What is jackfruit? Jackfruit is the amazingly large and versatile fruit that is taking the vegan world by storm. Jackfruit was once relatively unknown in the United States, but as the raw vegan diet gained momentum in the early 2000’s, the fruit became highly sought after due to the rumor that it was the flavor that juicy fruit gum was based upon. As the fruit gained in popularity, it became easier to find in Asian markets, typically frozen and occasionally fresh. The canned variety has become highly sought after in the past few years with no end in sight. What’s the difference between the canned, frozen and fresh jackfruit you might ask? Frozen and fresh jackfruit are the mature ripe fruit with an orange color and sweet flavor. Canned jackfruit is the young green jackfruit that has a relatively neutral flavor. Differentiating between the varieties is crucial to learning how to prepare this exquisite fruit.
Sweet jackfruit tastes tropical and has an unusually unique flavor that has a hint of mango. The ripe mature fruit is massive, known to be the largest tree grown fruit and can weigh up to 80 pounds. Jackfruit is not native to the United States and therefore aren’t typically grown here. In the past, finding them required a trip to the local Asian market or health food store. Nowadays, this ginormous fruit has found its space in mainstream American grocery stores. When using a fresh jackfruit, you will need to be sure to have a large machete on hand to cut it open and be prepared for a bit of a mess, as jackfruit naturally leaks milky latex (allergic reactions may follow). If lugging home a huge fruit and chopping it up does not appeal to you, you can often time find it in the frozen fruit area of the freezer. The jackfruit is already cleaned off and just the fruit sections are in the package so no hard work is required to enjoy it, other than a bit of blending or dehydrating. The Jackfruit Company offers ten-ounce bags of frozen jackfruit that is a perfect option for anyone hoping to enjoy the fruit in a smoothie.
The young green jackfruit is usually found in a can at Asian markets or health food stores, although more recently several companies have prepared seasoned jackfruit available in both the refrigerated and frozen sections. This unassuming gem is quite easy to work with and absolutely worth seeking out. Young jackfruit tastes neutral, making it easily assume the flavors of whatever it is being cooked with. The texture is often described as tender and similar to pulled pork or soft chicken, making it an all-star meat substitute that is minimally processed. The recipes for young jackfruit abound on the internet, from pulled jackfruit sandwiches to jackfruit tacos and BBQ jackfruit, making it the ideal ingredient to ramp up any vegan recipe. Native Forest produces organic canned jackfruit in a 14 ounce can with only two other ingredients, water, and sea salt, making it a great choice for any recipe.
If this exotic fruit sounds appealing yet you aren’t sure quite how to eat jackfruit, We’ve saved you the time and hard work and created a few easy recipes to help you enjoy it. These recipes are quite easy, consist of mostly whole foods and are absolutely worth making for everyone in your life. Exploring the world through plant-based foods is part of the excitement of being vegan. Sharing what you’ve found and enjoying it with others is the avocado frosting on the sweet potato cupcake, so enjoy jackfruit with those you love.
Easiest Jackfruit BBQ (Serves 2)
This basic recipe is quick and easy and can be used in a variety of ways. BBQ sandwiches, toss it on top of summer salads with fresh tomatoes and corn or add it atop baked potatoes with black beans and cashew cream. No matter how you use it, it will be a hit.
- -1 14 ounces can Native Forest jackfruit
- -1 tbsp avocado oil
- -1 cup The New Primal Classic Marinade and Cooking Sauce
- – ¼ tsp cayenne powder
Drain can of jackfruit and rinse with water. In a small skillet, add in avocado oil, cooking sauce, and jackfruit. Stir jackfruit with sauce and oil until well coated, add cayenne and stir. Turn stove on medium heat and cook jackfruit, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes until tender. If the mixture is dry or not coated enough to your liking, add a tbsp of cooking sauce at a time.
Smoky Jackfruit Tacos (Serves 4)
These vegan tacos will astonish even the most skeptical taco lover. The simplicity of the ingredients keeps this dish full of nutrients while wowing the taste buds with the smoky jackfruit. These will surely become a favorite and a staple in any taco loving household.
- -1 14 ounces can Native Forest jackfruit
- -1 tbsp avocado oil
- -1/4 tsp chipotle powder
- -1 cup Sky Valley taco sauce
- -1 pack Siete almond flour tortillas
- -1 jar of favorite salsa
- -1 lime
- -2 cups shredded purple cabbage
- -2 cups kale, destemmed and torn into small pieces
- -1 avocado, cubed
Optional: Treeline classic hard cheese, grated or a dollop of Kite Hill cream cheese
Take out Siete tortillas and let thaw for at least 30 minutes prior to dinner.
Drain can of jackfruit and rinse with water. In a small skillet, add in avocado oil, taco sauce, and jackfruit. Stir jackfruit with sauce and oil until well coated, add chipotle and stir. Turn stove on medium heat and cook jackfruit, stirring occasionally for about ten minutes until tender. If the mixture is dry or not coated enough to your liking, add a tbsp of taco sauce at a time. Once done cooking, use a fork to pull jackfruit apart into smaller, bite-sized pieces.
Warm up a small skillet on low. Let each tortilla heat up for roughly one minute on each side. Once cooled, layout and layer first with kale, then cabbage, avocado, jackfruit and drizzle salsa over the top. A few squirts of lime over the top and enjoy! If adding in cheese, grate treeline hard cheese over top or use a few dollops or Kite Hill cream cheese spread onto the tortilla before adding other ingredients.
Creamy Jackfruit Smoothie (Serves 2)
This smoothie is the perfect drink for a hot summer day. This healthy smoothie is full of fiber, Manganese, and Potassium and can easily get an extra boost by adding nutrient-dense spinach or chlorella!
- -1 1/2 cup The Jackfruit Company frozen jackfruit
- -1/2 ripe avocado
- -3 tbsp Let’s Do Organic Coconut Cream
- -32 ounces coconut water or more depending on preferred thickness
Optional: 1 cup spinach or 1 tbsp chlorella powder
In a highspeed blender add all ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve over ice and relax!
Jackfruit Banana Ice Cream (Serves 2)
This is the perfect healthy dessert, breakfast or snack! It’s creamy, tropical and reminiscent of soft serve. Feel free to swap out the mango with berries or experiment with adding in nut butter like macadamia nut butter to add a depth and creamy texture.
- -2 cups The Jackfruit Company frozen jackfruit
- -3 frozen bananas
- -1/2 cup frozen mango
- -water to process
- -2 tbsp cacao nibs
- -1 tbsp shredded coconut
In a food processor add all frozen fruit and about ½ cup water and process. It may take several times processing, stopping every few seconds to scrape down the sides and add in more water, a tablespoon at a time. When fully processed and the texture of soft serve, divide into bowls and top with cacao nibs and shredded coconut.