Never heard of jackfruit? Until recently, jackfruit has been relevantly unknown in the United States. It’s gaining in popularity as more Americans look for plant-based meat substitutes. More and more restaurants are adding dishes like Jackfruit Tacos and Jackfruit BBQ Sandwiches to their menus.
What Is Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a giant tree fruit that can reach up to 100 pounds! It’s grown in tropical regions of Southeast Asia, Africa, and Brazil but can also be grown in Hawaii, Florida, and Australia. While you can buy a whole jackfruit, you’ll likely find it divided into sections. You can also find jackfruit canned or packaged in pouches.
How To Eat Jackfruit
Each jackfruit contains pale yellow pods called bulbs that are joined to the core. These edible bulbs contain seeds that are also edible. These seeds contain protein, potassium, calcium, iron, and vitamin B. Both the bulbs and seeds can be cooked or eaten raw.
Ripe jackfruit can be eaten fresh and is frequently added to desserts. Ripe jackfruit is sweet and tastes similar to mango or pineapple. Many people have made the comparison to Juicy Fruit gum.
Young, unripe or green jackfruit is what is often used as a meat substitute. It has a texture similar to pulled pork or pulled chicken and a neutral flavor. The neutral flavor allows the jackfruit to easily take on the spices, herbs, and other seasonings in the dish.
Chili-Lime Jackfruit Burrito Bowls
Jackfruit takes the place of pulled pork in these burrito bowls. The jackfruit is seasoned with chili powder, cumin, paprika, lime juice, garlic, chopped onions, and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and then cooked in an Instant Pot.
Produce Moms’ Tip: Jackfruit contains a very sticky latex sap-like substance. You may want to use gloves and coat your knife with cooking spray when breaking down a jackfruit.
To build burrito bowls, layer rice, shredded lettuce, black beans, avocado, and jackfruit. Top with cojita cheese, cream cheese, and cilantro.
While jackfruit seeds are high in protein, the fruit itself is not (it takes 2.65 ounces for 1 gram of protein). However, when combined with black beans like in this recipe, you get a meatless meal that has plenty of protein too.
Have you ever tried jackfruit? How was it prepared? Share in the comments below. Tag us in your produce recipe photos on Instagram at @theproducemoms.
Looking for more meat-free options? Check out all our vegetarian recipes here.