The Buzzy Ingredient You're Gonna See Everywhere

Jack of all trades.

The uncanny meat-substitute that is all kinds of good for you. 

Jackfruit recently became an Internet sensation after it was discovered by Westerners who discovered that cooking it with barbecue staples gives it a taste similar to pulled meat.

It then quickly became a meat substitute among vegans, who spawned many ways of exploiting its meat-like texture, appearance and flavour.

The tropical native has actually been used for centuries in a myriad of Asian countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and India, where it's considered commonplace in breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Naturally mild with a meat-like texture, the exotic fruit absorbs the flavours of the foods and spices it's cooked with, which makes it a great option for tasty vegan and vegetarian dishes.

And as health-conscious consumers crave more plant-based meals and snacks, demand for the prickly fruit is spiking.

What’s more is that jackfruit is considered a sustainable food, because the jackfruit tree is both drought and pest-resistant; meaning and a single tree can produce up to 200 fruits per year, some as large as 100 pounds.

The fruit – locally known as ‘igifenensi’ – boasts an impressive amount of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which are all essential to human health.

It also contains a wealth of antioxidants, supports immunity boosts and fights free radicals that damage the cells.

It's quite a diverse food, too.

What you make with jackfruit depends on its ripeness;

- Unripe jackfruit (with bright green skin) can be enjoyed as a meat substitute in barbecue, Tex-Mex recipes, curries, whole grain bowls, and more.

- If you have ripe fruit (with brown skin), it will taste sweeter and can be used uncooked in smoothies, baked goods or in other ways in which you’d eat a tropical fruit.

- Seasoned and pre-cooked options are also available to purchase in stores and restaurants. 

So, gone vegan and still craving meatiness? Looks like you won't have to break your streak after all. 

Main image by @yesitsallvegan

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