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Jackfruit is a large tree fruit native to Asian countries, and it has long been a staple food in South and Southeast Asia. In America, unripe jack fruit seems to be the next big thing, especially in the vegan cooking world! In 2016, using jackfruit as a healthful stand-in for meat was the most popular food and beverage trend on Pinterest. Jackfruit flesh is starchy and fibrous with a consistency much like cooked meat, allowing it shred easily and stand in as a meat-free taco filling or a meatless pulled “pork” sandwich. Like other starches, jackfruit can be cooked with the flavors you want it to take on, making it a good meat substitute in BBQ, Mexican, teriyaki and curry dishes.

canned-jackfruitCanned jackfruit is easiest to work when preparing recipes such as BBQ Jackfruit. Canned jackfruit is commonly sold in Asian grocery stores, although some chains in the U.S. such as Whole Foods and Wegman’s are starting to carry it, and more will likely follow suit if its trendiness continues! Look for canned jackfruit packed in water or brine (as opposed to syrup), and rinse before using it in recipes.

If you can’t find canned jackfruit and want to try fresh, look for unripe fruit that is not yet fragrant and still firm. Be prepared to deal with stickiness and mess, as jackfruit contains a sap that adheres to knives, cutting boards and hands. Additionally, fresh jackfruit is large and cumbersome: it typically weighs between five and thirty pounds, although a single fruit can weigh up to 100 pounds and grow up to three feet long! Instructions for cutting and handling fresh jackfruit are available here.

jackfruit

Jackfruit has many nutritional benefits: it contains fiber, protein, Vitamins A and C, iron, calcium and other essential minerals such as copper, manganese, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, jackfruit is fat, cholesterol and sodium free, making it a suitable meat alternative for those watching their heart health!

Will you take part in this food trend and try jackfruit in 2017? If so, leave a comment below letting us know what you plan to do!

 

Author: Jenny Lobb, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewer: Marilyn Rabe,  Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, rabe.9@osu.edu

 

Sources:

Bowers, K. (2016). The Ultimate BBQ Jackfruit Pulled Pork Recipe. Organic Authority. http://www.organicauthority.com/how-to-make-the-ultimate-bbq-jackfruit-pulled-pork/.

Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies (2016). BBQ Jackfruit. http://nutritionstudies.org/recipes/meal/bbq-jackfruit/.

Fruits and Veggies More Matters (2010). Jackfruit: Nutrition, Selection, Storage. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/jackfruit-nutrition-selection-storage.

Progressive Grocer (2016). Jackfruit Replaces Meat, Buddha Bowls Get Big: 2017 Trends. http://www.progressivegrocer.com/research-data/research-analysis/jackfruit-replaces-meat-buddha-bowls-get-big-2017-trends.

Worley, S. (2016). Everything You Need to Know About Jackfruit, the Latest Miracle Food. Epicurious. http://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/facts-tips-recipe-ideas-jackfruit-vegan-miracle-food-article.

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October is Vegetarian Awareness Monthhealthyfood

Two years ago my daughter decided to become a vegetarian. Before I agreed to this lifestyle choice, our family doctor gave her a physical. He also took the time to talk to her about nutrition and suggested we have blood tests done to make sure she would not need to start taking supplements. Once she was cleared from the doctor, I started having discussions with her about eating more than just sweets. She also started grocery shopping with me each week. She picks out items for her lunch and snacks that she might need after school. During her freshman year in high school she started playing sports. My daughter and I also had another conversation about how food can fuel her energy levels when playing sports.

When making a lifestyle change such as becoming a vegetarian, take the time to talk to your health care provider first. Successfully moving to a vegetarian eating plan can be achieved if you take the time to educate not only yourself but your child also. Even though there are many resources on the web, make sure you take time to be sure they are credible resources. Visit this link for USDA resources.

When thinking of changing to the vegetarian eating lifestyle visit the ChooseMyPlate website.  Check out their “Top 10 Tips for Vegetarians”

  1. Think about protein
  2. Bone up on sources of calcium
  3. Make simple changes
  4. Enjoy a cookout
  5. Include Beans and Peas
  6. Try different veggie versions
  7. Make some small changes at restaurants
  8. Nuts make great snacks
  9. Get your Vitamin B12
  10. Find a Vegetarian pattern for you

Do not let the thought of changing to a vegetarian diet overwhelm you. You just need to plan out your meals in advanced. My daughter and I have realized that a lot of meals that I make with meat can also be made with extra vegetables.

Sources:

https://choosemyplate-prod.azureedge.net/sites/default/files/tentips/DGTipsheet8HealthyEatingForVegetarians.pdf

http://www.nutrition.gov/smart-nutrition-101/healthy-eating/eating-vegetarian

Written by: Brenda Sandman-Stover, Extension Program Assistant, 4-H and Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Greene County, sandman-stover.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension,Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

 

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