“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art” – Francois De La Rochefoucauld
Eating the right type of beneficial food is not always easy or convenient, but it is an art we must master for optimal health. How often do you order take-away from your favourite restaurant or throw frozen food into the oven because it’s a quick option with the least amount of hassle? I’m guessing the answer is more often than not and unfortunately convenience foods have minimal nutrients and worse, are full of inflammatory substances.
Our ancestors always ate seasonally when they prepared their homemade meals. They ate what Mother Nature provided in that moment and this rotation of food not only gave them a varied diet, but it also helped them increase the diversity of good bacteria in their gut, which in turn lead them to better overall health and stronger bodies, as they controlled the exact ingredients that went into the preparation of their meal.
With that in mind, today I encourage you to eat seasonal foods whenever possible and also to try new fruits and vegetables that you have not eaten before, the more exotic the better and if you are lucky enough to be travelling right now or live in a country that grows Jackfruit, then this is a great time to start.
Jackfruit is becoming increasingly popular nowadays as research and studies on this fruit are continually revealing more and more health breakthroughs. Vegans and vegetarians often use this fruit as a meat substitute due to its texture, which is comparable to shredded meat and it tastes delicious.
WHAT IS JACKFRUIT?
Jackfruit is an Asian tropical fruit that belongs to the family of Moraceae, which is normally found in tropical areas like Thailand, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and also in South American. It is considered the largest tree-borne fruit in the world with an average weight of 3.5kgs to 10kgs and can actually reach up to 25kgs. Jackfruit is sweet in taste and has a distinguishable and nice smell.
In addition to its sweet, nice, taste and smell, every part of this tree is medically beneficial including the bark, leaves, roots, flowers, pulps and seeds and each of these parts has its separate qualities. The growing stages of jackfruit also differ from each other and provide different therapeutic qualities.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN NUTRIENTS AND BENEFITS OF JACKFRUIT?
- It contains vitamin C and A, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, iron, zinc, sodium and folic acid.
- It’s rich in B-complex group vitamins.
- It contains phytonutrient properties such as anti-cancer, anti-hypertensive, anti-ulcer and anti-inflammatories.
- It’s a rich source of phytonutrients and phenolics.
- It contains minerals, fiber, protein, and is free of fats and bad cholesterol.
- It is antibacterial and antiviral which is a great support to the immune system.
- Its low in calories - 100g of Jackfruit only contains 94 calories.
- Research shows that it may aid in weight loss, heart and immune health, cancer healing, reducing blood pressure, improving digestion, insomnia issues, eye health, protecting the skin from sun exposure, healing ulcers, supporting bone health and can act as a nerve system booster.
HOW DO I EAT JACKFRUIT?
The most common consumed part of Jackfruit is the flesh, or fruit pods, which are edible both when ripe and unripe. It can be used in sweet and savoury dishes, including desserts, tacos and curries. The seeds are also safe to eat.
Jackfruit is very versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. If you are buying it fresh or cutting it down from a tree, you will need to prepare the fruit; first slice it in half and remove the yellow fruit pods and seeds from the skin and core. You can do this with a knife or with your hands. It is important to note that the white, fibrous part inside of jackfruit is incredibly sticky, so it may be helpful to wear gloves while handling it.
As this fruit is becoming increasingly popular and it can be difficult to prepare fresh, local producers are creating Dehydrated Jackfruit ready to use in your dishes and Dehydrated Jackfruit Snacks as a healthy alternative to a processed bag of potato chips.
Additionally, you can incorporate Jackfruit into curries, soups or your favourite taco recipes. The ripe fruit also tastes great when added to yogurt or oatmeal. Jackfruit seeds are edible, too. They can be roasted or boiled and then combined with seasoning. You can even use the seeds to make hummus.
Here’s a simple recipe using dehydrated Jackfruit that you can cook at home and also enjoy the health benefits as I do.
It’s called - Hot Jackfruit.
- 50 grams of Dehydrated Jackfruit
- ½ an Onion
- 5 Chile Habaneros
- 3 Tablespoons of Agave or Raw Agave
- 3 Tablespoons of Apple Cider Vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons of Paprika
- 2 Cloves of Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon of Nanishe Vegetable Seasoning (from Cusibani)
- Pink Himalayan Salt to your liking
- ½ a Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1: Gently cook the dehydrated Jackfruit in a pot with a sufficient amount of water to cover the fruit, for 20 minutes. Then turn the heat off, keep it covered with the lid for ten minutes, strain and reserve for later use.
2: Roast the habanero chile, garlic and the onion.
3: Let these ingredients cool down and blend them together with ½ a cup of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar and the seasoning.
4: Mix this sauce with the cooked Jackfruit.
5: Cook on a gentle heat for 10 to 15 minutes with the lid on.
6: Enjoy this with corn tacos or tostadas.
For lots more tasty Jackfruit recipes why not check out our store and get your copy of The Vegan Art – Jackfruit Cookbook
Remember…YOUR PATH TO HEALTH STARTS HERE…a small change today can mean a big impact tomorrow. You can find the ingredients for this recipe by clicking on the direct links above.
Healthy Options Market...helping you begin your journey to a healthier new you, with the best superfoods and health products that Mexico has to offer.
The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Healthy Options Market. Individual articles are based upon the opinions of the respective author, who retains copyright. They are solely intended to spark discussion and the thought process behind issues pertaining to general health, wellness and are for sharing knowledge and information on research only. They are not medical advice. Always seek the advice of a Professional Healthcare Provider when making any decisions regarding your health.