Can You Freeze Jackfruit?
Jackfruit is a tropical fruit often seen at Chinese and Southeast Asian markets. This fruit is distinct for its spiky green rind and musty aroma. Jackfruit happens to be the largest fruit in the world and it is cumbersome to prepare. Why? Its rind is so thick and tough; it will take a lot of elbow grease to extract the edible flesh off it. The fruit also yields a sticky substance that adheres to anything it touches. This sticky substance is hard to wash off.
Jackfruit pods can be eaten fresh on its own or added to frozen desserts, rice pudding, etc. This fruit has a sweet taste that many say is a cross between a banana and a pineapple. It also has a gummy texture (depending on ripeness). The seeds are also edible. Roasting or boiling the jackfruit seeds will bring out their natural sweetness.
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Can you freeze jackfruit? Jackfruit isn’t available all year round. However, most supermarkets offer canned jackfruit in case you cannot get your hands on fresh jackfruit. Regardless if you’re storing canned or fresh jackfruit, you can freeze the fruit for future uses.
Storing jackfruit in the fridge, it will keep fresh for up to a week or so. But when frozen, jackfruit will keep safe indefinitely. Of course, the temperature has to be kept at a steady 0°Fahrenheit to extend the shelf life of frozen jackfruit. Otherwise, the fruit will turn soggy once it’s been defrosted. Although the fruit will keep fresh in the freezer for a long, long time, it’s best to consume it within a month or so. Now, let’s discuss how can you freeze jackfruit below:
Prepping the fruit will depend on the state of the product before freezing. For instance, a whole jackfruit does not require any prep prior to being frozen. The thick, tough rind will do a better job at preserving the integrity of the fruit as it freezes than any airtight container.
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Leftover jackfruit (fruit pods still attached to the rind) will keep well in the freezer too. All you need to do is to cover all exposed parts of the fruit, spots that are not protected by the rind. You can use aluminum foil or cling wrap to do this. Once all exposed parts of the fruit have been covered, stick the whole thing in the freezer.
As for canned jackfruit, never freeze it in its original packaging. Get a rigid plastic container with an airtight cover and pour the product. Leave about an inch or two of space to let the liquids expand as the fruit freezes. Then, close the lid and add the label and storage date before sticking in the freezer.
For freshly extracted jackfruit pods, get an airtight container and place the pods inside. Then, close the lid, add the label and storage date before sticking in the freezer. You can also use heavy-duty plastic bags to store the fruit pods instead of rigid plastic containers. Just squeeze as much air as you can before you seal the bags.
To defrost frozen fresh or canned jackfruit, simply transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the fruit to thaw for an hour or two and it’s ready to use. Do note that fresh jackfruit that’s been frozen will no longer be as gummy or chewy once it’s defrosted. Freezing will alter the texture of the jackfruit slightly.
Image used under Creative Commons from Adam Skowronski
If you’d like to reheat the thawed preserved jackfruit, you can use the microwave. Just pour the right amount of jackfruit on a plate and microwave for a few seconds. You can also reheat the thawed canned/preserved jackfruit in a skillet, simmering the fruit for a few minutes.
Jackfruit may be uncommon but you can certainly stock up on this versatile fruit for baking and cooking. Now that you know how can you freeze jackfruit, you can enjoy this fabulous tropical fruit anytime of the year.