What the heck is jackfruit? It’s interesting stuff, actually. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world, and it can weigh up to 100 pounds. Its seeds are rich in protein, potassium, calcium and iron, all of which are important on a vegan diet. Not only is jackfruit a tasty “miracle” crop that could save millions from starvation, it’s a wonderful meat alternative for vegans looking to avoid soy and gluten.
So, what does it taste like?
You know how tofu doesn’t really taste like anything until you jazz it up with a sauce or marinade? Same deal with jackfruit, but the texture is a lot more palatable than tofu. When pulled apart, it’s flaky and chewy – similar to pulled pork. So, if you’re new to a vegan meal plan and are craving something, well, meaty to bite into, jackfruit is going to be your new go-to.
Now, you might assume that since jackfruit is a fruit, you’re going to look for it in the produce section. Nope. You’re going to be perusing the packaged goods aisle for a can of young green jackfruit in water. Don’t make the mistake of buying jackfruit in syrup, or you’ll end up with a ripe fruit that tastes kind of like pineapple. You’ll probably have the best luck finding jackfruit at an Asian supermarket, but some bigger grocery stores sell it, too.
So, how do I make this stuff?
Jackfruit is pretty easy to prepare, though it can take an hour or two to break down into shreds. Simply drain, rinse, and add the jackfruit to a pot with some BBQ sauce (or the sauce of your choice) and a bit of water. To speed up the process, you can use a fork to shred the jackfruit while it’s cooking. For more specific instructions, try out one of the delicious vegan jackfruit recipes below. You won’t be disappointed!
Buffalo Jackfruit Spinach Dip
Author: Vegan Yak Attack
- 10 oz. drained jackfruit
- 1- 8 oz. container of vegan cream cheese
- ¾ cup vegan cheddar shreds
- ½ cup vegan ranch dressing
- ¼ cup hot sauce
- 3 cups fresh baby spinach
- 2 Tbsp. green onions, diced for garnish
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from Vegan Yak Attack.
Author: Yup, it’s Vegan
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil or other oil of choice
- 1 yellow or white onion, thinly sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeds and pith removed, thinly sliced
- 2 cans green jackfruit in water
- Jackfruit carnitas spice blend
- Juice of 1 orange
- 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- Freshly-squeezed lime juice, to taste
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from Yup, it’s Vegan.
BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches with Avocado Slaw
Author: Minimalist Baker
- 2 20 oz. cans young green jackfruit in water
- 1/4 cup BBQ seasoning
- 3/4 cup BBQ sauce + more for topping
- 2 cups shredded cabbage + carrots
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 lemon or lime, juiced
- Salt + pepper to taste
- 4-6 whole grain vegan buns
- 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from Minimalist Baker.
Vegan Jackfruit “Crab” Cakes
- 2 17 oz. cans of jackfruit in water
- 2 Tbsp. of ground flax seed
- 1 tsp. of Colman’s Mustard powder
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. of Old Bay spice
- 1 tsp. of vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cloves of garlic – minced, or 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. of lemon juice
- 1 tsp. of ground sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. of ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. of chives – minced
- 1/4 cup of cilantro – minced
- 1/2 cup of classic bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
Click here to get the full recipe and instructions from Veganosity.