Ever had jackfruit? Know what it is?
In our kitchen today, Michelle Dudash, Registered Dietitian, Chef and Creator of the 4Real Food Reboot, shares what to do with the gigantic exotic fruit you’re seeing in grocery stores: the jackfruit!
1. Jackfruit is the size of a very large watermelon, with a tough, spiky outer layer.
2. The color ranging from bright green when it’s under ripe, with speckled brown spots as it ripens and turns sweet, bearing an exotic sweet scent.
3. What’s driving the U.S. interest in jackfruit? Vegan demand, media demand, an overall curiosity in eating vegan “pulled pork” from the fruit, and restaurant chefs using it on their menus seem to be the forces driving the popularity of jackfruit.
1. What you’ll need to cut a jackfruit
Use a sharp chef knife and latex gloves, otherwise you’ll just need to wash your hands a lot to remove the sticky sap. Also, tear the seams on a large paper bag so that it lays out flat and use this as your cutting surface. It is super sweet and moist, but not juicy like a watermelon, so cutting into one doesn’t leave a liquidy mess.
2. How to cut into the jackfruit
You can cut cross-sections, making large circles. Or quarter it or cut it further into eighths. Some grocery stores sell it pre-sliced or will cut off whatever amount you would like.
3. Know the parts of the jackfruit
After you slice or quarter the jackfruit, you will find there are three major edible parts to the jackfruit: The pods (the sweet, raw fruit you can eat as is), the finger-like projections attached to the skin that transform into vegan “pulled pork” when cooked, and the large seeds within each pod. Cut out and discard the inner stem that runs down the middle first. Take out all of the pods, then off the stringy parts.
Nutritionally, jackfruit pods stack up similarly to other tropical fruits, with 98 calories and 3 grams fiber per serving. It’s a good source of vitamin C. Jackfruit seeds are nutritionally similar to other seeds, with protein and fat. Just be sure to cook the seeds before eating.
To learn more, visit www.michelledudash.com.