New year, new ingredients + Jackfruit & Refried Beans Tostadas recipe

January 22, 2019

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It’s a new year, and one of my goals for 2019 is to experiment with new recipes and new ingredients. So, I was excited to see this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge theme:

New Year, New Ingredient: Introduce us a ‘new’ (or new-to-you) ingredient you’ve discovered recently and show us how you’re using it in a healthy new recipe.

And in doing a little new year pantry cleaning this weekend, I came across a can of jackfruit recently purchased from Trader Joe’s. Although I wasn’t sure what exactly I would make with it, but I had been intrigued by this exotic ingredient for while. So, I bought a can of jackfruit and whipped up some Jackfruit & Refried Bean Tostadas.

So, what exactly is jackfruit? Well, it’s a fruit. Originally from India, the large tree that grows Jackfruit has since started growing in other warm-weather areas, like the Philippines, Thailand, Brazil, Africa, Australia and even Florida and Hawaii. It looks kind of like a spindly pineapple, and the inside of the fruit has a strong and not-so-pleasant odor when opened. But when ripe, the fruit inside is sweet and typically used in desserts. When unripe (like in the TJ’s can above), the fruit has a neutral taste and works well as a meat replacement in dishes, like pulled BBQ sandwiches and tacos.

Jackfruit also provides a whole host of beneficial nutrients, such as dietary fiber (important for digestion and regularity), calcium (important for bones), B vitamins (for energy and metabolism) and phytonutrients and antioxidants (important for helping to prevent certain types of cancer). One nutrient jackfruit is low in, however, is protein. So, be sure to boost the protein in any jackfruit dish with a good source of protein (like beans, eggs, seafood, dairy, poultry, soy or nuts). That’s why I added a healthy dose of pinto beans alongside the jackfruit.

Jackfruit & Refried Beans Tostadas

Yields: 4 servings

 2 tsp olive oil, divided
 20 oz can jackfruit, rinsed and drained
 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
 1 tsp ground cumin, divided
 0.50 tsp garlic powder
 0.50 tsp onion powder
 0.25 tsp dried parsley
 1 cup prepared salsa
 0.25 cup water
 1 mango, pitted and chopped
 0.25 cup cilantro, chopped
 1 tsp lime juice
 8 corn tortillas
 1 avocado, pitted and diced
 Cotija or feta cheese (optional)
 Hot sauce (optional)
 Salt and black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. While oil is heating, squeeze out excess liquid from jackfruit and use fingers or fork to shred the jackfruit. Add jackfruit to pan and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Place jackfruit in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Add remaining 1 tsp. olive oil to pan, reduce heat to medium-low. Using a fork, mash pinto beans in pan. Cook until warm, about 2 minutes. Add jackfruit back to pan with beans; mix in ½ tsp. cumin and next 5 ingredients (through water) until well-combined. Heat until mixture is warm, about 5 minutes.
  3. While jackfruit and bean mixture is heating, combine mango, cilantro, remaining ½ tsp. cumin and lime juice in a bowl; mix well. Warm tortillas in a microwave or toaster oven. Spread jackfruit and bean mixture on each tortilla, then top with mango-cilantro salsa and avocado. Drizzle cheese and hot sauce, if desired, on top. Serve immediately.

PLEASE SHARE: Fan of jackfruit? Please share your favorite jackfruit recipes. I’d love to hear from you!