Though relatively new to home cooks, jackfruit has been steadily gaining in popularity across the United States. This nutrient-dense fruit has a lot to offer to both consumers and growers across the globe. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world: One fruit can weigh between 10 and 100 pounds! Fully ripened jackfruit has the texture of a ripe banana and is sweet in flavor, while the flesh of young jackfruit has the texture of pulled pork or beef, and is not sweet in flavor. The texture of the young jackfruit has led to its popularity as a meat substitute. People are amazed with its versatility because it absorbs flavors beautifully.
How It’s Grown
Jackfruit is believed to have originated in India, but is now widely cultivated in tropical regions around the world, including Southeastern Asia, South America, Australia, and the Caribbean. Jackfruit is a drought-resistant high-yield crop that can provide substantial income to the families who grow it. A single tree yields two to three tons of nutritious fruit each year, with minimal maintenance. Up until recently, these communities had no real means of monetizing the jackfruit already growing abundantly on their land, but companies like The Jackfruit Company are working to provide a link between growers and the international marketplace. Looking to the future, some researchers even believe that jackfruit will be a staple food in meeting global food demand.
How to eat Jackfruit
While jackfruit can be purchased in its whole fruit form, most home cooks opt to purchase it fully prepared and shredded. At Kimberton Whole Foods, look for The Jackfruit Company brand in flavors like BBQ and Curry, available in our refrigerated section. Also look for Native Forest canned jackfruit, which can be seasoned to taste and cooked in a wide variety of applications. By adding jackfruit into your meal rotation, you’ll be adding fiber, nutrients, and key vitamins and minerals to your diet, while also supporting under-developed communities across the globe.
Recipe: BBQ Jackfruit, Kale, and Quinoa Bowl
This hearty yet healthy dish features a balanced mix of vegetables, beans, and grains that is as delicious as it is good for you. This bowl is just as good cold as it is hot, and it makes a great dish to bring to a party or picnic. Recipe courtesy of The Jackfruit Company. Head to their website for more great recipes!
Recipe yields 2-4 servings
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cups chopped kale
- ¼ cup water
- 1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ½ cup corn kernels
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- salt to taste
- 1 package BBQ jackfruit, heated to desired temperature
- Cook quinoa as per package instructions. Place cooked quinoa into a large bowl and set aside.
- In a pan or skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the chopped kale and stir, coating the kale with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, and continue stirring until the kale begins to wilt.
- Add ¼ cup of water to the kale, lower the heat, and let simmer until the kale is tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
- When the kale is tender, place into the bowl containing the quinoa.
- Add the black beans, red onion, red bell pepper, and corn to the bowl and mix until everything is evenly distributed.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the apple cider vinegar to the mixture and stir well. Add salt to taste
- To serve, place the kale and quinoa mixture into a bowl and top with the desired amount of BBQ Jackfruit.