Jackfruit is an exotic tropical fruit that has been increasing in popularity in recent years. Ripe Jackfruit has a distinctive sweet flavor and smell which can be used to make a wide variety of desserts especially in baking. It’s also very nutritious and has many health benefits. What makes jackfruit unique from other fruits is its protein content and high levels in a few powerful antioxidants.
Vegan or vegetarian diets often use young Jackfruit which is tasteless as a meat substitute due to its texture, which is comparable to shredded meat. Young Jackfruit meat takes on the flavor of the spices that it is cooked with. The Nori in the Vegan Crab cakes makes every bite taste like the ocean with crab like texture from the jackfruit meat. The tender Jackfruit meat absorbs all the spicy and rich Arrabbiata sauce which blends in so well with the al dente Farfalle pasta. I believe one should eat a wide variety of wholesome food, especially plants.
Jackfruit is a versatile fruit with lots of nutritional health benefits. One can make dessert guilt free and packed with nutritious values.
Okra, also known as lady fingers and Bhindi, is a flowering plant that belongs to the mallow family. Its main medicinal value lies in its extraordinary mix of soluble and insoluble fibers, which help lower blood sugar levels, lower unhealthy (LDL) cholesterol levels in the blood and lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Okra is best cooked lightly and quickly by blanching, roasting, steaming or stir fry to preserve its essential nutrients. Many people like deep fried okras which is, unfortunately, less healthy.
Okra’s sensuous texture and exotic flavor are admittedly acquired tastes. If you don’t like the vegetable, it’s because there is a recipe out there that you haven’t tried it in yet. More than 20 years ago, I had Gumbo in Louisiana and it changed my mind about okra since then. The slippery sap of okras exuded during cooking is an essential thickener to gumbo. Choose fresh young and tender okra with tails that easily snap off.
Many don’t like papaya because of its pungent smell. There is a scientific reason for why papaya stinks. Papaya is chock-full of an enzyme called papain, which according to the Enzyme Education Institute has a somewhat offensive smell and “unpleasant” taste. Experts have found that papaya has antibacterial properties and promotes good digestion and wound healing. It also improves lactation in new mothers and relieves menstrual pain. Green unripe papaya helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.
All these three recipes will change your perspective over the “not so popular” papaya in your list. One should consume more papaya since we can get it easily in Singapore especially when it is packed with nutritious goodness.