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Jackfruit - The Protein Surprise!

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"Many fruits (including peaches, plums, and tropical jack fruit) are deficient in tryptophan, yet have very significant quantities of the other amino acids. They also contain some of the “carbon skeleton” (keto-acid) equivalents of the essential amino acids, which can be converted to protein in the body."-Ray Peat

"The jackfruit is a multiple fruit composed of hundreds to thousands of individual flowers, and the fleshy petals of the unripe fruit are eaten. The ripe fruit is sweet (depending on variety) and is more often used for desserts" -Wikipedia


I knew nothing about the world's biggest fruit, the jackfruit, until recently! They can grow to 80 pounds, and they get curiouser and curiouser as you get inside! While disecting mine, I marveled, out loud, at how I went through my 57 years never knowing about this fascinating fruit! When ripe and sweet, they are a bit cumbersome to get to the good stuff, seperating the fruit and seeds from their latex sticky pods, but I am sure it will go quicker each time. Once opened it's "Juicy Fruit" gum aroma filled several rooms. I have never known a fruit to have that much power to the nose! The fruit tastes like a firmer cantaloupe, with hints of mango or papaya, and when a bit over ripe, even a brown banana.

Vegans are especially fond of jackfruit for their protein content, about 3 grams per cup, with Guavas having a bit more, and all other fruit having less. Because of their high protein content, jackfruit is a good choice for those managing their blood sugar levels too. So much so, I have read, that diabetics who want to eat them regularly might need to change their medications! One cup of fresh jackfruit provides roughly 10% to 15% of vitamin A, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Copper and even more vitamin C. Like anything else, people can be allergic to them, but especially those who are allergic to birch pollen.

The seeds, are large and beautiful, like river stones, and besides being nutritious, they also have anti-bacteral powers, effective at killing E-Coli and other food borne illnesses. "A recent test-tube study found that jackfruit seed extract reduced the formation of cancerous blood vessels by 61%". Although they have much to offer, they do interfere with blood's ability to clot, so having them with blood thinners or aspirin can be problematic. Like any seed, jackfruit seeds also contain anti-nutrients and should not be eaten raw. Cooking them well helps to minimize their anti-nutient damage and better extract their benefits. I boiled mine for about 50 minutes, then peeled off their outer shell which left a bean-like texture with a sweet red potato flesh, much like chestnuts. I made a humus with them that rivaled any of the bean ones. Like any seed, nut or grain, they are not considered "optimal" in a "Peaty" diet, but definetly worth trying them just to know.

Fresh jackfruit is quite expensive. ranging anywhere on the average from $2 a pound to $8 a pound. I have read bigger is better with jackfruits. Look for ones with yellowish skins with their spikes just starting to get soft, or buy green ones and wait for those tell tale signs. You can as also buy it frozen or canned in syrup.

Green unripe jackfruit, though bland, are commonly used by Vegans as a meat substitute. When young their fruit is not developed, and still in flower form. Young Jackfruit, also comes canned, packed in BRINE, which is reminiscent of canned artichoke, or packed in WATER, which is more versatile to use as a "mock meat".

I experimented with everything and was impressed at how versatile one fruit can be! Below are pics of the different things I came up with, and all of them were delicious! Check out the couple of links below too, that tell more about their history, benefits and what else to do with them upripe or very ripe.


 

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Jennifer

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I knew nothing about the world's biggest fruit, the jackfruit, until recently! They can grow to 80 pounds, and they get curiouser and curiouser as you get inside! While disecting mine, I marveled, out loud, at how I went through my 57 years never knowing about this fascinating fruit! When ripe and sweet, they are a bit cumbersome to get to the good stuff, seperating the fruit and seeds from their latex sticky pods, but I am sure it will go quicker each time.

Nice post and yummy looking recipes! I ate a lot of jackfruit while following the fruitarian diet—I liked blending it up into a smoothie with coconut cream. By chance, do you buy your jackfruit from Whole Foods? I ask because I used to buy mine there and one of the nice men that worked in the produce section would cut it up into slices for me so that I could get the pods out easily.
 

Rinse & rePeat

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Nice post and yummy looking recipes! I ate a lot of jackfruit while following the fruitarian diet—I liked blending it up into a smoothie with coconut cream. By chance, do you buy your jackfruit from Whole Foods? I ask because I used to buy mine there and one of the nice men that worked in the produce section would cut it up into slices for me so that I could get the pods out easily.

Thank you Jennifer! I got it at pur local family owned health food store, but I am sure they would be happy to cut one up. It is some sticky business isn't it?! The coconut cream smoothie sounds good! I mix cream and coconut water to achieve a coconut milk. I think my next frozen bag of jackfruit I will try your smoothie idea! Did you use the young jackfruit too when you were a fruitarian?
 

Jennifer

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My pleasure, @Rinse & rePeat! Yes, it sure is sticky business! I used to put coconut oil on my hands prior to cutting the jackfruit up so that I could get the latex off of them easily. I did have young jackfruit “pulled pork” during that time but had a lot of cramping from the fiber so after that, I only consumed it in its ripe state.
 

Rinse & rePeat

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My pleasure, @Rinse & rePeat! Yes, it sure is sticky business! I used to put coconut oil on my hands prior to cutting the jackfruit up so that I could get the latex off of them easily. I did have young jackfruit “pulled pork” during that time but had a lot of cramping from the fiber so after that, I only consumed it in its ripe state.
Yeah I wonder about the fresh young jackfruit maybe needing to be boiled before using. That is why I went with the canned. I made it a pulled pork/mexican-style. It looked like this before I filled the tacos. Masa tortillas fried in refined coconut oil of course!
 

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Rinse & rePeat

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I actually fried my "mock" pulled pork in some leftover fat i had saved and froze, from making pulled pork with a corn and soy free butt roast last fall and some refined coconut oil.
 

AdR

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I'm sure it was young, it was similar to pulled pork or chicken I would say
 

Rinse & rePeat

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I'm sure it was young, it was similar to pulled pork or chicken I would say

Yeah these Sri Lanka curries look REALLY good!
 

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Jennifer

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Yeah I wonder about the fresh young jackfruit maybe needing to be boiled before using. That is why I went with the canned. I made it a pulled pork/mexican-style. It looked like this before I filled the tacos. Masa tortillas fried in refined coconut oil of course!

Yum! I used pre-cooked jackfruit, too. I imagine it’s easier on the intestines for those who can handle the fiber.
 

Rinse & rePeat

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Top left looks similar to what I used to get there. Everything there is cooked in coconut milk, worst case coconut oil. You guys would love it
Ok now that one looks really promising! The recipe you pointed out uses those pods or seeds which tasted sweet like a boiled baby red potato when I cooked it well, so I can see that being a really good and exotic curry!

 

AdR

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I tried a jackfruit seed curry once. It was good but I would guess most people would like the meat better. The meat curry is called polos and it is very very good the way they make it
 

Rinse & rePeat

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O
I tried a jackfruit seed curry once. It was good but I would guess most people would like the meat better. The meat curry is called polos and it is very very good the way they make it
So the polos is the young jackfruit?
 

Jennifer

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Michael Mohn

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I like jackfruit but Ray Peat warns against the fruit, apparently the sap is very allergenic to a lot of people and as most jackfruit are picked slightly unripe it has always some of the white sap left. It only tastes great when fully ripe or it is too chewy.
 

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