When thinking of meat substitutes, a lot comes to mind. Tofu, tempeh, beans, chickpeas, peas… you’ve heard them all. But wait, what about jackfruit? Jackfruit meat is the lesser-known alternative for most. But jackfruit meat substitutes are more common than you think! You might have already come across some without you knowing.
While we’re on the jackfruit meat train, we’re going to go through what they taste like, feel like, and cook like. What makes them different? Are they nutritious?
Is your mind curious and your mouth watering? Let’s quit dilly-dallying and get to know all about jackfruit meat!
What Is Jackfruit Meat?
As the name suggests, jackfruit meat comes from jackfruits. Jackfruits are tropical, well, fruits native to the Philippines, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia - think tropical. Jack trees are said to bear the largest fruits and some can even weigh up to a hundred pounds!
Jackfruit meat is made from the interior of the fruit, which looks like small, yellow bulbs. The bulbs have a fleshy texture which is particularly dense when ripe. It also has a somewhat meat-like texture that resembles being shredded. It’s this texture that makes jackfruit meat an easy pick for making vegan food.
Does Jackfruit Taste Like Meat
When it comes to taste, no, ripe jackfruit does not taste like meat on its own. Jackfruit vegan meat can taste like other proteins with the help of marinades and seasonings.
Jackfruit itself has a mild taste. It does have a sweetness to it, too. Its flavor is like mango, pineapple, and banana combined. So you can see that it doesn’t have any meaty taste to it at all.
Cooked jackfruit, however, is a different story. Some even say jackfruit tastes like pulled vegan pork when it’s cooked! That’s why you’ll see a lot of vegan homes that have tins of jackfruit in their pantry. It’s a versatile and meat-y substitute that can be used to make a myriad of recipes.
What Is Jackfruit Meat’s Nutritional Value?
Ripe, sliced jackfruit by itself is only about 157 calories a cup. So, no seasonings or sauces should have been applied to it.
Jackfruit is particularly a good source of vitamin C, offering you 22mg out of your daily requirement of 75mg or 90mg for women and men, respectively. It’s also a great way to get in some potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and vitamin A.
Since we’re talking about jackfruit meat as an alternative to more conventional meat, how does it stack up to them when it comes to protein? Jackfruit meat provides about 2 to 4g of protein. In comparison, cooked ground beef has 32gof protein.
While jackfruit meat seems to have been edged out in this regard, keep in mind that this one doesn’t have cholesterol - beef and other basic meat do. So, consider jackfruit meat if you want to cut back on cholesterol while still wanting to keep eating meat-y meals!
Benefits of Jackfruit Meat
So aside from it being cholesterol-free, why eat jackfruit meat? Let’s go to the list!
Keeping tins of jackfruit meat is always beneficial. It’s a low-fat meat substitute that can be slow-cooked, sauteed, simmered, braised… just about cooked in any way!
If you or anyone close to you could use a little help with managing their cholesterol, introduce them to jackfruit meat substitutes! With how easy they are to replace regular proteins with, it might make quitting meat cold turkey a little bit better.
Jackfruit meat is naturally gluten-free. With a texture closely matching pulled pork, you could want to use it instead of wheat gluten (the other alternative).
You can get pre-packed jackfruit meat or get the fruit as a whole to hash out yourself. It looks a little scary, but once you open up the fruit, you only have to rinse and drain it - then it’s ready to use! Asian markets will likely have fresh jackfruit available instead of your chain supermarkets, but you never know.
Jackfruit meat can be used in recipes whether it’s ripe or unripe. It has some similarities to potatoes in that it can absorb flavors easily. Remembering what we learned a little bit earlier, jackfruit meat has a mild taste - so it definitely won’t overpower.
Jackfruit meat substitutes can be used to make ‘meat’balls, nuggets, taco fillings, burger patties, sandwiches, stews, and curries. If you’re not sure where to start, get some pre-made and pre-marinated jackfruit meat just like the ones you’ll find on the PlantX website!
Get to Cookin’ Tasty Meals with Jackfruit Meat!
What is jackfruit meat if not a tasty meat analog - perfect for making many meals! If you get the fruit itself to make your own, you’ll have a versatile meat substitute as well as a tasty fruit that you can enjoy after.
Make jackfruit meat a staple in your kitchen. They deserve the same recognition as tofu, beans, and other alternatives!