You might have wandered past a jackfruit or two at the grocery store, wondering at the culinary value of what appears to be a gargantuan hedgehog. We decided to find out for ourselves, and show you some basics of how to prepare a jackfruit.
Working with fresh jackfruit wasn't as daunting as we'd originally thought. As with most fresh ingredients, if you have some time and energy to devote an extra bit of care to its preparation, the payoff in flavor and texture is well worth it. Jackfruit is sweet, citrusy, and incredibly fragrant once you get under the rough exterior.
A few things to note:
There are tons of videos and articles about how to cut up a jackfruit- this is the process that worked best for us. Let us know what you think!
How to cut up a jackfruit:
1. Carefully grease a large kitchen knife with a bit of coconut oil- jackfruit is naturally sticky, and the oil will help make your first few cuts much easier.
2. Lay down some plastic wrap over your workspace, ideally right on the counter. You'll need more room than most cutting boards offer, and the stickiness is easier to clean up if you don't have to scrub it off of your countertop.
3. Make a single cut down the whole length of the fruit, splitting it in half:
4. Remove any visible seeds by hand, and collect in a small bowl if you'd like to roast them later.
5. Quarter the two halves (making four large slices total).
6. Slice off the thick, brown core from the top of each quarter, freeing up the smaller white fibers and yellow fruit. Make a single long cut down the central spine, then a few cuts perpendicular or diagonal to the long one (similar to how you might cut a mango).
7. Dig out the sweet yellow fruit, being careful to remove any remaining seeds and peeling off the ribbon-like white fibers. Collect the fruit in a separate bowl.
We made it into a tasty pile of nachos, complete with a blended jackfruit sauce, roasted seeds, and roasted jackfruit barbecue.
In a recent survey by the Soymates editors, a large portion (84%) of respondents said they cook meals at home several nights per week- but over half of that same group reported that they rarely ever meal-plan.
We get it. Not everyone is a type-A organizer, and meal-planning can feel like it's yet another chore you have to do as an adult. HOWEVER: If you get in the habit, you'll not only stop struggling to figure out what to eat on a daily basis, but you can also save a lot of money by actually eating all of the food that you buy. And the best part? It's all guaranteed to be food that you like, because you're the one in charge!
There are tons of different meal-planning lists, apps, and tools out there. We like using these "What To Eat" and "All Out Of" planners from Knock Knock (not affiliate links), because you can update during the week as needed, rather than having to sit down and plan your entire grocery trip all at once. You can also design your own system if you're feeling creative.
Here's what our process usually looks like, along with some tips on how to make your meal-prepping easy and stress-free:
For a long time, we were buying boxed broth several times a month for all of the different recipes we were making. Then it occurred to us- veggie broth is pretty much just vegetables, salt, and water, so why not start making our own? As an added bonus, it can make your kitchen smell amazing while it simmers.
Broth is used in many different soups, sauces, gravy, etc. Since we cook with vegetables all the time, we keep a container in the fridge where we store vegetable waste for later use in broth-making. Today, we're preparing a vegetable broth for a vegan minestrone we'll be making later in the week.
For this round of broth-making, we're keeping it pretty simple with the ingredients: onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery, and lemon. Other times, we've successfully made broth with leftover broccoli stems, mushrooms, garlic, and potatoes. It's good to decide roughly how much broth you want to make at a time, but it's ok to just make a guess (broth keeps pretty well in the freezer for a long time)! Typically, we choose a few containers or pitchers and fill them with water, then add that amount into the pot. Instead of the stovetop method, using a slow-cooker on low for 6-8 hours will really let the flavors steep into the water.
Homemade Veggie Broth
Got any methods or ingredients you like for your broth? Let us know in the comments!
When we were first starting to cook for ourselves, knife skills were some of the most daunting things to learn. But we didn't want that to scare us away from knowing how to select and prepare fresh ingredients for our meals- so we just had to jump in and start practicing.
Some important basics before we get started:
Let's get to it!
First step: Shoo away your cat, who is just a little too interested in this process.
Lay the pineapple down on its side. Slice off the top part, just below where the leaves branch out from the main fruit. Then, slice off the bottom inch or so.
Begin slicing away strips of the tough outer skin. If you like, use a smaller knife to cut out the brown divots left over. We usually just leave them on- a little extra fiber won't do any harm!
Cut four large slices off from the top down, leaving a 2x2-ish square inch core. This can be thrown away or composted.
Lay the remaining slices down flat, and make long cuts vertically and horizontally.
All done! Store in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. We've found that pineapple keeps for about four days once it's diced up, but eating it fresh on day one is always best.
Got any fun ways you like to use fresh pineapple? Let us know in the comments!