If you’ve seen an oversized, green sea urchin-like fruit in your grocery store’s produce section, get used to it.
Jackfruit is the latest vegan meat substitute trend that’s making its way into pulled ‘pork’ sandwiches, tacos, chili, and even sushi bowls.
The tropical fruit has been used for centuries in Thailand, Indonesia and India, across a variety of recipes from breakfast to dessert. It’s naturally mild, has a meat-like texture, and is second to none in absorbing the foods and spices it’s cooked with. With demand for plant-based meals at an all time high, the demand for the prickly fruit is rising too.
And it gets better: Jackfruit is a sustainable food, largely because the jackfruit tree is both drought- and pest-resistant; one tree can produce up to 200 fruits a year, with some growing to as large as 100 pounds.
The health benefits of jackfruit
Like many fruits, jackfruit has tons of health perks – low in calories, fat- and sodium-free, ample vitamin A and C, and packs plenty of potassium. It’s also rich in fiber, satiating hunger on fewer calories.
Though it’s marketed as a meat substitute, jackfruit is nutritionally similar to starchy veggies than lean proteins. A typical serving of jackfruit will have 2 grams of protein compared to 6-7 grams in an ounce of meat, fish, or poultry. To create a balanced meal, add a side of beans or other protein alongside your jackfruit.
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