top of page

Jumping into Jackfruit: Health Benefits and Basic Recipes


sweet jackfruit






What is Jackfruit?


It seems like some parts of the world are just discovering jackfruit, so what is it?

Jackfruit is a large, tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia but is now grown in many parts of the world.


Jackfruit can be massive! They are the world's largest tree-borne fruit, can weigh up to 36 kilograms (80 pounds), and grow up to 0.9 metres (3 feet) in length.


They are unusual-looking fruit with greenish-yellow, spiky outer skin, and when opened, it reveals a fibrous, yellow flesh that is sweet and fragrant. The fruit's flesh is used in savoury dishes as a meat substitute because of its texture and ability to absorb flavours. Jackfruit seeds are also edible and can be roasted or boiled.


Jackfruit has an excellent nutritional profile. It is high in fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients. Traditionally it has been used for medicinal purposes to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive problems, fever, and skin diseases.

What does jackfruit taste like?


I like the taste of fresh and processed jackfruit. It tastes sweet and lightly tropical, with pineapple, mango, and banana flavours. It has a slightly musky or fruity aroma. The texture is dense and fibrous for fruit, almost meat-like. It is often used as a substitute for pulled pork or chicken.


Jackfruit can be both savoury or sweet, and the taste and texture of jackfruit can depend on its ripeness. When the fruit is unripe, it has a firm, starchy texture and a mild flavour. The flesh becomes softer and sweeter as it ripens, with a more intense aroma. Ripe jackfruit has a sweet, fruity flavour and a juicy texture.


Jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular around the globe. When I first started eating jackfruit, the uniqueness of its texture, flavour, and aroma was confusing to my senses as it reminded me of so many other foods all at once. The complexity of jackfruit makes it versatile and useable in both savoury and sweet dishes.


BBQ Jackfruit Recipe


Jackfruit is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many dishes. Tinned jackfruit is perfect for meal prep. It's great if you're looking for a meat replacement. It can have a shredded meat texture if pulled apart. BBQ Jackfruit is simple to make and tasty.


To do this, start with green jackfruit in water from a tin is easiest. After rinsing, use a potato masher to break it into smaller pieces. Sauté diced onions and fresh garlic cloves with water. Do this in a pan oven over medium heat for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.


Add the jackfruit, BBQ sauce, and black pepper. Let it cook for 10-15 minutes. This will give you a savoury dish with a smoky flavour that’s perfect for jackfruit sandwiches. Alternatively, make a BBQ marinated and let sit for at least an hour before cooking in the same way. Find what method best suits you.


Jackfruit Curry Recipe


Jackfruit Curry is another popular way to enjoy jackfruit. Start with tinned jackfruit in brine or water. Begin by heating cumin seeds in a large pot over medium-high heat until they start to pop. Add yellow onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, vegetable stock and an inch piece of fresh ginger chopped. Sauté in water for 7-8 minutes until everything is soft and fragrant.


Stir in ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, teaspoon cumin, and teaspoon coriander powder. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste if you want a richer base. Then add the drained jackfruit and vegetable broth, simmering for 20-25 minutes. Add coconut cream to taste for decadence. This Jackfruit Curry Recipe pairs well with Basmati rice for a hearty meal.


jackfruit on a tree

What is the Nutritional Information of Jackfruit?


Jackfruit has health benefits due to its nutrient content. So what is the nutrition info on jackfruit?


Here is the back of the Ceres Organics Young Jackfruit can I bought from the health food section of Woolworths.


The approximate nutritional information per 100 grams


Nutritional information on young jackfruit can

Calories (Kilocalories /kcal):

364 kJ per 100 grams is equivalent to about 87 kcal (since 1 kcal = 4.184 kJ).


Macronutrients:


Calories: Around 87 kcal Protein: 1-1.5 g

Total Fat: 0.1-0.5 g

Carbohydrates: 13-24 g

Dietary Fiber: 1-6 g

Sugars: 0-4 g (can be higher if canned in syrup)

Sodium: 200-500 mg (higher if canned in brine)


Micronutrients:


The vitamins and minerals of of jackfruit:


Vitamin C: 5-12 mg

Vitamin A (as beta-carotene): Roughly 30-60 mcg

Niacin (B3): 0.4-0.9 mg

Pyridoxine (B6): 0.05-0.11 mg

Riboflavin (B2): 0.01-0.05 mg

Folic acid (B9): 10-24 μg

Potassium: 250-300 mg

Magnesium: 20-30 mg

Iron: 0.2-0.6 mg

Calcium: 20-30 mg

Zinc: 0.1-0.5 mg

Phosphorus: 15-25 mg



What Are the Health Benefits of Jackfruit?


Here are some of the most notable health benefits of jackfruit:


Rich in nutrients: Jackfruit is a good source of several essential nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium.


Low-calorie density: It is low in calories and fat: making it a good choice for those watching their weight.


High Fibre: The high fibre content of jackfruit can help promote healthy digestion and prevent constipation. Fibre can also help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.


Health Benefits in More Detail


Infographic listing some potential health benefits of jackfruit

Nutrient-Rich: Jackfruit is a good source of essential nutrients, including vitamins (such as vitamin C and various B vitamins), minerals (like potassium and magnesium), and dietary fibre.


Digestive Health: The dietary fibre in jackfruit aids in digestion, helps prevent constipation, and supports a healthy gut.


Weight Management: It is relatively low in calories and contains fibre, making it a satisfying and nutritious addition to a weight-conscious diet.


Heart Health: Jackfruit's potassium content can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.


Blood Sugar Control: Some studies suggest that jackfruit may help regulate blood sugar levels due to its low glycemic index and fibre content.


Immune Support: The fruit's vitamin C content boosts the immune system and helps the body defend against illnesses.


Antioxidant Properties: Jackfruit contains antioxidants, such as vitamin C and phytonutrients, which combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.


Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Certain compounds in jackfruit may have anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for reducing the risk of inflammation-related diseases.


Eye Health: The vitamin A content in jackfruit supports healthy vision and may reduce the risk of eye-related conditions.


Skin Health: The antioxidants in jackfruit may promote healthy skin by reducing signs of aging and protecting against UV damage.


Bone Health: Jackfruit contains calcium and magnesium, essential for maintaining strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.


Improves Anemia: Jackfruit is a good source of iron, which can help combat anemia and increase energy levels.


Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that the antioxidants and phytonutrients in jackfruit may protect against certain types of cancer. More research is needed.


Stress Reduction: The fruit contains B vitamins essential for nerve function and may help reduce stress and anxiety.


Hydration: Jackfruit has a high water content, contributing to hydration, especially in hot climates.


Is Jackfruit a Good Meat Substitute for Vegetarians and Vegans?


Jackfruit is an excellent meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans. Jackfruit is a popular ingredient in vegetarian and vegan dishes that aim to replicate the taste and texture of meat. When unripe, jackfruit has a firm, meaty texture that can be shredded or pulled to mimic the pulled pork or chicken texture.


In addition to its meaty texture, jackfruit is also a good source of dietary fibre, which can help keep you full and satisfied. It is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy alternative to meat.


Jackfruit is also versatile in various dishes, including tacos, sandwiches, and stir-fries. It can be flavoured with various seasonings and spices to create various flavours.

Jackfruit is becoming more well-known, and many prepared products are now being sold.


How Do You Prepare Jackfruit?


If you are lucky enough to come across a fresh jackfruit, you should know how to prepare it properly, as it can be a little difficult at first.


  1. Choose a ripe jackfruit that is slightly soft to the touch and has a sweet aroma.

  2. Cut off the stem and the bottom of the fruit with a sharp knife.

  3. Cut the fruit in half lengthwise and then into quarters.

  4. Remove the core and any large seeds from the fruit.

  5. Pull apart the fruit's flesh into bite-sized pieces, discarding any tough fibres or white pith.

  6. Rinse the jackfruit pieces under cold water and pat them dry.

Once you have the fruit flesh, you can choose how to use it. You can eat it raw, as a snack or in a fruit salad or your cooking. If you want to use it as a meat substitute, you can marinate it, add seasonings, and then cook it as you would meat.


Depending on the recipe, jackfruit can be grilled, roasted, sautéed, or baked. You can use jackfruit in sweet dishes, such as smoothies or desserts if you have a sweet tooth.


How Do You Store Jackfruit?


Whole Jackfruit: If you have a whole jackfruit, store it at room temperature until it is ripe. Once ripe, it can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.


Jackfruit pieces: If you have cut jackfruit into pieces, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to five days.


Frozen Jackfruit: Jackfruit can also be frozen for later use. To freeze jackfruit, cut it into small pieces and remove any seeds. Place the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for several hours. Once the pieces are frozen, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to six months.


Jackfruit has a strong, sweet aroma that can permeate other foods in your refrigerator or freezer. To avoid this, store it in an airtight container.


Can You Eat Jackfruit Seeds?


Jackfruit seeds are edible and can be eaten cooked or roasted. To prepare jackfruit seeds, first, remove the outer white layer by boiling or roasting them. Once the white layer is removed, the seeds can be boiled or roasted until tender. Roasted seeds can be ground into flour and used as a gluten-free alternative to wheat flour.


Jackfruit seeds are commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine, where they are added to curries, stews, and stir-fries. They can also be eaten as a snack, either boiled or roasted and seasoned with salt and spices.


jackfruit on a motorbike

Where Does Jackfruit Come From?


Jackfruit is native to the tropical regions of South and Southeast Asia, specifically India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia. It is now widely cultivated in other tropical regions around the world.


Today, jackfruit is grown in many countries in Asia, Africa, and South America, as well as in parts of Australia and the Caribbean.


What Are the Different Types of Jackfruit?


There are several different types of jackfruit, each with its unique characteristics. Here are a few of the most common types:


Sweet Jackfruit: This type of jackfruit has a sweet and fruity flavour when ripe. It is commonly eaten as a fruit or an ingredient in desserts.


Unripe Jackfruit: Unripe jackfruit has a firm, starchy texture and a mild flavour. It is often used as a meat substitute in savoury dishes in vegetarian and vegan cuisine.


Cempedak: Cempedak is a type of jackfruit native to Southeast Asia. It is smaller than other types of jackfruit and has a sweeter, more fragrant aroma.


Black gold: Black gold is a variety of jackfruit characterised by its dark green exterior and large size. It has a sweet flavour and a soft, juicy texture.


Golden pillow: Golden pillow jackfruit is known for its large, yellow, pillow-shaped fruit. It has a sweet flavour and a soft, stringy texture when ripe.


Cochin: Cochin jackfruit also known as "Koozha Chakka" in the Malayalam language jackfruit is a variety grown in Kerala, India. India grows many types of jackfruit, but cochin jackfruit is one of the more prominent varieties. cochin jackfruit is small and oval-shaped, with a sweet flavour and a slightly fibrous texture.


Some websites are saying that Cochin jackfruit is native to Australia. I doubt this as Kochi or Cochin is an area on the southwest coast of India. It may be that Cochin jackfruit is cultivated in parts of Australia rather than originating there. If you have more information please let me know so we can clear this up.


Where to buy Jackfruit in Australia


Fresh jackfruit is not widely available in Australia. The quickest and easiest place to buy jackfruit from is Woolworths affectionately aka Woolies. Organic Young Jackfruit at Woolworths comes canned by Natures Organics.


Woolworths used to stock Yellow Jackfruit in syrup but unfortunately, they no longer do. Other places you can buy jackfruit from are Coles, specialty stores, or chemists with a food section. Where you can buy jackfruit products can also vary depending on your location, as larger stores naturally have greater product availability.


Jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular and I am sure we will see it stocked more widely in the future. Another alternative is to purchase online. If you can't wait for the world to catch up click on my Amazon affiliate link for jackfruit. Amazon stocks tined/caned jackfruit both sweet and savoury, dried jackfruit and products made from jackfruit such as chips and flour.


Be aware that not all stores will have the same stock available, so it is best to check for stock online first. Woolworths offers more than Coles.


Here is a list of the jackfruit products available to buy from Woolworths (Woolies): 


  1. Spc Young Green Jackfruit Pieces In Water 410g (canned jackfruit)

  2. Ceres Organics Pulled Jackfruit 400g (canned jackfruit) 

  3. Hanabi Seedless Jack Fruit 400g (vacuum-sealed jackfruit) 


Here is the Jackfruit Product Available to Buy from Coles


  1. Coles Natures Kitchen Jackfruit In Brine | 400g (canned jackfruit)



How Do I make Pulled Jackfruit?


Buy canned / tinned jackfruit from Woolworths

I don't have access to fresh jackfruit often, so I bought some Organic Young Jackfruit tinned from Woolworths. The Banana Blossom and Young Jackfruit tins can be found in the health food aisle.


To turn young, canned jackfruit into pulled jackfruit, follow these steps:


  1. Drain the canned jackfruit from Woolworths and rinse it with water to remove brine or syrup.

  2. Use your hands or a fork to shred the jackfruit into thin, stringy pieces. Doing this will give the jackfruit a pulled pork or chicken texture.

  3. Season the jackfruit with spices, such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, or chilli powder. You can also add a splash of soy sauce or barbecue sauce to add flavour. Allow to marinate.

  4. Cook the jackfruit for 5-10 minutes in a frying pan or pot with a little water (optional: when I make the pizza I recipe I take it straight out of the fridge and put use it).

Plantz Matter: Young jackfruit for savory cooking

Jackfruit Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit Pizza


Ingredients


BBQ-pulled jackfruit (the one you made from the above recipe)

1 pizza base

Tomato paste

Vegan shredded cheese

Fresh onions

Red capsicum

Chilli (freshly chopped)

Canned pineapple chunks

Herbs and spices

Nando's vegan perinaise (mayonnaise or aioli)


Method


Pizza toppings are a personal choice, so the above is only a suggestion. Start with the base, add the tomato paste and then the toppings. Cover with the vegan cheese and cook in a preheated oven at approximately 218°C (425°F) for 10 – 12 minutes. Top with perinaise.


To reduce the calorie density skip the cheese and perinaise, or replace it with nutritional yeast. You could also add a side of salad or vegetables. Enjoy this simple jackfruit recipe.


Summary

Jackfruit is a large tropical fruit that is native to Southeast Asia and is now grown in many parts of the world. It has fibrous, yellow flesh that is sweet and fragrant.


The flesh is used in savoury dishes as a meat substitute because of its texture and ability to absorb flavours. Jackfruit has an excellent nutritional profile, high in fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and other nutrients.


It is low in calories and fat, making it a healthy, low-calorie density meat alternative. Jackfruit products are becoming more widely available, so try it and tell me what you think.


Thank you for reading and please subscribe.







Comments


bottom of page