Hi there! It’s Mathea Ford with Renal Diet HQ and today I want to talk about vegetarian meat substitute although it’s technically not a meat substitute because it doesn’t have any protein but it’s called Jackfruit and I’m talking about vegetarian stuff this month because I think it’s important I hear a lot of comments from people that they want to try vegetarian. They want to go to vegetarian knowing that there’s a lower protein need in chronic kidney disease so I want to talk to you about this particular product because it’s something that you can probably find locally and maybe even incorporate it into some meals.
What is jackfruit?
If you’ve ever seen the BuzzFeed Tasty recipes videos that kind of have a vegetarian slant to them you may have seen jackfruit being used in those recipes. There, it’s such a versatile fruit and product that people can use and it’s just a little different so you might be a little bit afraid of it but I hope by the end of this video that you’re going to have a better idea of what it actually is and what it’s actually good for.
It’s a species of tree fruit in the fig mulberry breadfruit family. It was originally from India but it’s grown in Southeast Asia, Indies, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia. It’s actually even grown in the United States in Florida and that’s where a lot of the jackfruit that’s in grocery stores and available on Amazon for example is grown in Florida and shipped here in the US. So, it grows in a lot of different places. It needs to be a little bit tropical which is why Florida works because in Florida it rains like every day just a little bit but it rains. It’s also found in Hawaii because that’s a little bit of a tropical environment too. So, there’s some places that can be found it’s not necessarily imported it can be found in the United States so I wanted you to know that it’s a very safe you know choice if you’re buying from the United States because they’re going to have been reviewed and managed by the FDA.
Jackfruit is it’s kind of a weird name but it’s a fruit. It has a little bit of a sweet taste to it. If you eat it raw but in general in cooking it kind of has a bland taste. So, let’s talk
about why it’s good for a vegetarian diet.
In a vegetarian diet you may miss if you’re normally if you were used to eating meat and then now you’ve gone to vegetarian or vegan, this can taste like meat. It can have that shredded meat texture so it’s great for putting into meals that are like pulled pork or pulled chicken or tacos. It goes in all those things because it looks like and it gives you that visual idea of a meat but it also has the ability to take on the flavors of the spices that you’re using so you’re gonna have it take up those flavors but it’s not going to be like a lot of people who go vegetarian may think they need to use tofu or Tempeh and it’s not going to have that same texture. So, the texture of jackfruit when you actually eat it is more of a soft kind of like a whole fruit would be where you’re going to eat it and it’s going to kind of mush in your mouth, it’s not gonna be stringy, it’s not going be chewy in your dish.
I do want to remind you though that it does not have proteins so it’s very much like a fruit. It’s going to have you know fiber in it and that’s gonna be good and healthy for you but jackfruit doesn’t have protein so account for that and make sure that you’re getting protein in another way in that meal so that you’re not totally you know eliminating the protein from your day although as like I said with a chronic kidney disease you’re going to want to eat lower protein so you’re going to have that lower protein it’ll help you get a lower protein count for the day.
Why is jackfruit good for you? Why is it a good choice and why might you even want to do it like on a Meatless Monday even if you’re still eating regular meat but why might you want to do it on like a Meatless Monday?
It doesn’t taste sweet and it has some great benefits. So, let’s talk about that. It has immune support because it has a ton of vitamin C and antioxidants. It’s a perfect food for helping your immunity and helping boost your immunity to reduce colds and other illness and in general I’ve done some I’ve talked to some other dietitians recently and found out that antioxidants are super great for your brain and your brain health so getting lots of foods with antioxidants is a great idea. Jackfruits gonna fit right into that. It’s going to help with your digestion because it has a lot of fiber so it’s going to be like eating a whole fruit it’s going to have fiber in it and that’s going help your digestion, help you’re feeling fullness and satiate you.
It has some anti-cancer properties so it’s got phytonutrients, it’s got carotenoids and it’s really just you know in general like fruit is it’s pretty a healthy product. This is going to have a decent amount of carbohydrate in it because it is fruit. It has B-6 as well so if you’re watching your carbohydrate count you may want to manage that but probably the amount of jackfruit that you’re gonna eat in your meal like 3 to 4 ounces is not going to be excessive but I want to make sure that you’re aware that it’s gonna have carb and that’s going to affect if you’re a diabetic, it’s going to affect your blood sugar. But because it has carbs it can have that boost of energy that you might need for your day.
It’s heart-healthy. It’s going to have some potassium in it. Jackfruit has about 740 mg Potassium in 6 ounces (1 cup) so 3 ounces would have about 370 mg which is ok on a renal diet (of course, your personal diet prescription may vary.)It is advisable for the amount of potassium is going to be decent and help you with your heart health because potassium helps your heart. It’s going to give you beta-carotene, lutein for your eyes for bone health it has some calcium in it so it’s going to help with your bones and it has water and it’s gonna give you fluid.
Is it best getting the fresh fruit or would the canned one be okay?
Because it’s kind of difficult to necessarily find it locally, I would recommend the canned one. The one that’s canned they have they come canned in brine or in syrup and I would recommend the brine and I would definitely try to find it at like your local Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s they have it in the canned version that’s perfectly fine. The brine is sodium so you’re gonna have to watch that amount of sodium that comes in there but you can rinse it off a little bit too that’ll help with reducing the amount of
sodium that’s in that canned product. I mean it’s always a balance if you can find locally the fresh one or you can order it then I would recommend considering that but if you can’t or you want to buy it and have it you know a couple days later it can sit on your shelf for a couple days. Three, four or five days you may even continue to ripen but you want to use that quickly whereas if you bought the canned you could take it with you so consider looking at the sodium on the count on the can and figuring out if it has a lot of studying in the brine you may want to pick the one that’s in syrup just to reduce the amount of sodium that you’re getting because I know that can be a huge
concern for people with kidney disease.
I wanted to talk about like I said that where you can get it. You can get it at Whole Foods, you can get it at Trader Joe’s, you can get it on Amazon, you can buy the fresh fruit on Amazon and they’ll ship it to you but jackfruit can be a good thing to add to your diet if you’re vegetarian or you’re wanting to be more vegetarian. I love the idea that it cooks quick it absorbs the flavors like Tempeh or tofu would but it doesn’t have that same flavor.
It’s not going to give you protein. It’s going to give you a little bit of carbs so I would recommend you consider looking into it and buying it and trying it. I’d start with doing it like as a tacos like a soft taco maybe with a little bit of taco seasoning we have some Texas Twist at nickannyskitchen.com. That kind of has a little bit of that chili flavor and you could put a little bit of that in there, absorb it and it’d be good, a little bit juicy.