Jul 6, 2023
Holding a jackfruit for the first time can be intimidating. But don’t be daunted by its enormous size and spiky cover. We’ll teach you the proper handling and how to freeze dry jackfruit to get the most out of the fruit.
If you want to freeze dry sweet, ripe jackfruit, there are three things you need to check:
The skin or rind of the jackfruit has spikey protrusions or segments. These are flat, small, and compact when the fruit is unripe. As the fruit ripens, these segments become bigger, open up, and seem to protrude and separate from each other.
The rind should also be firm but should have a bit of a give to it when you press it. An unripe jackfruit will have hard, tough skin. An overripe one will sink and won’t bounce back.
There will be some discolorations on the skin; don’t worry, this is normal. What’s bad are large brown or black spots that are either too dry or wet and mushy.
The scent of a ripe jackfruit is sweetly intoxicating yet so unique it’s hard to describe. Some say the scent is close to sweet gum or something akin to an exotic Juicy Fruit.
The sound is the determining factor for many, even expert farmers. What you do is tap or knock on the skin of the jackfruit to produce a sound. An unripe fruit will produce a high-pitched cold sound. A ripe one will give you a dull, solid, warm resonance.
Now that you know the difference between rip and unripe jackfruit, you might ask: which one should I get? Of course, that would depend on what you intend to do with your freeze-dried jackfruit.
Ripe jackfruit is great for desserts and snacks. Their tropical sweetness adds a compliment of flavor to sherbets, salads, and cereals. Some even add it to crispy banana spring rolls covered with caramelized sugar.
But did you know that you can also eat unripe jackfruit? Some use the white, crunchy flesh as a meat substitute. It’s also good when stir-fried and prepared with coconut milk.
Since we talked about unrip and rip jackfruit, we’ll teach you two ways to prepare them. But before you do, make sure you have the following:
What you need to watch out for when preparing jackfruit is latex. This sap can be sticky and can also cause skin irritation or reaction. Use gloves to protect your hands, then apply a thin layer of oil on the gloves’ surface and the knife. Go easy on the oil because it will interfere with your freeze-drying process. You can use water if you prefer. Just wash your hands and tools every now and then.
Others place a large plastic bag on the cutting board and cut the jackfruit inside. This way, you keep the sap from ruining the cutting board and your countertop or table surface.
You need to peel off the rind and take out the tough core for the unripe jackfruit. To do this:
Ripe jackfruit doesn’t need any peeling but needs the same protective gear. Then, after protecting your hands, what you need to do is:
Those projections left on the rind of the fruit are also edible. Others cook those and use them as meat replacements. You can freeze-dry them if you wish, then use them later in your meals.
As we always say, pre-freezing is an option but can help your freeze dryer immensely. The jackfruit’s meat is firm but not too thick that it’s hard to freeze dry. However, pre-freezing can save you time and money on electricity bills. Especially if you have a deep freezer running. It also lessens the wear and tear of your machine.
Freeze-drying jackfruit is easy with your Harvest Right Freeze Dryer.
Freeze drying the fruit can take 25-36 hours, depending on:
A properly freeze-dried jackfruit should be light, airy, and crips. If any pieces feel soft and moist, return the trays for 2-3 hours of extra dry time.
Except for the core and the rind, every part of the jackfruit is edible, including the seeds. When cooked, they have almost the same consistency and flavor similar to potatoes. To cook them:
You can also freeze-dry the seeds raw. Just cut the seeds in half and freeze-dry them along with the jackfruit. Cutting exposes the flesh of the seed for easier freeze-drying.
You can use Mason jars or Mylar bags to store your freeze-dried jackfruit. Mason jars are good when you want to taste the exotic sweetness every now and then. Mylar bags are great for both long-term storage and camping.
To help make your freeze-dried jackfruit last 25 years, store them in a cool, dry, dark place. The room should be below 72°F (22 °C) with a relative humidity of 15% or less.
To rehydrate, just cover the fruit with enough room-temperature or cold water. Use just enough to cover but not fully submerge the fruit. It takes about 5-15 minutes to rehydrate the freeze-dried fruit to a soft consistency.
For the seeds, fully submerge them in water until they’re soft. Usually, this takes just 5-15 minutes as well. They rehydrate fast and with very little encouragement.
Jackfruit is one of the largest fruits known to man and a very versatile food. It can act as a fruit or vegetable, depending on how and what stage you eat it. Preparation may be tedious, but the fruit will reward you abundantly if you do it right.
What will you freeze dry, unripe, or ripe jackfruit? Let us know in the comment section.
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