Jackfruit: What It Is and Why You Should Care

By Sara Lucero

The meatless trend is growing, and with it the demands for meat alternatives like jackfruit.  Like mushrooms, jackfruit is growing in popularity, thanks to its talent for mimicking meat with its meaty texture.

Similar to tofu, this jack-of-all-trades piece of produce is also known for taking on just about any flavor with which it’s prepared.    For restaurants adding more vegetarian and vegan options to menus, this new option is adding variety and interest to the menu.  For individuals, jackfruit is making meatless an easy choice for vegetarians and carnivores alike.

Here are a few fun facts about this trendy new ingredient:

  • The jackfruit is the largest known tree fruit in the world, growing up to 100 hundred pounds. 
  • It grows in tropical climates, including Southeast Asia and the Caribbean.
  • This fruit has been used in the cuisines of its native lands for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
  • Jackfruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of fiber, magnesium, and potassium.

Restaurants are making the most of jackfruit’s growing popularity and creating a wide range of menu choices from pulled “pork” sandwiches to “beefy” tacos.  Check in with your favorite local restaurants to see how they might be using it or start whipping it up at home with recipes like these:

  1. Jerk Jackfruit Tacos
  2. Jackfruit Tortilla Soup
  3. BBQ Jackfruit Pizza
  4. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwiches
  5. Jackfruit Carnitas
  6. “Crab” Salad
  7. Jackfruit Meatball Tacos
  8. Jackfruit Ceviche
  9. Jackfruit Enchiladas
  10. Easy Jackfruit Curry

Jackfruit is another great way to add more fruits and vegetables and nutrition to your diet.  MyPlate recommends making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. It’s now easier than ever with tasty choices like these are a wide variety of plant-focuses choices available.