Jackfruit - The Sustainable Fruit
The Wholesome Jackfruit… The Jack of all Good!
Quintessential to the Western Ghats of India, the tropical jackfruit is a cluster fruit that comprises several flowers that ripen. The jackfruit is the world's largest tree fruit, weighing up to 20 kilograms or more.
With a green, textured, rind-like exterior and a yellow or orange fruity, stringy interior, the jackfruit is commonly consumed both ripe and unripe in various dishes in southern India. From natural jackfruit papads, curries, idlis, chutneys to chips, jams and crisps, the fruit is not only versatile but also nutritious. When ripe, the fruit gives off a strong smell and the inside pulp smells sweet and tastes far better than it smells.
The appearance & feel of jackfruit
The ripe and raw fruit mimics the texture of a banana, pineapple, or a mango but the unripe fruit has a neutral flavour like a sweet potato. This helps the green jackfruit to lend itself fantastically into most savoury dishes for they don't even have a strong flavour on their own and can absorb seasonings, spices, and other aromatics. Apart from the fruit itself, the kidney-like seed of the jackfruit is also commonly used in curries and desserts or also often enjoyed roasted or dried or made into a powder. The taste of the seed mimics that of roasted nuts such as macadamias or almonds.
The large fruit is not fun to cut into with its thick, rind-like skin. However, using oiled hands and knives to work your way through the sap that holds the fruit together might make the process of extracting the bulbous fruit much easier. However, the growing popularity of the fruit means that you are able to get different, more easily accessible versions of the fruit in the market.
The health benefits of Jackfruit.
But what is really good and nutritious about jackfruit? Let us explore and reap all that is good from the jack of all fruits.
- Jackfruit is a high-fibre, low-fat fruit that is beneficial for healthy digestion and to maintain a healthy, balanced gut.
Jackfruit is also a great source of minerals and vitamins that have significant health benefits.
- Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin Bs, Calcium, Magnesium, and Potassium are some of the vitamins and minerals that are found in jackfruit, making it a good choice for a healthy immune system.
- Jackfruit also has a ton of antioxidants, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties.
- The carotenoid that provides the jackfruit with the lovely amber colour is rich in vitamin A and aids in protecting cells from damage. Furthermore, it can help prevent cardiovascular disease and is known to be beneficial for the eyes.
- Jackfruit is digested and absorbed more slowly by our bodies. Raw jackfruit was also found to have a very low glycemic load which means that blood sugar can be kept in check with this fruit as well.
- The potassium found in jackfruit also helps lower blood pressure making it a great choice for those who experience difficulties in moderating hypertension
- The seeds are also a great source of protein, calcium, iron, and potassium making it a great source for bone and skin health.
- The range of B vitamins present in the jackfruit makes it a great source of natural energy
Jackfruit – The sustainable fruit.
In addition to the range of health benefits that the jackfruit provides, it is also a sustainable food to grow. A single jackfruit tree can grow two hundred or more fruits in a year, and it does not require as much land or water resources when compared to growing other produce or rearing meat. Additionally, this versatile fruit is also hardy, resilient, and has the ability to withstand diseases, high temperatures, pests and is also drought resistant.
Culinary Uses of the jackfruit pods
How do you prepare the jackfruit? The fruit is particularly versatile. It can soak up and absorb any flavour you wish to provide it. It can be used in stir-fries, soups, salads, and curries or simply enjoyed plain with a little bit of salt, honey, or liquid jaggery. The fruit is often used as an alternative to meat so you can also shred it and use it creatively in dishes such as tacos and burritos
Jams, chutney, peeled and vacuum-sealed are some of the many options. If you want to try out the fruit as a snack, you get jackfruit chips and natural jackfruit papads too! Check out the Earth Reserve’s Jackfruit papads. The sun-dried natural, preservative-free delicacy popular in North Karnataka is a great snack or side dish and can also be eaten with dips and chutneys.
Click here to buy Jackfruit papad