Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Insider’s Viewpoint: Try This Meat Alternative for National Nutrition Month: Jackfruit

Insider's Viewpoint: Try This Meat Alternative for National Nutrition Month: Jackfruit. Fruits And Veggies More Matters.org

Every year during March, nutrition professionals around the country celebrate National Nutrition Month to help promote the role food plays in a healthy lifestyle. This year, the theme is “Put your Best Fork Forward.” Part of following a better-for-you lifestyle is incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. This month, to celebrate National Nutrition Month, pick out a new fruit or vegetable during your next grocery store visit. You could even try a more exotic variety like dragon fruit or even jackfruit.

Ever seen a giant fruit that is double the size of a watermelon sitting in the produce section? You’re probably looking at a jackfruit, the largest tree fruit in the world, which can sometimes reach up to 100 pounds in weight! Once you cut into a jackfruit, you’ll find a sweet flavored fruit with a somewhat musky smell and large kidney-shaped seeds inside.

Jackfruit is growing in popularity with people following a plant-based diet because of its meat-like texture. Jackfruit can be used in different recipes as a meat alternative and can fool even the most devout meat-eater. Besides being a great alternative to meat, jackfruit is also packed with great nutrition. This fruit is a good source of protein, potassium, and B Vitamins and contains only 95 calories for ½-cup serving.

You can find jackfruit fresh during the months of March, April and May or year round in the canned fruit section. When selecting a jackfruit, pick one that gives a little bit when pressed. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week. Looking to be a little bit more adventurous with the produce in your shopping cart? Try this great jackfruit taco recipe for dinner tonight!

Recipe

Spicy Chipotle Garlic Jackfruit Tacos
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 40 mins
Serves: 2

Ingredients
For the Spicy Jackfruit:

  • 1 20 oz can of young green Jackfruit in brine, not ripe jackfruit in sugar syrup
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced or chopped
  • 1 or 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 tbsp adobo sauce (use less or more to heat preference)
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • ½ tsp ancho chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1¼ cup water, divided
  • salt to taste

To Serve:

  • soft tacos or tortillas
  • avocado or guacamole
  • shredded lettuce
  • sour cream or salsa

Directions

  1. Drain the jackfruit. Add to a saucepan with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 10 to 11 minutes. Drain, shred with a fork and keep aside. (You can skip this step and simmer the jackfruit in the sauce longer.) Shred the jackfruit pieces midway during simmering when softened at Step 6.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and a pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Stir occasionally. About 4 minutes.
  3. Blend chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, garlic cloves, ketchup, ancho chili, black pepper, cumin, coriander, oregano, a with ¼ cup of water until smooth.
  4. Add the blended sauce to the onions and cook until the sauce thickens and smells roasted. Stir occasionally. About 6 to 8 minutes.
  5. Add the shredded jackfruit, 1 cup water and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Stir, reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until the sauce reduces and the jackfruit picks up the sauce flavor, 15 minutes or more. Taste and adjust salt, heat and sweet.
  7. Heat tortillas on a skillet or grill, add jackfruit. add lettuce or sprouts or greens of choice. Add avocado or guacamole, salsa or vegan sour cream and serve.

Recipe Credit: Vegan Richa

Karleigh Jurek, RD, LD
Corporate Dietitian
United Family
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