Ingredient Insights: Jackfruit, Arrowroot Starch, Cacao, & Rice Vinegar


It’s that time again.

Welcome to Ingredient Insights.


Jackfruit:

Jackfruits should be called jackedfruits because have you seen the size of these things?! They should definitely be considered a weapon. This spikey fruit may look really intimidating but give it a chance and it’ll change your life forever, promise.

Jackfruit is a versatile food that can take on any flavor you give it and it’s commonly used as a meat replacement in vegan/vegetarian dishes. An everyday food in Southeast Asia, Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world, ranging from 10 to 25 pounds per fruit, and you know what’s crazy? It grows on the tree’s trunk and BRANCHES (note to self: do not sit under a jackfruit tree).

This fruit is the perfect source of potassium, protein, calcium, and iron. On top of that, it’s also high in vitamins B6 and C! Eat well, feel well, am I right?

You can usually find canned or boxed jackfruit in major grocery stores and fresh jackfruit in Asian grocery stores – this is our favorite go-to brand of jackfruit.

Try it in a smoothie, try it in a taco, or try our Lemon Avocado Pasta with Sautéed Cilantro Jackfruit!


Arrowroot Starch:

Need to thicken up that broccoli cheddar soup? Arrowroot starch.

Need to coat your cauliflower in something to make it similar to fried chicken? Arrowroot starch.

You could literally use it in anything, without leaving behind a weird taste or look like cornstarch does; baking for structure, frying for crispiness, stews and sauces for thickness, etc.

Arrowroot was cultivated as early as 5,000 BC by the Arawak, an extinct people of the Caribbean Islands, who originally named it Aru-Aru or “Meals of Meals”. It’s a tuber similar to yucca or cassava and the arrowroot starch is the powder that’s extracted from its roots.

If you have some pains in your abdominal area or if you’re dealing with diarrhea, this is the perfect natural remedy for you, as it’s also high in potassium and iron! You can find arrowroot starch in health stores, major grocery stores, and as always, the internet (here’s what we use)!


Raw Cacao:

To start off, raw cacao powder is created by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans, keeping the enzymes in the cocoa and removing the fat, aka, cacao butter. Whereas cocoa powder is what you have when the cocoa beans are exposed to high temperatures, which lowers the antioxidant and nutrient levels. Otherwise, they’re quite interchangeable.

You can use it in cooking or you can use it as a skin care product – both are great for ya!

Here’s some reasons why:

  • Full of antioxidants (raw, organic cacao has 40x the antioxidants of blueberries)
  • Helps reduce blood pressure
  • Contains serotonin and dopamine, which associates to stimulation in pleasure and lifting your mood
  • Highest plant-based source of iron (whaaaaaaatttttt?!)
  • One of the highest plant-based sources of magnesium

Major grocery stores typically carry raw cacao, but if they don’t, check out a local health store, or get it off the internet.


Rice Vinegar:

Rice vinegar, not to be confused with white vinegar, has a mildly sweet and acidic flavor, commonly used in Asian dishes. We tend to put it into our fried rice dishes or add it into tempeh as it boils to give it a sort of acidity.

It’s high in antioxidants, it helps reduce blood pressure by reducing sodium intake, and it has zero calories!

Now where in the world does rice vinegar come from?! Originally, stemming from Japan, rice vinegar is brewed from fermented rice, similar to the process of sake.

Rice vinegar is relatively easy to find in most grocery stores, but tip of the day: Asian markets usually sell them for cheaper!


It’s been a long day, guys. I apologize for how late this post is going up.
See ya next week!

-Kimberly

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