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Digital Subscriptions > Healthy Food Guide > February 2019 > DOES JACKFRUIT FILL THE MEAT-FREE GAP?


IF YOU’VE BEEN EATING MORE VEGETARIAN or vegan meals, you’ll have come across jackfruit – the hot new plantbased meat substitute sweeping the UK. Yes, it’s a fruit and when ripe it tastes sweet, but it’s the unripe fruit with a more neutral flavour that makes it a stand-in for shredded chicken or pulled pork in savoury dishes. This large green tropical fruit, originally from south-western India, is now grown in the world’s hot spots, from Australia to Florida.

Although it can be used as a meat substitute because of its texture, it’s important to remember it’s low in protein and is generally fairly low down in the nutritional pecking order.

That said, it can be a useful addition to nutritionally balanced meals. As well as featuring in latest supermarket ready meals, it comes canned or vacuum-packed, and can be used to flesh out a vegan chilli. HFG recipe consultant Phil Mundy says it works well, although his taste verdict is a little lukewarm. ‘It’s fine. I’d only ever use it with spicy flavours as it’s very bland by itself,’ he says.

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About Healthy Food Guide

Improve your gut health with our top 10 dietitian tips, plus gut-friendly recipes. Get the latest on low-carb diets for diabetes, and find out why your doctor could prescribe ditching the pills in favour of exercise. We celebrate Chinese New Year with super-quick veggie recipes and give you a taste of gut-calming low-FODMAP meals. And don’t miss the chance to win a foodie glamping weekend at Valley Fest!