What’s All the Hype About Jackfruit

Hi I am Linda and I am so blessed to be able wake up each day and come to work doing something I love. Cooking and Creating in the kitchen at Intelligent Gourmet is my  innamorato, Italian for passionate love.

Getting Vegans and Vegetarians more protein is always a challenge, and something I spend a lot of time contemplating, then I heard about Jackfruit. To say that jackfruit is a big thing is a big understatement. It is the largest tree-borne fruit on the planet – it isn’t unusual to come across beasts weighing up to 70 lbs. in South America and South-east Asia.

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This all-natural, non processed ingredient has a wonderful fibrous flesh that can take on flavor from most anything. Green jackfruit can replace carnitas in tacos, braised beef in burritos, spiced lamb for gyros and more.

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As we try to come out with new creative ways to provide clients protein without using any actual meat. Jackfruit, is just one of the ingredients we are playing with.  Jackfruit’s natural flavors  give you that meaty texture and taste that so  many crave, even though it’s just a fruit with some amazing health benefits.

Interested in giving this fruit a try?  Check out this recipe:

bbq-pulled-jack-fruit-tostada

2 jalapeños, finely chopped

2 tbsp vegetable oil

6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tbsp chilli powder

2 tsp cumin

0.5 tsp cayenne

6 ounce of ketchup

4 ounce lime juice (adjust with a bit for a little more tanginess )

1 cup coconut palm sugar

4 tins of jackfruit in brine

2 tbsp of your favor nut oil or avocado oil

1 tbsp dijon mustard

Fry the garlic & jalapeños in oil for a minute. Add all the spices, stir and cook until fragrant (a minute or so). Add ketchup, lime and coconut palm sugar. Stir until all the sugar has melted. Partially cover and keep cooking on a low heat until sauce has thickened to the consistency of ketchup.

Drain and thoroughly rinse the tinned jackfruit. Use your hands to tear the strands of jackfruit from the harder core. The fruit will come apart very easily. Put the pulled jackfruit into a bowl and put the cores into another bowl. Once everything has been pulled apart use a knife to finely chop the harder cores. It doesn’t matter if these are still a bit chunky once chopped as it adds more texture to the dish.

Heat oil in pan and add the pulled jackfruit. Cook until it gets a bit grey and loses some moisture. Add the dijon mustard and stir in. Add a little water if it starts to stick to the pan.

Add about half the BBQ sauce (more if you want a very sticky dish) and stir in to coat. Cook until it’s almost starting to get a little crispy and sticking to the pan a little.

Spoon on top of warm corn tacos and top with chopped lettuce, guacamole, sour cream, and a squeeze of fresh lime

 

Halloween Treat Ideas

Animation Domination High-Def trick or treat cute fox halloween

There are plenty of individual portion treats to satisfy even the most discriminating Ballerina , or Pokemon. So why not opt in this year to some healthier choices to hand out?

  • Raisins
  • Pretzels
  • Juice boxes
  • Mini water bottles (they need them to stay hydrated while trick or treating)
  • Fruit snack packs, packaged in their own juices
  • Kettle Baked chips, baked tortilla chips
  • Popcorn
  • Low sugar granola or cereal bars, like enjoy life brand
    ( many of these items can be purchased at Aldi’s Market, or in bulk through amazon.com)

Keep your eye out for small inexpensive gadgets and things that kids love

  • Decorative pencils
  • Small rubber balls
  • Erasers
  • Rubber ghosts, goblins, witches
  • Waxed lips
  • Glow sticks
  • Stickers
  • Key chains
  • Marbles
  • Tic-tac-toe or other small games
  • Bubbles
  • Chalk
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons

Women’s 5 Flavors of Health Problems

From the purely anecdotal perspective of a nutrition expert and chef who talks with women on a daily basis, I’d say women’s most frequent health issues come in 5 Flavors: Lack of sleep, low energy, auto immune disorders, inflammation, and adrenal fatigue.
From my extensive study of nutrition and food, I know that these are problems that food is uniquely able to solve. In fact, just as food is the most likely cause of these issues, food can also be the solution.
Lack of Sleep may be caused by an overly demanding schedule, but it’s probably more due to feeling “wound up” in bed at the end of the day. That feeling comes from a nutritional imbalance, most likely caused by too much caffeine and too little vitamin B6 (used to make melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone), calcium (calcium deficiency is linked to insomnia), and magnesium.

hot summer sleep cant sleep jk my life is amazing right now
Your Food Solution: Try cutting out the coffee and replacing your hot morning drink fix with Yerba Mate (which also has caffeine but doesn’t leave you buzzed at bedtime), and incorporate melatonin- rich tart cherry juice and almonds (high in calcium and magnesium) into your daily diet. Together they make for an energy-boosting afternoon snack – that will help you sleep later on.
Low Energy in women can be caused by many things including low thyroid, heart trouble & clogged arteries, iron deficiency, low blood sugar, and stress.

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Your Food Solution: Support your thyroid with foods rich in iodine like eggs, cow’s milk, low fat yogurt, and seaweed. Make your diet heart-healthy by eating foods that help lower cholesterol, like oatmeal with cinnamon. Ensure your body gets enough iron by eating more beans, tofu, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, cashews and almonds (don’t take iron supplements without a doctor’s supervision since 1/200 people genetically cannot process iron and can overdose). Keep your blood sugar level by snacking on foods that balance fat and carbs, like nuts, when you need a boost. And, increase your vitamin C – which not only helps reduce feelings of stress, but returns blood pressure and cortisol to normal levels. Also, try drinking coconut water – it’s been linked to increasing energy and the metabolism!
Auto Immune Disorders like Hashimotos, Lupus and Chronic Fatigue can be caused by environmental toxins, oxidative stress, increased free radicals, fatty acid imbalance, bacterial problems, and vitamin D deficiency. While genetics are frequently to blame, they’re not the main determinant – in fact, most research points to environment and diet as the primary causes.

juice detox dance
Your Food Solution: Your digestive tract is your first line of defense against autoimmune illnesses, which means if you boost your digestive health, you’ll improve or prevent your condition. Try juicing to give your digestive system a much-needed break, and go easy on the protein (which can contribute to inflammation). Juicing is an easy way to substantially increase your intake of cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), which when combined with Fish oil and adequate vitamin D (sunlight!) can reduce inflammation and symptoms.
Inflammation is the body’s attempt to protect itself – it’s part of the immune system. However, inflammation can become a chronic condition, like having the switch to your immune system stuck in “On” mode. The key is in your digestive system, which when bombarded with an inflammatory diet, can wreak havoc on your body. Diarrhea, constipation, gas, heartburn and acid reflux are early signs of inflamed digestive tracts.

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Your Food Solution: An anti-inflammatory diet will do a lot to reduce pain and discomfort, not to mention the health risks associated with constant inflammation. Cut out fast food, processed foods, white flour, sugar, and alcohol for starters. Then, increase Vitamin A (pumpkin, carrots & sweet potatoes), healthy fats (avocado, nuts, wild salmon), Vitamin C (oranges, papaya, mangoes), and selenium (Brazil nuts, salmon, oatmeal). You might even try adding turmeric to your daily diet – it’s a powerful anti-inflammatory that Ayurvedic healers have used for centuries to reduce arthritis pain (and if you hate Indian food, it comes in capsules too).
Adrenal Fatigue – So many women come in saying they have adrenal fatigue, but what does that even mean? Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands lose their ability to function normally, usually in response to prolonged stress or long-lasting infections. Sleep doesn’t help, caffeine won’t work, and you may feel more energetic after 6 p.m. than you have all day.

work vacation real housewives of orange county rhoc stress
Your Food Solution: To understand adrenal fatigue, you have to understand how cortisol behaves in your body. Cortisol is the stress hormone, and its peak hours are between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. – and from there it declines throughout the day. It’s at its lowest level during the night. Spikes in cortisol can be triggered by stress, and when that happens, your adrenals are too pooped out to give you energy to deal with it – which means that feeling stressed leads to feeling tired. Can’t seem to get up in the morning? That’s the cortisol spiking. Feel better at night? That’s because the cortisol has stopped asking your adrenal glands to work. To help even out your energy, you have to work with this cycle. Keep your blood sugar steady by eating a protein and carb-balanced breakfast as well as healthy snacks throughout the day – but stay away from caffeine, sugar and simple carbs, which can over- stimulate the adrenals.

Re-Vamp Your Breakfast Recipes, try a Quinoa Bowl

Why try a quinoa bowl for breakfast? Quinoa is a complete protein, meaning it has all 10 essential amino acids, and a high fiber content. One cup of cooked quinoa contains 5 grams of satiating fiber, having it for breakfast will help to arm your body with the tools it needs to get through the day and stay fuller longer. As an added bonus, quinoa is packed with health boosters like zinc, calcium, iron, riboflavin, heart healthy fats and antioxidants that have been found to reduce inflammation.quinoa bowl

Recipe: Quinoa Breakfast Bowl
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
Yield: 2 bowls

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3/4 cup canned lite coconut mylk + more for drizzling
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + more for sprinkling
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of dried unsweetened dark cherries
1 tablespoon of toasted pecans
1 tablespoon of toasted pumpkin seeds

Preparation:
Combine quinoa, coconut milk, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 15 minutes until quinoa can be fluffed with a fork.
Divide quinoa into two bowls then cover with dried fruits, pecans, + pumpkin seeds and a few extra drizzles of coconut milk.

Chef Notes:  You can use a shelf stable organic Coconut mylk available at Aldi’s Markets. Or you can make your own Almond mylk but that’s for another blog.  Option to add  sweetener of choice,  we find it sweet enough with the coconut milk and fruit.

#Kidfriendly #addtoppingsofyourchoice #mixandmatchfruitsnutsandseeds #yearroundmeal

Nutrition: 302 calories, 10.3 g fat (4.9 g saturated fat), 99 mg sodium, 34.6 g carbs, 5.3 g fiber, 7.9 g sugar, 8.2 g protein