Jackfruit: what if it replaced meat in your recipes?

Do you know jackfruit? It seems to be the ideal solution for those who do not consume meat, thanks to its nutritional benefits. We’ll explain it to you.

A little-known rich fruit, yet essential

By its other name “jackfruit” or “poor man’s fruit” for its accessibility in Asia, this fruit grows in tropical regions, on the jackfruit tree. It is the largest fruit in the world, weighing up to 50kg. Particularly imposing therefore, it is also recognized for its rugby ball shape, its bark garnished with small peaks and its color varying from yellow to green. When ripe, the smell of its peel is not the most enticing, almost repulsive, and yet that of its flesh is reminiscent of pineapple, or even mango, both in smell and taste.

A fruit of varieties

Each variety of this fruit is distinguished by a different taste and texture. Among the fifty of them, three large families stand out. The flesh of the “hard jackfruit” will be firmer than the others; the texture of the “jackfruit sosso” will be more tender and the taste of the “jacque miel” much sweeter, almost honeyed, hence its name.

A “poor man’s fruit” rich in benefits

If it could be given an award, it would be for the most nutritious fruit. Jackfruit contains so many good calories, fiber, vitamins and minerals that it can alone provide the sufficient amount of daily energy intake recommended by the WHO.

While its seeds, whose virtues are said to be aphrodisiacs, are rich in starch and vitamins B1 and B2; its calorie content is around 95 kcal / 100g; its flesh, for its part, contains a large quantity of fiber (6 to 11% of the recommended daily fiber intake is contained there per 100g). An excellent way to improve transit, achieve satiety, reduce bad cholesterol and strengthen your immune system. Clearly, this fruit is an energy boost in itself.

Don’t stop at the appearance of his flesh. Although it resembles that of chicken or pork, it does not contain the same amounts of protein. Unlike tofu, which contains on average 10g of vegetable proteins per 100g and can thus serve as an alternative to animal proteins, jackfruit contains only 1g, a score much lower than that of chicken for example. , which is around 30g per 100g. Be careful not to be satisfied with this fruit as the only – insufficient – ​​source of protein. It is better to integrate it into your diet as a supplement, and balance your protein intake with other foods, even plant-based foods such as tofu (10g per 100g) or soy (36g per 100g).

A fruit that can be cooked like a vegetable

The flavor of mango and pineapple is delicious in desserts, sorbets and fruit salads. It would therefore seem obvious that jackfruit, which smells similar to these same flavors, is reserved for desserts.

However, before reaching its maximum stage of maturity, the taste of this fruit still remains very neutral. It is also used much more savory in traditional Malaysian and Indonesian cuisines than sweet.

So we go to the stove with our unripe jackfruit, to marinate it and season it with spices. Its flesh is easily cut and is usually cooked in a pan, simmered in a broth or curry, to be served with rice. Like a chicken curry finally, in a vegetable version.

Once cooked, its flesh resembles shredded chicken or pork so much that I fall in love with it. Stunning in its appearance, this fruit can also be cooked like pulled pork or as a substitute for chicken in a sandwich, a Caesar salad or a burger.

The seeds of this fruit are also edible, roasted in the oven, like chestnuts. Please note that they must be eaten cooked. The risks of indigestion and intoxication are not zero, or even guaranteed, if you consume them raw.

Now you know everything, all you have to do is get into the kitchen!

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