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The Meat Replacement That Vegans Are Obsessed With

"Jackfruit is a plant that grows trees in the tropics, India and Asia," says Kelly R. Jones, RD It's a big, oval-shaped fruit with a green to it's It is the national fruit of Bangladesh and is native to South and Southeast Asia, according to NPR.

However, Jones says that in recent years, he has started to become a vegetarian alternative to meat "because it is not as processed as other vegan" meats "and when it is not. it's shredded, it has a texture that looks like frayed chicken or pulled pork, "she says.

Related: I'm a vegetarian bodybuilder Here's what I eat in a day

How to prepare it You

Most people buy jackfruit that has already been prepared and packaged. (Companies like The Jackfruit Company, Upton's Naturals, and even Joe's Trader Jackfruit products). It is sold in packages in the refrigerator section, or in brine, water or syrup boxes.

The prepared ingredients typically include flavorings and added spices, says Jones-think lemon chili or curry Thai-inspired. That does not mean necessarily that's bad for you, but Jones recommends checking the label to see how much added sugar is in each serving. (And with canned stuff, avoid those with syrup if you look at your sugar!)

Jackfruit is also sold in full in specialty stores and Whole Foods. However, the jackfruit fruit that is used for substitute meat is called "young green jaquier", – a.k.a. this is not yet ripe. The ripe jackfruit you would buy whole is very sweet … and the size of a watermelon, reports the Washington Post . You can prepare it yourself at home, but do not expect it to work well as a meat substitute.

What can you eat with her?

Jackfruit (the young green guy) has very little flavor, making it a great vehicle for sauces and pickles (curry buffalo buffalo), says Jones. You can barbeque or smoke it, or even put it on a pizza, she says. She recommends heating it separately in a pan (with spices or sauces, if desired) before incorporating it into the other ingredients for your meal.

Here are some tasty ways that people have prepared:

What's nutrition like?

The main catch: its nutritional content. "I would not recommend that it be used as a regular meat substitute because of its very low protein content," Jones says. "A half-cup serving provides less than three grams of protein." Compared to other popular meat substitutes, this is not great: half a cup of firm tofu contains 21 grams of protein and half a cup of tempeh contains about 15 grams of protein.

"Jackfruit, however, provides some," she says.

Jones recommends eating your jackfruit with one side of beans to pump the protein, or serve it on a slice of whole grain protein-rich bread. Nutritional, it does not quite match a straight meat substitute.

Is it better for you than other meat substitutes?

Not necessarily, says Jones. it may have less "treatment" than tofu, tempeh, or seitan, it does not make it more nutritional, and there are other unprocessed meat substitutes that are richer in protein.

"Edamame, or soy, provides a lot of protein, fiber and nutrients in the pod, compared to added ingredients that can go into" You buy a jackfruit in the refrigerator section of your grocery store, "she says.

Cep If you are vegan or vegan and are looking for something new to add to your routine, there is no reason not to try it. The allergy to soy or gluten prevents you from tofu, tempeh or seitan. Just be aware that you will want to get your protein in another way by including jackfruit in your main course.

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