Plant Based Meat Substitutes : Featuring Jackfruit
Greetings friends, I am super excited to add a nutrition educational component to my online space. While, recipes are fantastic I also want to educate on what foods we are eating, where they come from and how they support our overall health and vitality. Many of the times people reach out to me and ask me what meat substitutes I use or they are intrigued as to how I cook a largely plant based diet without meat. I'm here to tell you, I understand. It was initially very daunting to create a meal without the historic main star; beef, chicken, fish or pork. However, after researching and forcing the creative muscle I have found some awesome plant based alternatives to creating your favorite animal-protein dishes.
The first ingredient I love as a meat swap and what I will introduce today is Jackfruit. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Native known to India & Southeast Asia, this fruit can be found in most tropical regions. Mainly known for its wide versatility and nutrient ballot, Jackfruit is considered by many a miracle fruit. While the fruit brings financial stability to many remote regions it also serves as a great source of lumber, glue from its sap, animal feed, and dye. Plus, it is drought tolerant & bears up to 100-200 fruits a year (sometimes over 80 pounds) making it a viable environmentally friendly meat-alternative. When harvested young it is used widely as a meat substitute. This is because the fruit sugars have not yet formed making it the perfect texture and taste to take on many lovely flavors. However, just as yummy, the ripened fruit is usually eaten with dessert in its native regions. Since it is a fruit it doesn't have a large protein content but rather a good source of fiber and essential vitamins. In America, our western diets include loads of animal protein which are typically eaten with every meal of the day. I invite you to try and swap one meal a day to include a plant based alternative. In doing so, research shows a significant impact to your overall health and vitality as well as an increase in life-expectancy; cheers to the centurions!
You may not find Jackfruit in its fruit form in your grocery store anytime soon (United States readers) but they are a few companies that have started creating some wonderful jackfruit meat-substitutes that I would highly recommend. If you or the person you feed loves a good pulled pork sandwich or carnitas tacos, look no further. Your meat- free answer is here. You can try these wonderful flavors and variations out by visiting your whole foods or natural grocer. The Jackfruit company and Uptown are doing great things with this versatile fruit. My favorite is the bbq jackfruit made into pulled bbq sandwiches with a quick cabbage slaw. YUM.
Pulled BBQ Sandwiches (serves 2-4)
1 package of GF hamburger buns; such as Rudis
Quick Cabbage Slaw (combine the below)
- 2 cups (loosely packed) shredded cabbage
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 green onions, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tsp himalayan pink salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
Cook jackfruit according to directions. While cooking, prepare slaw. Combine all slaw ingredients and let sit in the fridge until ready. Toast buns. Prepare by layering jackfruit, slaw, and warm bun., Enjoy!
below is the package you are looking for if you want to try the jackfruit I love. The Jackfruit Company is another brand that I would recommend.
In health and happiness,