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What is Jackfruit and is it a good meat substitute?

Grown in south East Asia and parts of Brazil, the jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. Jackfruit has a hard green skin covered in a spiky raised pebble-like structure. A small jackfruit can weigh five to seven kilos, the largest can reach up to thirty-five kilos. It is a strange looking fruit; the kind of fruit you imagine the “Star Trek” crew encountered while stranded on a new planet. Ripe jackfruit has an unpleasant aroma, yet once opened, it smells like a combination of banana and pineapple. Some people even think it smells like bubble gum or sweets. The fruit seeds are enclosed in large bulbs of yellow flesh. Single jackfruit can have anywhere from one hundred to five hundred of these bulbs.The sweet ripe jackfruit is used in ice creams and deserts, while the green or unripe jackfruit is perfect for savoury dishes. It is the green jackfruit that has gained notoriety as a meat substitute, a surge in popularity fueled by increased interest in vegan, and plant food diets. In the U.K Food outlets like "Club Mexican" and “Spice Box” sell their own version of Jackfruit dishes, while the plant-based frozen meal company “Allplants” delivers a jackfruit meal as one of their selections. “Essential Foods”, the Bristol-based ethical food co-op that supplies many of the UK’s health food shops sell their own brand of tinned organic green jackfruit. Ethnic shops have been selling both the green and ripe jackfruit in tins for years along with fresh and sometimes frozen versions. When it comes to taste the green jackfruit has very little flavour. This means it is remarkably easy to re-create your favourite meat dishes as the jackfruit takes on the flavour of the seasonings that are added to it. Slow cooked jackfruit has a texture similar to shredded meat; it is this texture and appearance that make it such a popular meat substitute and gives it the “wow” factor. Pulled jackfruit instead of pulled pork has become a vegan Instagram star. Here is some I cooked earlier   Nutritionally Jackfruit is a powerhouse, rich in potassium, zinc and fibre. It also contains vitamin C and is one of the few fruits that contain B vitamins. It has very few calories and has no saturated fat or cholesterol. Jackfruit is a perfect meat substitute except that it has very little protein. One hundred grams of jackfruit contains only 1.7 grams of protein compared to quorn, which provide 14.5 grams per 100 grams or black beans that contain a massive 21 grams per 100 grams.  This doesn’t mean jackfruit isn’t a great food choice and as a meat substitute. It passes on flavour, texture, and versatility not to mention the fact that it’s really insta-photogenic but as a protein source it scores low. Serving another protein source with your jackfruit easily solves this.

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Coconut Bacon and How to Use It

Coconut bacon is made with unsweetened coconut chips and spices. I don't suppose you could fool a bacon fan into believing that it is actually real bacon, especially if you serve it on a plate beside a couple of eggs , but if you want bacon flavour, coconut bacon works perfectly.  Coconut bacon is salty,smoky and crisp. It is also veggie, vegan and gluten free.  I first made coconut bacon in a coffee shop. Like  many  coffee shops, it had limited,storage and cooking space. The food we prepared needed to be both casual and easy to take away.  Coconut bacon fits this criteria  perfectly, not only does it look and taste great  but it doesn't take up fridge space. Once baked, it can be stored in a sealed jar. It is a versatile vegan option that can be used to create eclectic  and indie style dishes. Coconut bacon is just as versatile for the home cook. More of an ingredient than a spice but with all the convenience of a spice. Try it on top of vegan french toast, salads or add it to your pasta dishes. If you want to make your own coconut bacon there are lots of recipes on the Internet. Most of them use just three or four ingredients, and a  combination of soya sauce, liquid smoke and coconut chips.It's easy to play around with these to create different flavours. if you don't fancy making your own coconut bacon you can order some from me here Five Ways To Use Coconut Bacon 1. Make your own Hipster avocado on toast. 2. Have an Aussie Style BLAT. 3. Try it in a Breakfast Taco with scrambled tofu. 4. Top a Caesar salad 5. Try it with Vegan MacNcheese

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