“Can you free jackfruit?” seems to become a more and more frequently asked question due to the increasing popularity of jackfruit. However, it is not as commonplace as bananas or apples, which means you have to store it to keep jackfruit available to you longer.
Like other fruits, refrigerating helps prolong their shelf-life. So whenever you encounter jackfruits at the store, make sure to stock up on them and put them in the fridge or somewhere that can help them last longer.
This article will show you how you can store them in the most efficient way – freezing them. I will also give you tips on what to do with jackfruit other than eating them raw.
The Journey Of Jackfruit
Before cutting them up and storing them, let’s get to know jackfruits, their origin, and how they come to be on the shelf.
Jackfruit is a species in the fig, mulberry, and breadfruit family, typically grown in tropical regions of the world. Jackfruit originates from Southern India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the rainforests of some Southeast Asian countries.
The name jackfruit originated from “chakka”, which the Portuguese adopted as “jaca” when they arrived in India in 1499. People also believe that this fruit’s name came from William Jack – a botanist who worked for the East India Company. (1)
One mature jack tree can bear up to 200 jackfruits a year. Older trees in good condition may be able to bear up to 500 of these fruits per year. Jackfruits are recognizable with their large size and bumpy rind, hiding the delicious flesh inside.
How They Are Harvested
Jackfruits often ripen during summer and fall, about 3 to 8 months after flowering. One sign to know if the fruit is ready to be harvested is to tap on it. A mature jackfruit will give a hollow noise, while a green one will have a solid sound. Aroma is also an indicator of ripeness.
These fruits have sticky latex covering every surface of them. This latex will become less prominent as they ripen. Harvesters often make 3 shallow cuts on the rind a few days before harvesting to minimize it even more.
When they are deemed ready, people will use tools such as clippers, loppers, or a sickle to cut them down. After being taken off the tree, mature fruit will take 3 to 10 days to ripen. After that, it will start degrading rapidly.
Their Presence At The Store
After being harvested, jackfruits are put in refrigerated conditions to slow down the ripening process. They may be transported as whole fruit or packs of frozen carpels to the store, where you will encounter them and be lured in by the yellow color and sweet aroma.
The Buying Process Of Jackfruit
To have the best, long-lasting jackfruit, you must know how to select one from the store. However, this poses a challenge since the jackfruit is not small. Its bumpy rind can also be off-putting to customers.
Most supermarkets will offer them in precut packages to increase their appeal. It also makes the selection process easier for you.
Selecting The Best Ones
Picking is the first and also the most important part of the process of acquiring jackfruit. If you pick a subpar product, you will end up with less-than-palatable pieces of fruit that can ruin the experience of eating jackfruit.
In order to get the best ripe jackfruit, there are three senses you need to rely on, namely: sight, smell, and touch. You will need these senses to see the coloration of the fruit, smell the aroma it exudes, and feel its firmness.
The rind of jackfruit will turn from a green hue into yellow when it is ripe, so you can use this fact to pick your jackfruit. Don’t worry if it still has some green patches on it or if it has slightly turned brown because they are still ripe (just not at the peak of ripeness).
To spot a good pack of jackfruit carpels, look for the color of the flesh. The ripe one should be yellow, vibrant, and spotless. If you see any dark patches among the yellow flesh, don’t pick that one. The unripe one should be soft, tender, and not blackened.
Should you encounter a whole jackfruit and wish to purchase it, rely on your nose to pick the perfect jackfruit. Ripe jackfruits will give off a musky smell to indicate that they are ready to be consumed.
Jackfruits that don’t exude any aroma indicate that they are not ripe yet. On the flip side, those with strong pungency are likely to be overripe and should only be purchased if you plan to consume them right away.
You can also tell if jackfruit is at the peak of its ripeness by touching it. Be gentle with this delicacy and press it with your fingertip. A ripe one should be soft enough to be pressed into, yet the rind will slowly bounce back and have no indents.
If it is not ripe, the rind will be firmer and harder. On the other hand, an overripe jackfruit will be too soft and mushy.
Follow this guide to pick the best ripe jackfruit on your next trip to the store.
Opening A Jackfruit
Once you buy a whole jackfruit, the next thing to do is cut them apart. This part is required if you want to eat them right away or if you want to store them in small portions. There are 8 steps that you should take when opening a jackfruit.
Step 1: Protect Your Cutting Surface From Jackfruit Sap
Jackfruit has a layer of latex that can be very sticky. Before laying the fruit down, make sure you cover whatever surfaces come into contact with it. You can use plastic wrap to envelop the surface area and make the cleaning-up process easier later on.
Step 2: Protect Your Hands From The Sticky Latex
The white sap of jackfruit can be annoying when it sticks to your skin, especially when the fruit is not ripe. You should wear gloves to protect yourself from this sticky residue. One more way is to cover your hand with oil (olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, etc.)
Step 3: Oil Your Knife
Once you have protected your hands, use the same oil to cover the blade of your knife (you shouldn’t use a high-quality knife to cut jackfruit because the sap might damage that knife). Make sure to distribute the oil evenly and do it slowly to avoid cutting yourself.
Step 4: Start Cutting
Lay the jackfruit on its side, with the length of its body parallel to you. Then use your oiled knife and start cutting from 1,5 to 2 inches from one end to open the fruit. You should use one hand to fix the jackfruit while carving around the rind.
You can also cut the fruit in half. Start at the top near the stem and go down to the bottom. You only need to apply enough force to go through the inside of the fruit. After that, cut another line from bottom to top on the opposite side of the fruit, and you should be able to separate it in half.
Step 5: Keep On Cutting
Once you have made your first cut, keep slicing until the entire fruit is divided into equal slices (1,5 to 2 inches thick).
If you choose the second method, you’ll need to cut the two halves vertically again into quarters.
Step 6: Remove The Core
Lay each slice on its back and use the tip of your knife to remove the core. It is the white part in the middle, surrounded by edible yellow flesh. Remove it by sticking the sharp point of your knife and drawing a circle around the core, then use your hand to take it out.
If you slice the fruit vertically, use the knife and slice off the remaining core on the four pieces to get rid of it.
Step 7: Separate The Carpels
With the core removed, you can move on to separating the carpels from the white pulp. Cut the rounds into smaller parts, then use your hands to pull the carpels out of the white pulp that is attached to the rind.
Step 8: Remove The Seeds
Finally, when you have your individual carpel out in the open, you can squeeze them to get the seed out of the flesh. You can consume jackfruit seeds. Just make sure to remove the covering layers around them before boiling because that part is not edible.
Learn how to cut jackfruit the right way.
Storing A Jackfruit – What To Consider
Before putting your prepared jackfruit in the fridge for storage, remember a few points, such as how long it will last when refrigerated and what conditions your jackfruit should stay in.
If you have cut them open and separated the carpels, expect them to last 1 to 2 weeks in the fridge compared to only a few days at room temperature.
If you leave them outside, they can last 2 to 4 days. Pay attention to the temperature because frequent exposure to hot air can turn your delicious jackfruit into a soggy mess within a few hours. Also, protect your fruit with plastic wrappers to ward off unwanted bugs.
You should cover the entire surface of the flesh with plastic wrappers before putting it in the fridge because the air and moisture in there can ruin your jackfruit before its time is due.
Can You Freeze Jackfruit And How To Do So?
You can totally freeze your jackfruit if you can’t consume it within days or weeks. This is a viable plan to preserve jackfruit for a long time while still retaining its freshness and quality. Here are the most important things you need to know about freezing jackfruit.
Frozen Jackfruit’s Longevity
Instead of a few days or one week, frozen jackfruit can last up to 1 month in the freezer. Every time your appetite calls for jackfruit, just open the freezer, and the jackfruit will be there waiting for you to consume.
You can wait for them to thaw or just eat them straight out of the cold. Frozen jackfruit has a different taste and texture than normal jackfruit. You can use this characteristic to create a new sweet treat out of frozen jackfruit.
Freezing Raw Jackfruit
Don’t just put your separated jackfruit into the freezer and call it a day. This is a recipe to ruin your fruit and possibly other foods in the freezer. There are a few things you need to prepare before the freezing process.
- Air-tight containers or heavy-duty plastic bags (don’t use normal plastic bags because they will become brittle in the low-temperature condition of the freezer).
- A baking tray (choose the one that can fit in your freezer).
- Silicon mats or parchment paper.
After you have all the required equipment, follow this detailed guide to freeze your jackfruit.
Step 1: Chopping
You should have your jackfruit pulps lining up and ready to be chopped by now. If you have not, feel free to scroll up to the “Opening a jackfruit” section and follow the guide to get your individual jackfruit pulps.
Once you have them, you want to cut them into smaller pieces or stripes to speed up the freezing process. Simply lay them on a chopping board, use a sharp knife to cut them, and then put them aside for the next step.
Step 2: Arranging
Get your baking tray and cover it with silicon mats or parchment paper before arranging chopped jackfruit. The additional layer will prevent the fruit from sticking to the tray.
Arrange your jackfruit by spreading them out evenly on sheets, making sure that each piece doesn’t overlap and laying on top of each other. This step is crucial to ensure that the jackfruit has enough space to freeze.
Step 3: Flash Freezing
Put your tray of jackfruit into the freezer and let them be for 1 or 2 hours until they are all frozen. After that, take the tray out and prepare for the next step.
Step 4: Packaging
Transfer your frozen jackfruit into an air-tight container or heavy-duty bag that you have prepared. Lay it flat to prevent the jackfruit from forming into clumps.
Step 5: Sealing And Labeling
Seal your container or bag tightly and give it a label with the freezing date for future reference. When you’ve done all the previous steps, simply put the package into the freezer, where it will potentially stay for 1 month.
Freezing Cooked Jackfruit
You can totally freeze jackfruit that has gone through a cooking process, even if the jackfruit is submerged in some kind of sauce. If the jackfruit is freshly cooked, let it cool down first before flash freezing (as shown in the previous section).
After that, simply transfer it into a Ziplock bag (with or without the sauce) and press the bag flat until it is about half an inch thick. Then let it lay horizontally in the freezer to let it solidify. You can adjust the position of the bag afterward to save some space.
Freezing Packaged Jackfruit
If you buy a packaged jackfruit from a store and want to freeze it, simply toss the vacuum-sealed bag of jackfruit into the freezer without any added steps.
However, if you have opened the package to have a taste of those delicious jackfruits, make sure to transfer the leftovers into a heavy-duty bag, press as much air out as you can, seal it, and then put it in the freezer.
Always transfer canned jackfruit into another freezer-safe container or bag before freezing them for safety reasons. Remember to drain and dry off the liquid in the can before putting them in a new container. You should also apply the flash-freezing technique, as shown above.
Freezing Jackfruit Seeds
The seeds of jackfruit are totally edible when cooked. You can also freeze them to save for later use. However, you need to remove the inedible white layer before freezing. These are a few ways to do that:
- The simplest way is to chop off the top and peel the skin from there. You can also cut the seed in two or four and then remove the skin.
- If you don’t want to cut the jackfruit seed, use the tip of a small knife (or a paring knife) and score around the seed gently to form an “X”. With that opening, you can peel off the white layer from the seeds.
- Boiling is another way to remove the skin. Simply put the seeds in boiling water for 20 minutes or so, then take them out and promptly rub off the skin.
After skinning the seeds, put them in an air-tight container or a heavy-duty ziplock bag and put it in the freezer.
How To Defrost Frozen Jackfruit
After a period of freezing, you can eat the jackfruit straight from the freezer. Should you choose to let the fruit thaw before consuming, just transfer the container to the fridge and wait for 1 to 2 hours. You should know that frozen jackfruit is no longer chewy or gummy after thawing.
If you are using frozen jackfruit for your cooking recipes, you can skip the thawing part and add them straight into your cooking.
You can also reheat the thawed jackfruit with a microwave or a skillet. Simply use a plate and pour your frozen jackfruit onto it and microwave it for a few seconds. To reheat defrosted preserved or canned jackfruit in a skillet, simmer it for a couple of minutes.
Useful Tips For Freezing Jackfruit
As simple as it might be, you can also apply some tips to the freezing jackfruit process to ensure that your jackfruit will not go to waste.
Using Air-Tight Containers Is A Must
As mentioned many times in the article, you should use containers that are air-tight or heavy-duty ziplock bags that do not go brittle when frozen. This is to ensure the air inside the containers will not leak out and vice versa, which can ruin the jackfruit and other things in the freezer.
You should squeeze out all the air before sealing. A straw can also be used to suck out the remaining air inside.
Label Your Packages And Pay Attention To The Expiration Date
Frozen jackfruit can stay in the freezer for up to one month. After that amount of time, you should not consume the fruit. Therefore, it is crucial that you label the date and time your jackfruit is frozen, keep track of it and enjoy it before it goes bad.
Making Smoothies With Frozen Jackfruit
Though you can eat your frozen jackfruit straight out of the freezer, you may not enjoy its new taste and texture. One way to use frozen jackfruit is to cook it, and you can also blend it into smoothies or baking recipes to utilize the deliciousness of the jackfruit.
Some More Questions Concerning Freezing Jackfruit
This section will give you the answers to your questions about the freezing process of jackfruit and what you can freeze and can not. This information might come in handy in the future when you are dealing with jackfruit-related things.
Does Jackfruit Freeze Well?
Jackfruit does not freeze well as some other fruits, but freezing will certainly keep it around longer. Frozen jackfruit is also a good ingredient in many recipes, so go don’t worry if your jackfruit is not as delicious after freezing.
Is It Possible To Refreeze Jackfruit?
It is possible but certainly not recommended. Since when you freeze the fruit and thaw it the first time, the texture and taste would change. So if you decide to refreeze it, the final product might not be desirable.
One way to avoid having to refreeze jackfruit is to divide your jackfruit into many containers and take each one out when needed.
Can You Freeze Pulled Jackfruit?
Pulled jackfruit actually freezes very well. You need to put it in an air-tight container and make sure the lid is properly sealed. Frozen pulled jackfruit is good to use within a couple of months.
Can You Freeze Jackfruit Chili?
Frozen jackfruit chili can last up to 6 months. Make sure you portion the chili out before putting it in air-tight containers and pop it in the freezer. Before consuming it, you can microwave it to defrost or simmer it in a skillet.
Can You Freeze Jackfruit Burger?
It is totally possible to save your jackfruit burger in a freezer to eat later. Just use freezer-safe containers or bags and pop them in the freezer.
Can You Freeze Jackfruit Curry?
Similar to jackfruit chili, it can be stored in air-tight containers and frozen in the freezer. Your frozen jackfruit curry will last up to 3 to 6 months. Make sure to let the curry cool down before freezing if you have just cooked it.
Delicious Jackfruit Recipes You Should Try
Though you can just eat jackfruit uncooked, there are always ways to elevate your experience with this fruit by cooking them into delicious dishes. I will give you some recipe recommendations so you can try them out.
This recipe is full of flavors and simple to make. It will take you at most 30 minutes to put together this delectable, but the result is a hearty bowl that can make you full for a long time.
To create a complete meal, you will need green jackfruit to make the sauce, which goes well with rice and broccoli.
This vegan alternative to fried chicken is a must-try for those who enjoy a vegan diet or simply want to incorporate jackfruit into their diet.
You will need young, canned jackfruit and enough oil to cover it. The total time you need to prepare and cook this dish is under half an hour. Once you have tasted a piece of “chicken” fried jackfruit, you will not miss the real chicken anymore!
Learn how to make Chicken Fried Jackfruit with this short clip.
Birria is often made with shredded goat meat, slowly cooked in tomato sauce. It is often served as a stew or stuffed inside a taco. For this recipe, jackfruit is used as a substitute for goat meat, which will reduce the cooking time significantly.
You will only need at most 30 minutes to finish this taco stuffing. It is delicious, healthy, meat-free, and easy to make.
If you are a fan of Indian-style cuisine, then you must try this jackfruit curry recipe. It is creamy and full of spices and aromas.
You will need jackfruit, sweet potatoes, coconut milk, and Indian spices. As a curry dish, it requires quite a long time to make, but I can guarantee that it will be worth your time. You can make this dish for a hearty dinner with your family.
Learn the recipe for Jackfruit Curry the homemade way.
Pancakes are no strange things to breakfast enjoyers out there. If you want to add more fun to your everyday breakfast dish, consider using jackfruit in your pancakes the next time you make them.
It takes you approximately half an hour to make a portion for four. You will need the usual ingredients minus the eggs plus the jackfruit. It will be ground and mixed with milk, other ingredients, and seasonings to make the batter.
Make pancakes without eggs and only jackfruit with this tutorial.
The Health Benefits Of Jackfruit
Besides tasting delicious on its own and being a good ingredient for many recipes, jackfruit can also bring benefits to your health. They range from simple day-to-day digestion to possibly helping you prevent cancer.
It Helps You Lose Weight
Jackfruit is low in fat and calories, meaning you don’t have to worry too much about taking in too much energy for the day while still receiving many nutrients that jackfruit has to offer.
It Helps Your Digestion
Thanks to its high fiber content, jackfruit is a great food to consume in large quantities without the fear of upsetting your stomach. Eating jackfruit also improves bowel movement and protects the colon from carcinogenic agents.
It Reduces Blood Pressure
Jackfruit is high in potassium, which lowers heart pressure and decreases the chance of getting a heart attack or heart disease in general. (2)
It Strengthens Your Bones
You can take in a large amount of magnesium and vitamin C by consuming jackfruit. These chemicals can boost your ability to absorb calcium from other sources.
It Improves Your Eyes And Skin
Jackfruit is also a good source of vitamin A, which is an ingredient in improving your eyesight. It can prevent cataracts and macular degeneration as you age. Moreover, vitamin A is also an anti-aging agent. It minimizes the harm of sunlight on your skin and reduces wrinkles.
It Helps You Sleep Better
Thanks to the rich amount of magnesium and iron in jackfruit, consuming it can potentially improve your quality of sleep. Magnesium can also prevent anemia, which can cause insomnia.
It Boosts Your Nervous System
Jackfruit is a good source of energy with its high content of vitamins and advantageous chemicals such as thiamin and niacin. This can improve your muscle fatigue, stress, and tiredness.
It Prevents Cancer
Jackfruit is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and vitamin C. With these properties, this fruit can help you prevent the possibility of having lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, skin, and gastric cancer.
You can find the answers to some of the most asked questions about jackfruit in this section.
The Jackfruit Of All Traits – The Fruit That Keeps On Giving
By now, you must have your initial question about freezing jackfruit answered. In short, you can totally put jackfruit in the freezer to prolong its longevity. You can also do more things with jackfruit, as suggested in this article.
Feel free to spread this information to your friends and loved ones, so they know that it is possible to freeze jackfruit. If you have any opinion concerning this topic, please comment below and let me know.
- Silver, M. (2014, May 1). Here’s The Scoop On Jackfruit, A Ginormous Fruit To Feed The World. NPR.
- Shoemaker, S., & Falck, S. (2019, December 12). Jackfruit Benefits for Diabates: Are There Any? Healthline.
Table of Contents
- The Journey Of Jackfruit
- The Buying Process Of Jackfruit
- Can You Freeze Jackfruit And How To Do So?
- Useful Tips For Freezing Jackfruit
- Some More Questions Concerning Freezing Jackfruit
- Delicious Jackfruit Recipes You Should Try
- The Health Benefits Of Jackfruit
- The Jackfruit Of All Traits – The Fruit That Keeps On Giving