Jackfruit: Exploring the Taste, Preparation and Benefits!

image of Jackfruit Taste, Flavour

When it comes to plant-based meat, jackfruit has stolen the limelight.

It is the” jack of all trades” in vegetarian and vegan diets. It makes an excellent pulled pork substitute and complements several savory-based dishes.

This healthy fruit can be pan-fried, slow-cooked, sauteed, or braised.  

And it doesn’t stop there! It is delicious in smoothies and breakfast bowls and makes tasty salsa and slaw, to name a few.

With so much versatility, you may be wondering what jackfruit tastes like.  

Keep reading to find out and learn more about this exciting exotic fruit, including how to prepare it and its fantastic health benefits. 

What Is Jackfruit and Where Does It Come From?

The origin could be clearer. Yet, it is thought to be in India.  

Jackfruit grows on trees and thrives in tropical climates. In addition, it is the largest tree-born fruit in the world. 

It is native to south and southeast Asia, including India, Bangladesh, and Thailand, where it is a staple in various dishes.  

Over time, jackfruit found its way to North America and other parts of the globe to entice and enhance vegetarian and vegan diets. 

Jackfruit is used ripe and unripe. In both cases, the skin is thick and bumpy, and the flesh consists of plump, stringy pods. 

If you require a ripe jackfruit, look for skin with a yellow hue and no green. For an unripe jackfruit, the skin color will be green with brown and yellow tones.  

image of jackfruit

What Does A Jackfruit Taste Like?

When ripe, jackfruit is sweet and tastes like a combination of mango, pineapple, and banana. Therefore, it makes an excellent addition to smoothies and is delicious when served with muesli and yogurt. 

Compared to its unripe state, you can expect a mild, neutral taste lacking sweetness. In both cases, the texture is firm and slightly chewy.  

Furthermore, jackfruit absorbs the flavor of the ingredients mixed with it. Considering this quality and texture, it’s not surprising that it makes a fantastic meat substitute.  

Certainly, jackfruit has a hearty taste and firm texture and can easily soak up flavor from sauces and spices. Yet, it can not trick you into thinking it is meat.  

How To Cut Fresh Jackfruit

If you are in a hurry, the easiest way to cut fresh jackfruit is to buy it ready prepared!  

With this said, if you are feeling ambitious, grab your sharpest meat knife and follow these steps:

  • Start by cutting it lengthwise into two halves
  • Flip the two halves over and cut them into quarters
  • Cut out the center and peel the outer layer back to loosen the pods
  • Pull the pods from the fruit and peel off any excess rind
  • Be sure to remove the seeds and set them aside

Terrific Tip: jackfruit can be sticky. We suggest using gloves when preparing it. Also, wipe your meat knife with cooking oil before cutting using a clean cloth or pastry brush. This method prevents the flesh from sticking to the blade. 

How Should You Eat Jackfruit? 

Unripe jackfruit can be used in any recipe that requires stripped or chopped meat. Therefore, you only need to substitute the meat portion with jackfruit while keeping the other ingredients in place. 

As simple as that! 

Also, jackfruit is available in a pouch or can. Most canned brands come in salty water. So, it is an excellent idea to rinse it thoroughly. By doing so, you cut back on additional sodium content.  

3 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Sweet Jackfruit

1. Jackfruit Super Smoothie

Make this smoothie in the morning for a sweet and nutritious start to your day.

It’s super easy to prepare and made with ripe jackfruit, mango, banana, and coconut or almond milk.  For an extra boost, add vanilla protein powder and chia seeds.

Suppose this sounds too sweet for you. Whip up ripe jackfruit with some celery sticks and avocado. A delicious avocado superfood smoothie!

2. Jackfruit Pancake

Infuse your morning pancake breakfast with jackfruit.

These pancakes are packed with protein, and you have successfully hidden a healthy ingredient from the children.

Stack them up and drizzle with maple syrup. Oh, and add some coconut cream for extra deliciousness. 

3. Jackfruit Rice Pudding

A creamy rice pudding is a fantastic Sunday morning breakfast or dessert.

It is made with jackfruit, brown rice, cardamom, cashew nuts, ghee, and coconut milk—a healthy dash of cinnamon spices up this delicious vegan dish.  

The Best Way to Enjoy Savory Jackfruit

Vegan Pulled Pork

Decidedly, the most famous savory dish that uses jackfruit.

By far, the ultimate vegetarian and vegan comfort food. It is made with jackfruit, onion, tomato, fragrant spices, hot sauce, and BBQ sauce.

The jackfruit absorbs every bit of flavor. When served on a bread roll with fresh greens and slaw, it is a delicious and satisfying eating experience.

Furthermore, you can serve vegan pulled pork in a wrap, pita bread, or make a tasty burrito if you substitute the spices with Mexican spices.  

If you prefer to avoid bread, we recommend a baby leave green salad with trimmings and add it as a topping.

The list goes on and on. So, let your epicure imagination go wild and create an exciting and flavorsome dish.

Can Jackfruit Be Eaten Raw?

Absolutely! For those with a sweet tooth, enjoy ripe and raw jackfruit in a tropical fruit salad or a morning smoothie, or add it to a yogurt and muesli bowl. 

Also, you can add it to salsa for a sweet back taste.

Oh, and you can eat it cooked. However, we recommend you opt for an unripe jackfruit. The flesh is less sweet, and the pods absorb sauces and spices effortlessly.

Can You Eat Jackfruit Seeds?

Jackfruit seeds are edible. When you cook and roast them, the texture and flavor are similar to chestnuts.

We suggest you add these to a power trial mix pack. It is ideal for a mid-morning snack. Also, use the seeds as a crunchy salad topping.  

Notably, jackfruit seeds contain powerful anti-nutrients and should not be eaten raw. To find out more about jackfruit seeds and safe consumption, click here.

Health Benefits and Side Effects of Jackfruit

Is Jackfruit Good for You? 

Jackfruit has been used for centuries as food and medicine.  It is high in Vitamin C and one of the few fruits high in B Vitamins.

Additional minerals and vitamins include:

  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium

All the above, alongside powerful antioxidants and high fiber content, may assist with the following:

  • Constipation
  • Ulcers
  • High blood pressure
  • Skin problems

Apart from this, the seeds contain high levels of starch, protein, vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants. Moreover, the seeds are higher in protein than the actual flesh. 

We recommend you save and prepare the seeds to boost your plant protein intake.

Jackfruit does come with some side effects. It can lead to drowsiness, especially when taken alongside other medications that make you sleepy. 

Also, if you suffer from pollen allergies, jackfruit may cause your mouth to itch or your lips to swell.

Overall, jackfruit is a healthy exotic fruit offering many health benefits. To learn more, have a look here!

Final Fruity Thoughts

Do you have an idea of what jackfruit tastes like?  

We highly recommend you give it a try. Of course, it may not offer a complete “meat” texture and taste.

Yet, jackfruit has intrigued the culinary world whether you follow a plant-based diet or not.

We would love to hear about your favorite way to prepare and eat jackfruit. Be in touch!

Up Next: What does durian taste like?

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