WINNER, WINNER, JACKFRUIT DINNER!
Jackfruit has quickly become a vegan fan favorite in the community. Vegans and non-vegans alike, the votes are in and jackfruit is a winner! It serves as an excellent alternative, whole foods, plant based meat alternative. In the early stages of to a plant based, clean eating lifestyle, some of our old favorite dishes we know are not healthy for us can be tough to give up.
Sticking to avoiding highly processed, soy based alternatives – introducing..the JACKFRUIT! It’s completely versatile, can be used in sandwiches, salad toppers, taco filling, it’s a non-processed alternative that is entirely guilt free! Legit, the possibilities are endless!
Before we get cookin’ lets talk about some of the MAJOR health benefits jackfruit has to offer.
So let’s get to it, shall we?
Benefits of Jackfruit
Jackfruit strengthens the immune system and helps fight common colds and cancer. We all know in order for our bodies to fight off disease, our immune system needs to be strong. This is true for something as little as the common cold to something more serious like cancer. If our body is given the proper tools to cleanse, detoxify and strengthen itself, we can fight off any foreign antibody or virus it comes in contact with. Jackfruit contains massive amounts of Vitamin C and cancer fighting phytonutrients that destroy free radicals that enter the body.
According to Penn State University, by consuming antioxidants, we can neutralize the free radicals, which helps fight some forms of cancer and can give the immune system the support it needs to continue to manage it. In addition, a study published in the October 2012 issue of the journal Carcinogenesis found that vitamin C increased activity of an important antioxidant enzyme that helps prevent breast cancer. (2) Combined, all this makes jackfruit a potential cancer-fighting food.
Jackfruit is a powerful source of magnesium. The forgotten mineral of Western medicine, magnesium is essential for bone health, combats diabetes, helps to regulate the heart rhythm and helps to regulate blood pressure. Turns out, just one cup of jackfruit contains 15% of the recommended daily value of magnesium. In combination with its high magnesium content, jackfruit also contains high levels of calcium, thus helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Jackfruit helps to improve digestion. Our gut houses 75% of our immune system. Thus, without a healthy and regular digestive system, imbalances that begin in our gut can channel through effecting other areas of our bodies. One cup of raw, uncooked jackfruit contains 2.6 grams of fiber, and jackfruit seeds themselves can make an excellent fiber loaded snack. Foods high in fiber also help keeping us feeling fuller longer, preventing us from snacking and overeating and eventually leading to weight loss.
BBQ JACKFRUIT AND AVOCADO SLIDERS Ingredients: Serves 10 [BBQ Jackfruit] 2 cans of young green jackfruit in water (never syrup or brine)
1/2 cup of BBQ sauce (I used a combination Organicville BBQ + Chili Sauce or you can make your own) 1 tablespoon coconut oil 1/2 green pepper 1/2 organic yellow onion pinch of chili pepper pinch of cayenne pepper pink salt + pepper
[Avocado Slaw] 3 cups shredded white and purple cabbage mix 1/2 ripe avocado 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey 1 lemon, juiced 1/2 lime, juiced
For Serving: I used gluten free pretzel bun sliders for an extra kick of flavor
Directions: 1. Rinse, drain, and thoroughly dry jackfruit. Chop off the center “core” portion of the fruit and discard. Place jackfruit in a bowl to mix and set aside. 2. Over medium heat, add coconut oil to pan
2. Throw in sliced green pepper and onion, adding a 1-2 tablespoons of water to steam, cover and cook for 3-5 minutes 4. In a bowl, slather jackfruit in BBQ sauce, tossing it to thoroughly coat each piece. 5. Add jackfruit to pan, stir and reduce heat to low- medium and cook for about 20 minutes stirring occasionally. 6. While jackfruit is simmering, in a bowl add chopped cabbage, avocado, maple syrup and desired spices in a bowl and mix well – boom, you got avocado cole slaw! 7. Once jackfruit is done, turn heat back up to high for last 2-3 minutes for extra browning color. 8. Remove from heat, slice up some pretzel bun sliders, add jackfruit base and top with avocado cole slaw and DEVOUR!
This will be the hit at your next event or BBQ, trust me!
*Tip: if you cannot find young jackfruit in water, always best to buy fresh but you can also use jackfruit from The Jackfruit Company, which comes prepackaged – even though it comes already lathered in BBQ sauce, I’ve tried it and still like to kick it up a notch wth my own added spices!