Making the Perfect Iced Tea…Some Like It Hot — May 7, 2021

Making the Perfect Iced Tea…Some Like It Hot

Making iced tea using the hot method is great because it allows you to drink the tea right away…unlike the cold brew method.

Like anything else you could possibly make, perfect iced tea can only be made with perfect ingredients—in this case, only two ingredients—water and tea—so it’s more important than ever that your ingredients be absolutely perfect.

As far as the water, only use filtered tap water or spring water.

As far as the tea, , loose-leaf will yield a more full-bodied tea.

How much water and tea you use depends on which tea you are making…as well as how strong or weak you want your tea to turn out.

Brewing tea using the “hot method” is quick, easy and efficient….simply combine hot water with loose-leaf and tea and then let it steep before straining the tea and refrigerating to cool.

Brewing tea using the “hot method” also allows you to create more variations because you actually get to taste the tea as you are making it and adjust how much water you add and how long the tea steeps. However, brewing tea using the “hot method” will bring the bitterness and acidity of the tea…meaning that you may have to use more sugar or sweetener.

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Simmer the Water

Bring half of the water to a simmer…not an actual “boil.” How hot you want your water to be will depend which type of tea you are making.

For white tea, you want your temp to reach 175–185°F…For green tea, you want your temp to reach 180­–185°F…For black tea, you want your temp to reach 200­–205°F…For herbal tea, you want your temp to reach 212°F.

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Steeping the Tea

Once your water has reached the right temperature, add your loose tea or tea bags. Then let the tea steep for anywhere from four to ten minutes, depending on the desired strength.

Because your tea will become more watery as the ice melts and it cools down, you will need to steep your tea longer than you would hot tea.

If you’re making less than four cups of tea, use two tea bags or two teaspoons of loose-leaf tea for every single cup of water you are using.

If you’re making more than four cups, use eight cups of water and eight tea bags four tablespoons of loose-leaf tea.

As far as which tea to use, you want to be sure to use only high-quality tea…so choose the same quality of tea that you use to make hot tea…whether you are making black iced tea…green iced tea…herbal iced tea…or fruity iced tea.

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Finishing Making Tea

Once your tea has strained for the appropriate amount of time, remove the tea bags or strain the tea. This will depend on if you’re using tea bags or loose tea.

If you are using sugar or sweetener to sweeten your tea…(which actually isn’t even a topic of debate where I’m from…if you don’t sweeten the tea, then we will not drink it)…add the sugar or sweetener while the tea is still hot.

Refrigerate until chilled. To keep your tea from turning cloudy, let the tea cool down to room temp before refrigerating.

Join Me for a Tea Party — May 5, 2021

Join Me for a Tea Party

Hard to believe that school will soon be out and it will be officially summer…amd summer family-friendly parties, poolside get-togethers and other fun afternoon treats…

And along with these, the dreaded summer heat…especially here in Texas.

Being from Mississippi, there is one thing required on such hot summer days—

ICED TEA!!!!!

But for years, every time I tried to make my own iced tea, I was sorely disappointed and homesick.

So I started asking my Southern counterparts and doing reseach as to how to make my own iced tea taste as good as the iced tea I so enjoyed when I was growing up.

And I learned that there are four basics methods for preparing the perfect iced tea—the how brew method, the cold brew method, tea concentrate, and sun tea…and about a billion different ways that you can sweeten it or flavor it or both.

So let’s take a step back in time and put a foot back in the Deep South…and make some sweet iced tea.

By the way, where I’m from, we’d probably laugh if you asked whether we want out tea sweet or unsweet…I didn’t even know that unsweetened tea exist until my husband joined the military and we left our roots in Mississippi…

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Health Benefits

There are four basic types of tea—green, black, oolong and white. Let’s take a look at the specific advantages of each type of tea…

Black Tea…Black tea is probably the tea that is most popular and most consumed…as in such varieties as English breakfast, Darjeeling, and Earl Gray among others. Black tea contains catechins and polyphenols that have many health benefits…including making it easier for asthmatics to breathe by expanding the air passage, keeping kidney stones from forming, preventing breast cancer, and reducing cholesterol levels.

Green Tea…Green tea contains the highest levels of the antioxidant known as EGCG…meaning that green tea helps burn fat, discourages the growth of cancer cells, encourages the growth of healthy skin cells, helps prevent clogged arteries, improves cholesterol levels, minimizes your risk of stroke, reduces stress on the brain, and regenerates skin cells.

Oolong Tea…Oolong is the best tea to grab if your main objective is to lose weight because it helps dissolve triglycerides, dietary fat that’s stored in cells.

White Tea…White tea has the mildest flavor of the four traditional teas…and can help prevent cancer properties, boosting glucose tolerance in diabetics, and reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

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What’s Next

Now that we have a basic understanding of the four main tea types, let’s dig a little deeper by looking at the different methods that can be used to make the perfect tea…as well more fun and exciting teas that are available—such as herbal and flavored teas as well as some recipes that you can make with tea…(never thought about the fact that you can not only drink tea, but also eat it, have you?!)

Mango…The Most “Dangerous” But Definitely Delicious Fruit of All — April 29, 2021

Mango…The Most “Dangerous” But Definitely Delicious Fruit of All

Since having two surgeries on my hand all because of a mango, I am rather hesitant to cut one…but I do miss all the great things that you can make with them.

So I have learned that the best way to dive into a mango is definitely not with a wine glass…but instead to first cut long 1/4″ vertical slices 1/4 inch away from the middle to separate the flesh from the pit and then to cut the flesh into a grid-like pattern and scoop it out of the rind.

As far as use, mango contains more sugar than many other fruits…so you probably should limit how much mango you eat in a day to two cups per day.

But some of the many delicious ways that you can easily include mangos in your diet include….

  • beverages
  • chutney
  • curries 
  • granola
  • ice cream
  • jelly
  • muesli
  • pickles
  • rice dishes
  • smoothiesmang
  • salads
  • salsas
  • sorbets

In the next few posts, let’s take a look at some of these ideas for using this rather “dangerous” but delicious fruit.

Mango…The Why —

Mango…The Why

  • Mangos are not only delicious and low in calories, but they also have contain lots of nutrients…such as vitamin K, which is important for helping your blood clot effectively, helping to prevent anemia, and helping to strengthen your bones…vitamin C, which is important for forming blood vessels, producing healthy collagen, and helping you heal…In addition,
  • One cup sliced mango provides…
  • Calories: 99
  • Protein: 1.4 grams
  • Carbs: 24.7 grams
  • Fat: 0.6 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2.6 gram
  • Vitamin C: 67%DV
  • Copper: 20%DV
  • Folate: 18%DV
  • Vitamin B6: 11.6%DV
  • Vitamin A: 10%DV
  • Vitamin E: 9.7%DV
  • Vitamin B5: 6.5%DV
  • Vitamin K: 6%DV
  • Niacin: 7%DV
  • Potassium: 6%DV
  • Riboflavin: 5%DV
  • Manganese: 4.5%DV
  • Thiamine: 4%DV
  • Magnesium: 4%DV

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Health Benefits

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Mangos also provide important health benefits, such as…

CancerMangos contain many antioxidants…including polyphenols and beta-carotene, the antioxidant that is responsible for giving the mango its yellow-orange color. Antioxidants are important for fighting off any free radicals that could which potentially could lead to cancer—including leukemia and cancer of the colon, bone, lung, prostate and breast cancer. These antioxidants can also stop the growth or destroy cancer cells.

Digestive Health…Mangos contain enzymes that help break down large food molecules so that they can help stabilize your digestive system—such as helping to convert difficult starches and complex carbs into into glucose and maltose…as well as the water and dietary fiber needed to help with digestive problems—such as constipation and diarrhea. In fact, eating a mango a day keep chronic constipation away more effectively than taking a fiber supplement with the same amount of fiber.

Eye Health…Mango contains nutrients that are important for maintaining your vision…such as two very important antioxidants—lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are important for helping your eyes to not absorb excess light and shielding your eyes from both the sun and harmful blue light. Mangos also contain vitamin A, which is important for preventing dry eyes, nighttime blindness, and even more serious issues, such as corneal scarring.

Hair and Skin Health…Mangos contain several nutrients that are important for promoting healthy hair and skin…such as vitamin C which is important for making collagen, a protein that gives elasticity and structure to your skin and hair, gives your skin its bounce and combats sagging and wrinkles…as well as vitamin A, which encourages hair growth and the production of sebum, liquid that helps moisturize your scalp as well as protect your skin and hair from the sun…and the antioxidants called polyphenols, which help protect hair follicles against damage from oxidative stress .

Immunity…Mango contains nutrients that can boost your immune system…including vitamin A and vitamin C…both of which help your body produce more disease-fighting white blood cells, help these cells work more effectively.

Mango…The What — April 27, 2021

Mango…The What

tropical fruits composition on pink background

In some parts of the world, mango is called the “king of fruits.”

In the last three months I have learned perhaps why.

You see, I cut my hand mid-January and have had two surgeries to reattach the tendons in my left ring finger…all because I tried to pit the mango with a wine glass and the wine glass broke.

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What Really Is a Mango?

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Mangoes are a drupe, or stone fruit, which means that it has a large seed in the middle.

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Where are Mangos Grown?

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Mangoes grow on  evergreen trees that are native to India and Southeast Asia…where they have been cultivated for thousands of years.

Today mangoes are commercially grown in countries with the right climate…including Brazil, Spain, Bermuda, the West Indies, and Mexico.

Almost half of the world’s mangoes are cultivated in India alone.

In fact, India has declared mango as its “official national fru.it”..(by the way, the United States does not have a national fruit).

Here in the United States, they are grown in South Florida and the California, and Hawaii.

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The Which

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There are hundreds of types of mango varieties out there…each with a unique taste, shape, size, sweetness, skin eating quality, color, and flesh color—the flesh can range from pale yellow, gold, or orange…the shape can be round, oval, or kidney-shaped…the size can range anywhere from two to ten inches long…the weight can vary anywhere from five ounces to five pounds…the color of the skin can be green to yellow, yellow-orange, yellow-red, or blushed with various shades of red, purple, pink or yellow when fully ripe…the texture of the fruit can be soft, pulpy, juicy texture similar to an overripe plum or much firmer texture, like an avocado or cantaloupe.

Candied Fruit…Waste Now, Want Always — April 23, 2021

Candied Fruit…Waste Now, Want Always

Waste not, want not…how many times have we heard this expression.

Yet if you’re like me and subscripe to a fruit delivery box service such as Imperfect Foods, belong to a local food co-op, and buy fruits and veggies but find yourself not eating them before they go bad…you might consider candying them in order not to have to throw them out.

Candied fruit is delicious in fruitcake, pancakes, cakes and cookies…great for garnishes…indulgent when dipped in chocolate…or can simply be eaten on its own.

And candying fruit actually does not take as much effort as you might think that it would…

Candying fruit involves blanching your fruit in warm water to tenderize it and then simmering it in simple syrup for a while.

Fruits that you might consider candying include grapefruits, dates, ginger, kumquats, oranges, lemons, cherries, figs, berries, pears, bananas, strawberries, and pineapple. You might also consider candying vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes.

Fruit that you candy yourself will…or at least should be…naturally delicious, chewy, and plump treats…not the overprocessed, rubbery, artificially-colored and artificially-flavored.

After all, isn’t that the underlying goal of most diet plans these days in the first place?!

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Prepping the Fruit

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Choosing the fruit…As with anything else that you might cook or eat, the best results will depend on the ingredients that you use. Organic fruit will be free of pesticides and give you the best results. Also make sure your fruit is fresh and ripe, not over-ripened and old.

Before you start prepping the fruit you need to wash your fruit thoroughly.

Apples and kiwi…Cut into 1/4″ slices.

Grapefruit…Cut into small strips for faster, more even cooking.

Melons…Cut into bite-sized chunks.

Oranges and Lemons…Orange peels are great for candying as is, chopping and adding to a recipe, or dipping in chocolate and then giving for gifts. First remove the top and bottom from the orange. Then set the flat end of the orange on a cutting board. Next slice off the peel, using a sharp paring knife or potato peeler…following the curve of the orange as best you can and avoiding cutting into the flesh. You don’t have to bother removing the white pith of the oranges because any bitterness found in this pith will become translucent and sweet during the blanching step of the candying process. Finally cut into 14“–1⁄”2 chunks or slices.

Pineapple, apricots and watermelon…Cut the rind into small pieces.

Small fruits, such as cherries or strawberries…Candy these whole.

Tropical fruits, such as pineapples, papaya and kiwi….These can be candied in slices, chunks, or even whole….depending on what you will be using them for.

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Blanching the Fruit

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The first “real” step in the candying process is to blanch the fruit.

You do this by placing the cut fruit into a large saucepan filled about halfway with cool, fresh water…making sure that all of the fruit is completely submerged and then bringing it to a rolling boil and then letting it boil for about twenty minutes.

You may need to repeat this blanching process several times, depending on which fruit you are cooking.

Once the fruit is tender when you bite into it—yet not too mushy or soggyremove the pan from the eye and pour the fruit into a colander to drain.

Cherries and pineapples typically are tender after only one round of blanching… oranges and lemons typically require three…grapefruits, six to eight.

Now allow your fruit to dry completely before putting them in the sugar-syrup.

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Making Simple Syrup

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  1. Combine sugar and water in a large, heavy saucepan or stockpot. The ratio of sugar-to-water ratio should be 3:1…three parts water to one part sugar…3C water for every 1C sugar.
  2. Mix the sugar and water together thoroughly.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  4. Let boil over medium heat for two or three minutes, stirring constantly. The syrup is ready when it reaches 235 degrees F on a candy thermometer. This temp is called the “thread stage”…and will end up in your making candy, not syrup.

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Simmering the Fruit

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Once you have made the simple syrup and blanched the fruit, you’re ready to mix your fruit into your simple syrup.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Be sure to stir the fruit into the syrup so that all sides are completely covered.

Simmer the fruit for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally…until it appears translucent but not falling apart, has a tender texture, tastes delicious and you can easily bite through it.

The amount of time you will need to let the fruit simmer depends on which fruit you are candying and how large or small your fruit pieces are. Keep taste-testing until you are content with how it appears and tastes. This could take anywhere from fifteen to fifty minutes…(I know…I hate recipes that are vague too)…

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Drying Your Fruit

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Once the fruit has finished simmering it, you need to let it dry.

First line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set a wire rack on top. Then remove the pan on heated fruit from the stove and scoop out your fruit with a slotted spoon and spread out the pieces until they are flat on the cookie sheet, using a wooden spoon.

Allow the fruit to cool and dry completely.

After the fruit has completely cooled and dried, you may want to sprinkle sugar on top of your fruit. This will add additional sweetness and texture…as well as create a more attractive sugar-coated appearance.

Even so, you may want to skip adding this additional sugar if you are planning on baking with the candied fruit.

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Storing

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Candied fruit tastes the freshest right after making it, but you can store candied fruit in the fridge for up to three weeks in its sugar syrup in an airtight container or jar.

Before using the fruit, scoop it out of the syrup and let it sit for a few hours so that any extra syrup will drip off, making it much easier to use your fruit.

You could freeze the candied fruit, but this is not usually necessary because the candied fruit will stay good for as long as two years if kept in a cool dry place. Just know that the sweetener sometimes crystallizes in the freezer. Before using candied fruit that has been frozen, put the defrosted fruit in warm Karo syrup.

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Using Your Candied Fruit

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Both the candied fruit and the sugared syrup are great for cooking with. Your candied fruit can be used to make pies, biscotti, fruitcake. The syrup is great for sweetening drinks and pouring over ice cream or using as a glaze on a bundt cake….( more on this coming up)…

BBQ Jackfruit…”Their” Way and Mine — April 19, 2021

BBQ Jackfruit…”Their” Way and Mine

I grew up in the deepest part of the Deep South…a place known for its good cooking, love for fried food, ability to prepare and eat almost any carnivorous thing that happens to cross our driveway(?!), a high propensity for eventually developing type 2 diabetes, and the list could go on and on and on…

Where I’m from there’s no questioning if you “might be a redneck or not”…even the lawyers and doctors in my hometown wove their redneck flags with pride…just wearing better quality and more expensive clothes than most of their other counterparts.

So I shoulda known that eventually the dreaded d-word “diabetes” would enter our daily planet. 

And I also shoulda know that changing a lifetime of bad eating habits and poor diet choices was not gonna take place overnight. I mean there are certain things that a redneck girl just can’t give up too willingly—such as barbecue pulled pork sandwiches.

Growing up two hours south of Memphis, I must have eaten BBQ pulled pork or chicken at least once a week…loved it then…love it now…and probably couldn’t imagine life without it.

So living without my BBQ pulled pork or chicken was not even an option.

When we first received the official stamp across our doorpost reading “diabetic family,” I switched from the family meal section of my emeals meal planning subscription to the vegetarian section.

One of the first meals that I made when we ventured into vegetarian or plant-based or whatever-else-you-wanna-call it eating was BBQ jackfruit.

I had never heard of jackfruit, but it was on the menu…so it was now on my grocery list…and in my grocery cart…and in my freezer…and on my list of meals to cook for that week.

I kinda dreaded pulling the package out of the freezer to make the meal that first day that I tried it. I am from the Deep South. Leave my perfectly awesome pulled meat world alone.

That perfectly awesome pulled meat world that can find pulled meat topping anything from tortillas, buns, taco shell, wrap, whatever…maybe a baked potato…heck, where I’m from we could all probably eat bbq pulled pork three meals a day, every single day of the week and never get tired of it….kinda like Elf and his maple syrup.

But out of a sense of obligation, I prepped the BBQ whatever-the-heck-jackfruit-is stuff…

And I liked it…and my husband liked it…and my kids liked it…and even my brother Sam liked it.

Honestly, there are times when the crockpot full of bbq pulled pork or chicken just waiting to be plopped onto a bun with some coleslaw and served with baked beans and potato salad and sweet iced tea just keeps calling out my name…to me, this is the ultimate comfort food…

From now I save that meal for special occassions…

And on a more “regular” basis, I am quite content to go with the flow and settle for bbq jackfruit instead.

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BBQ Jackfruit

  • 2@14 oz cans green/unripe jackfruit packed in water
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 1/3C chopped onion
  • 2 minced cloves garlic
  • 1Tbsp paprika
  • 1Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp chili powder
  • 1/2tsp onion powder
  • 1/2tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4C BBQ sauce
  • Drain jackfruit. Shred the pieces apart hand. Heat 1Tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic. Cook 5min. Stir together paprika, brown sugar, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Add shredded jackfruit and spices to the skillet. Turn heat to low. Add BBQ sauce. Stir well so that all the jackfruit gets covered in the barbecue sauce. Cook for about five minutes.
  • Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week. Freezing the BBQ jackfruit will change its overall texture…so I wouldn’t recommend freezing it yourself…just grab some the next time you place your grocery order or stroll through the frozen food aisles.

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Their Way

Black Beans

Even though we’re originally from Mississippi, my husband was active duty Army until he retired…so we have lived four different places in the last thirty-four years—Frankfurt, Germany…Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri…Fort Jackson, South Carolina…Fort Polk, Louisiana…and Dallas-Fort Worth, actually Arlington.

We have actually lived in the DFW area since 1992…and one thing I have learned—Texas is very different from the Deep South, states like Alabama and Mississippi.

And people here in Texas thing barbecue totally different from us…

The first time that I was invited to eat barbecue when we moved here, I was seriously disappointed to find that actually meant dried-out brisket…thankfully I’ve had much better barbecue here since…or have at least gotten used to brisket and acquired a taste for Tex-Mex food…as opposed to pulled pork barbecue sandwiches with coleslaw and potato salad and coleslaw…

Black Beans

1-1/2Tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves

1/2tsp paprika

1tsp cumin

14oz can drained and rinsed black beans

salt

Put everything in saucepan. Heat…(kinda obvious, right?!)

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Guacamole

4 medium avocados, scooped out and roughly chopped

1/2 small onion, diced

1/4tsp salt

2Tbsp lime juice

1 garlic clove

1/2 medium white onion, minced

cilantro and/or chives, optional

The key to making great guacamole is choosing the perfect avocados…avocados that are at that perfect stage of ripeness for making truly great guacamole. The avocados that you use to make your guacamole should have “give” all across its surface…in simple terms, should be mashable…

Just like using butter that has set out on the counter to reach room temperature before baking instead of simply using butter straight out of the fridge can make a huge difference in baking…choosing the right smooshability of avocados is important in making the perfect guacamole.

You also want to avoid any avocados that are past their prime. You can tell if this is the case by looking at how dark the skin has become. Trust me, there’s no telling how many overripe avocados I’ve reluctantly had to throw away.

But hey, I did learn a new fact today…I’ve always known to store them in a dark place or even in a paper bag to ripen them more quickly, but I’m gonna now start keeping mine in the fridge so that when my weekly supply of avocados arrives they will ripen less quickly. Just make sure that you set them out of the fridge and let them reach room temp before starting to make your guacamole.

  • Scoop the pit out of the avocado…Just be careful if you try to do this using the method I found on youtube where you pit the avocado using a tumbler or glass…My recent attempt at doing this ended up in two surgeries and lots of unpaid medical bills. Anyway, after you pit your avocados, use a potato masher or fork to mash them up until a few chunks still remain but most of the avocado is smooth—probably goes without saying, we’ve all eaten guac before, right?!
  • Once you finish smooshing up your avocado, add the onion and salt. Then drizzle lime juice over the top surface of the guacamole to prevent it from browning…waiting to stir the lime juice into the guac right before serving.

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  • Pico de gallo
  • 4 large Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 1/2 diced red onion
  • 1/4C finely chopped coriander
  • 1 can diced green chilies
  • 2Tbsp lime juice
  • Put tomatoes in a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle with salt. Let sit there draining like this for at least twenty minutes. This will allow any excess moisture to drain out. When you are ready to finish making your meal, gently press the tomatoes to squeeze out even more juice. Combine the tomatoes, onion, coriander, chili and lime juice.

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Our Way

Coleslaw

  • 1 head cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2Tbsp finely chopped onion
  • ½C mayonnaise 
  • ⅓C white sugar 
  • ¼C milk
  • ¼C buttermilk
  • 2Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2Tbsp vinegar
  • ½tsp salt
  • ⅛tsp pepper 
  • Mix cabbage, carrots, and onion in a large salad bowl. Whisk mayonnaise, sugar, milk, buttermilk, lemon juice, vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a separate bowl until smooth and the sugar has dissolved. Pour dressing over cabbage mixture and mix thoroughly. Cover bowl and refrigerate slaw at least 2 hours (the longer the better). Mix again before serving.

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Jackfruit…The Which — April 15, 2021

Jackfruit…The Which

Jackfruit can be found fresh, canned, or frozen in many specialty supermarkets and Asian food stores.







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Fresh Jackfruit

Fresh jackfruit can be purchased at Asian food markets and specialty stores…where it’s typically sold by the pound, The typical jackfruit will weigh somewhere between ten and twenty-five pounds.

The smell of a jackfruit indicates its ripeness: The stronger the jackfruit smells, the riper the jackfruit is.

Fresh jackfruit can often be hard to find when it is not in season, but can be useful at any stage of ripeness.







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Unripe Jackfruit..

Unripe jackfruit is green and will become yellow as it ripens. This unripe, green jackfruit is what most of us will find the most interesting and useful because it has a texture very similar to chicken or pulled pork, making it an excellent meat substitute—in such savory dishes as curries, pies, tacos, soups, stir-fries, chili, stews, wraps, and burritos.

Honestly, I’m not sure that I’d ever go to the trouble of buying a whole jackfruit and processing it myself…it seems like a big pain in the butt.

But…

If you’re willing to try it and let me know just how easy or difficult it is, go for it. I just had surgery on my hand and will be content to buy either the pre-packaged and pre-seasoned jackfruit chunks that are found in the freezer or the canned stuff…both already packaged to have that look and texture of meat that makes it such a great meat substitute.

If you do go all out and buy the real deal, first you have to cut through the thick, green coral reef-like skin with a sharp serrated knife. Chilling the jackfruit in the fridge for a while before breaking into it will make this easier to do.

Once you’ve dug your way into the jackfruit, you will find a creamy white interior filled with large, pale yellow seed-containing bulbs that are connected to the fruit’s core.

Keep slicing until you have large chunks of fruit (leaving the skin on).

Before you can use the fresh jackfruit in recipes, you will need to boil the jackfruit chunks for about 45 minutes…until the inner flesh is soft and a bit stringy, like chicken. You could also do this in your pressure cooker.



If you are working with a fresh, unripe jackfruit, first cut the fruit in half. Next remove the yellow fruit pods and seeds from the skin and core with either a knife or your hands. The white, fibrous parts inside of the jackfruit will be very sticky, so you probably should wear gloves while doing this.

You will need to boil the jackfruit chunks for at least thirty minutes…until the flesh becomes soft and stringy…the same texture as pulled pork or chicken….before you can use the jackfruit in any of the recipes that I will sharing in the next few posts..(more on this later)…



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Ripe Jackfruit

Ripe jackfruit has a rather neutral flavor that will absorb the flavor of whatever other foods it is cooked with, much like a potato. Fresh, ripe jackfruit can be eaten on its own, added to yogurt or oatmeal. or used to make a wide range of recipes—including desserts.

Often stores will sell packages of precut jackfruit because the entire jackfruit itself can be so big. Always choose this instead of buying a whole one and going to the trouble of cutting it yourself…will save you time, money, and effort in the long run.

Regardless what form of jackfruit you buy, always avoid fruit with black or dark spots.

If you buy green jackfruit, you need to go ahead and use it while it still is green…or process and freeze it as soon as possible.

Cut, ripened jackfruit can be stored in plastic in the fridge for up to a one week or in the freezer for up to a month.



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Jackfruit Seeds

You can also roast or boil the jackfruit seeds and then combine with seasonings to be eaten whole…or can be used to make hummus, top a salad, make a smoothie, or grind into flour.









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Canned Jackfruit

Canned jackfruit will be packed in either a brine or a syrup. Always choose jackfruit packed in brine because this will be better for making savory dishes.

Also check to make sure that the labels includes the words “green,” “young,” or “tender” if you plan on using the jackfruit as a meat substitute..



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Jackfruit Products

These days it seems like more and more foods containing jackfruit are sprouting up at your local Whole Foods, Sprouts, and the health-food section of just about any traditional grocery store. Try them. You might find yourself as pleasantly surprised as I was as to how great these products can be.

Jackfruit…The Why — April 13, 2021

Jackfruit…The Why

Jackfruit in bowl

Jackfruit has an impressive nutrition profile…containing nearly every vitamin and mineral that is recommended for healthy diets…including significant amounts of vitamins A and C…as well as the minerals potassium, riboflavin, and manganese…and the antioxidants.



According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one cup of raw, sliced jackfruit contains…



Calories…157…Half of a cup of jackfruit contains 95 calories.



Protein…2.84 grams……the edible pulp of a jackfruit contains almost three grams of protein…way more than the typical zero to one grams in apples and mangoes.



Fat...Jackfruit contains only a small amount of fat…1.06 grams.



Carbs…38.36 grams..Approximately 92% of the calories come from carbs.



Fiber...2.5 grams



Sugars…31.48 grams





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Jackfruit and Vitamins

A food is considered a “rich source” of a particular vitamin or mineral if it contains 20% or more of the Daily Value, DV, of that particular vitamin or mineral.

Vitamin B1…9%DV….105mg

Vitamin B2…Riboflavin…5%…0.055mg

Vitamin B6…25%DV

Vitamin C…22.6 mg…18% RDI







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Jackfruit and Minerals

  • Copper: 15% of the RDI
  • Riboflavin: 11% of the RDI
  • Potassium……739mg…14% of the RDI
  • Magnesium…15%RDI…48mg
  • Manganese: 16% of the RDI







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Jackfruit and Antioxidants

Jackfruit is a good source of antioxidants, including carotenoids—which have been shown to help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of various chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease…and flavanones—which contain anti-inflammatory properties that may help lower blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol levels — important factors in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.









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Health Benefits

Blood Pressure…The potassium found in jackfruit can help lower your blood pressure by counteracting the effects of sodium and reducing tension in the walls of blood vessels.

Cancer…Jackfruit contains antioxidants that help prevent the oxidative stress caused by free radicals that could lead to several chronic diseases, including cancer.





Cholesterol Levels…Eating jackfruit seeds may help reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, that can cause a waxy deposit to build up along the inner walls of your arteries…resulting in restricted blood flow, high blood pressure, and increased risk of heart attack or stroke…as well as raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good” cholesterol, that helps remove LDL cholesterol from blood vessels and send it back to the liver.



Diabetes…Jackfruit has a fairly low glycemic index (GI), meaning that your blood sugar will not spike quickly after you eat it. Jackfruit also contains flavonoid antioxidants that have been shown to help balance your blood sugar levels and keep your pancreas healthy, which is important because the pancreas is what organ actually produces insulin.



Digestive health…Jackfruit is a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber…as well as the prebiotics needed to help support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.



Heart Health…The potassium, fiber and antioxidants found in jackfruit may lower your risk of heart disease.



Immune System…The vitamin A and C content of jackfruit may help prevent illnesses and reduce the risk of viral infections.



Skin and Bones…Jackfruit is a good source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that all already know is good for maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is also needed in order for your body to produce collagen, a protein so very important for maintaining healthy skin, bones, connective tissues, blood vessels and cartilage….and for healing wounds. Not only that, jackfruit has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.

Jackfruit…The What — April 11, 2021

Jackfruit…The What

Jackfruit in bowl

I have been using the meals.com app to plan our meals for about ten years now, and when we were faced with the dreaded d-word….diabetes, not divorce…I switched over to the vegetarian plan of this meal planning service.

Soon to find myself ordering ingredients and produce that in my previous fifty years of existence, I had never tried…and sometimes never heard of.

One of these foods was the jackfruit.



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What is Jackfruit?!

Why was jackfruit one of the first produce items that I had to faimiliarize myself with?!

Hello?!?!?!

Because I am from the Deepest Parts of the Deep South…the heart of the Delta…Mississippi…

And i know that absolutely no one can survive life without some sort of barbecue…

So when I read that the texture of the fruit is like my prized shredded meats…and that is often considered a meat substitute by those on vegetarian and vegan diets,, I had to try it for myself…(it’s actually good…but more on that later though)…





The Tree…Jackfruit, like durian, grow on evergreen trees that flower from December until February or March. The termite-proof wood from the jackfruit tree is commonly used to build furniture, doors, windows, roofs, musical instruments, and houses….many claiming that jackfruit wood is superior to teak for building furniture.

Dye made from the jackfruit trees is what is used to give the robes of Buddhist monks their distinctive light-brown color.



The Fruit…Jackfruit have hard, gummy shells that ripen from an initially yellowish-greenish…to a yellow…to a yellowish-brown color.

Jackfruit is similar to the durian that we talked about in a previous post, but have pimples instead of spikes…so they might not be as able to kill you if one plops out of the tree onto your head…lucky us, right?!

Probably not so lucky, since each fruit can weigh up to eighty pounds…and can reach ten to forty inches in length…and six to twenty inches in diameter.

Jackfruit are in season mainly in July and August.



The Taste and Aroma...Jackfruit has a sweet, fruity taste similar to bananas, pineapples, and pears….kind of a cross between all three. Fully ripe jackfruit have a strong pleasant aroma similar to pineapple and banana.

Actually immature jackfruit has a fairly neutral taste that will “take on” the flavor of whatever sauce or seasoning you pair it with…meaning that its stringy consistency when paired with quality barbecue sauce will even convince the die-hard carnivores in your family try a bite…(trust me, my family actually loves jackfruit barbecue sandwiches).

Jackfruit has always been popular in its native Southeast Asia countries—Indonesia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Vietnam…but has become a ‘trend” of sorts among vegans and vegetarians in the past decade…people like me who want to cut out meat, but could never imasgine life without pulled barbecue pork sandwiches.