Ok, not everyone, but lots of nutrition geeks, veggies and vegans. It's the new rockstar of meat substitutes, even finding it's way into some tasty takeaways like GBK's Jack-in-a-bun.
But wait...it's just fruit! How can it possibly be a meat substitute? Actually not just fruit, it's the largest tree fruit in the world and it can reach up to 100 pounds in size. Not only that, it's also packed full of fibre, vitamin C, B6 and magnesium. It's also reasonably low carb at 19.5g per 1/4 can (see below).
With my interest well and truly piqued, I thought I'd better check it out. I started with a can of Biona's Jackfruit. The only ingredients are the jackfruit, sea salt, water and lime juice.
It didn't look quite as pretty as the picture of the whole fruit but that's fine, it's come all the way from Sri Lanka after all! Plus, I wouldn't have had a clue how to prepare it from the whole fruit anyway. I tentatively nibbled on a corner of one of the chunks and these are my first impressions:
Taste: very salty and a little limey.
Texture: like very tender pork or chicken.
Smell: hard to describe but not horrible, just a bit fruity.
So what did I do with it? Well as the days are getting a little cooler, I fancied something cottage pie-like. So just for you (ok, just for me) I've created:
Vegan Jackfruit Cottage Pie
2 tbsps olive oil
1 red onion (diced)
1 large purple carrot (diced)
1/2 yellow pepper (chopped)
1 cup sliced button chestnut mushrooms
2 cloves garlic (thinly sliced)
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp bouillon powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt (to taste, the Jackfruit is already quite salty)
400g can of jackfruit (drain off the liquid and pull the chunks apart to make smaller, it should look a little like pulled pork)
1 cup of water
250g baby potatoes with skins left on
400g can of butter beans (drained)
1/4 cup olive oil
Himalayan rock salt to taste
Get the potatoes on the boil in salted water and simmer for 20 minutes, add the drained butter beans to the water and boil for a further 10 minutes. Drain water and mash the potato and butter beans together with the oil.
Heat oil on medium heat in another pan and add the onion, carrot, pepper and mushrooms, plus the paprika (and salt if using). Sauté until carrots begin to soften a little and then add the purée and garlic and stir through to coat everything. Simmer for a minute or two.
Add the bouillon, passata, Jackfruit and water and stir. Leaving the lid off the pan, stir thoroughly and leave to simmer on a medium/low heat to reduce the mixture, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick to the pan. This should take around 20-25 minutes.
Transfer the filling into a medium-sized pie dish or 4 individual dishes like I did:
Add the mashed potato and butter beans:
Place under the grill for 5-10 minutes to brown the top:
And there you have it - it was absolutely delicious!
We hope this inspires some of you to eat more fruit and veg and less meat. If you have any questions, just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
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