackfruit with potato masher, until it breaks apart and looks pulled or shredded.
    4. To finish the jackfruit spread in an even layer across the baking pan and place in oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and pour over BBQ sauce and stir to combine. Toss it back in the oven for about 10 minutes, until golden.

Are you looking for other uncommon fruits and vegetables to add to your diet? Read about baobab, kumquats and chayote before buying them. Michigan State University Extension also provides nutrition and physical activity workshops in communities throughout Michigan. To find a workshop near you visit the MSU Extension website.

Tags: food & health, msu extension, nutrition, produce


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