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Jackfruit 101: All You Need to Know

a bowl of jackfruit seeds

Jackfruit Benefits

While Jackfruit is widespread in many regions of Asia, it is less well-known in the West, but it may be found at Asian markets and specialist grocery shops. In certain regions of the globe, jackfruit is known as "alligator fruit" due to its spiky look. Despite its strange appearance, the interior is delicate, juicy, and flavorful.

What you may not know is that the flavour is a blend of tropical and tutti-fruity, which strongly inspired the taste of Juicy Fruit chewing gum. If you like Juicy Fruit, chances are you'll like jackfruit as well. Is jackfruit good for weight loss? Let's see below.

What Exactly Is Jackfruit?

Jackfruit is a tropical tree fruit native to Africa, Asia, and South America (scientific name: Artocarpus heterophyllus). If you're thinking about an orange or a lemon, remember that a single jackfruit may weigh up to 40 pounds! It has the appearance of a large mango with green skin and spikes.

Jackfruit comes in two varieties: firm, which is crunchier and better in quality, and soft, which has tiny, spongey flakes and a sweeter taste.

How to Choose and Keep Jackfruit?

The jackfruit holds the distinction of being the world's biggest tree-borne fruit. The average jackfruit weighs between 12 and 20 pounds, although it may be as tiny as 2 pounds. The exterior of unripe jackfruit is hard, green, and densely spaced spiky, albeit the spikes aren't as sharp as durian spikes. Jackfruit that has fully matured has a softer outer peel, more spaced-out spikes, and a delicious scent.

The rind of mature jackfruit tends to turn brown very rapidly, so don't be concerned! The insides of the apple should still be tasty. The less sticky sap your jackfruit has, the riper it is. Firm, dry to the touch yet juicy to bite, and nearly crispy, with a rich yellow or orange colour. The odour of mature jackfruit is faint and musty.

When immature and unripe, jackfruit takes on a meaty texture, earning it the nickname "meat fruit" (also green). It may be used to replace or duplicate shredded chicken or pork in vegetarian dishes. In supermarket shops, jackfruit is often offered whole or precut like melon halves. Because a single jackfruit produces a big quantity of fruit, many smaller families choose to purchase the sliced segments. The whole jackfruit may be kept for up to five days at room temperature or for up to six weeks in the refrigerator. It's also possible to freeze the flesh for up to three months.

Jackfruit Preparation

  • The rind of the jackfruit has a sticky sap that sticks to whatever it comes into touch with, making it difficult to peel. 
  • If you intend on chopping up a full piece of jackfruit, use gloves and cover your work area with newspaper (or use an oiled cutting board) to protect your hands and counters. 
  • It's also a good idea to lubricate your knife's blade to prevent the fruit from clinging to it.
  • The harvested jackfruit meat may be kept in the fridge for up to a week (but it's best eaten right away!)
  • Jackfruit seeds, like chestnuts, may be eaten and are best served broiled or roasted. The jackfruit core and peel are also inedible, so make careful to toss them out.

What Does Jackfruit Go With?

  • Bananas, bell peppers, carrots, cauliflower, chiles, garlic, ginger, leeks, lemon, lemongrass, lime, mushrooms, onions, peas, potatoes, and tomatoes are among the fruits and vegetables available.
  • Bay leaf, cilantro, cumin, garam masala, and turmeric are some of the herbs and spices used.
  • Barbeque sauce, cashews, coconut milk, molasses, rice, and soy sauce are among the other ingredients.

Serving ideas for Jackfruit

  • Desserts made with jackfruits, such as this jackfruit sticky rice and this jackfruit brown sugar cake, work wonderfully.
  • A morning smoothie may also benefit from the addition of jackfruit.
  • Fresh jackfruit is often used in desserts, but it may also be used in curries.

Nutritional Values of Jackfruit

One cup (174 g) of raw, fresh jackfruit provides a significant amount of your daily required intake of nutrients, according to the Canadian Nutrient File: 40 g carbs, 3 g protein, 40% vitamin C, 32% vitamin B6, 22% potassium, 20% magnesium, 19% folate, 10% fibre (2.6 g), 6% vitamin A, 6% riboflavin, 4% calcium, and 274 g lutein and zeaxanthin antioxidants

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of sliced jackfruit has 157 calories, 1 gram of fat, 38 grams of carbs, 2.8 grams of protein, and 2.5 grams of fibre (USDA).

Jackfruit's Potential Health Benefits

  • Inflammation in the body is reduced
  • promotes healthy skin and acts immunity booster 
  • Maintain a Healthy Heart and regulates blood pressure
  • Incorporating jackfruit into your diet has the potential to help with weight loss and reduce belly fat. Each serving of jackfruit includes 2.5 grams of fibre. Because it adds bulk to your diet, fibre is a crucial component for achieving your weight reduction objectives. It may help you feel satisfied for longer periods of time, reducing the amount of eating and grazing you do.

Take Away

If you're one of the many individuals who has switched to a vegetarian diet, jackfruit should be on your radar. Its neutral taste complements a wide range of sauces and seasonings, and its texture resembles pulled pork. Jackfruit is high in fibre, vitamin C, B vitamins, and potassium, among other minerals.