Food Adventures

How often do you go to the fresh food section of the grocery store, see something new and say to yourself “wow, I’ve never seen that before! I want to try that!”? And then take it home and actually do something with it?  Really? You do?

The other day I saw breadfruit at the store. I’ve heard of it, but I’d never seen it here, and I’d certainly never eaten it. I remember reading something about pirates maybe (I like pirates!) that when they discovered it somewhere they liked it because it could be a staple food, like bread. Hence the name. It may have been explorers rather than pirates, but same deal. They’re out there sailing the ocean blue and they’re running low on food, so they start eating weird fruits and things in these newly discovered countries.

So, I just looked it up and breadfruit originated in the South Pacific, and was eventually brought to other tropical countries by the British and the French explorers and then settlers. Currently, it is primarily grown in the South Pacific, South East Asia, Caribbean, Central America and Africa.

I did a quick Google when I got home, wondering WTF to do with it, found a few recipes and then started to it. I looked up the nutritional data to determine whether my mother can eat it (she cannot – too much potassium) and just general interest. If you have diabetes, or are low carbin’ it, you probably don’t want to eat breadfruit. It is VERY high in carbohydrate, and not much fibre really, comparatively speaking. They don’t call it “breadfruit” fer nuthin! Impactable carbs are 48.9 g per 1 cup serving. Which is quite ridiculous. If you don’t need to worry about impactable carbs though, have at it! And here are a few recipes for you to try.

First, you have to get into the dang thing. The rind is quite tough, I tried first with a basic vegetable peeler, but ended up having to use a knife. Slice it in half, peel it, and depending on what you want to to with it, you can leave the seeds in or take them out. If you’re AIP, or avoiding seeds because of diverticulosis/diverticulitis, scoop them out by all means.  

The first thing I did with it was scooped out the seeds, then sliced it into wedges and fried it. I used about 2 tbsp of coconut oil, heated that up for a couple of minutes, then grated ginger and turmeric over the slices (freeze your ginger and turmeric roots - they're much easier to grate, and they won't go moldy!). I had the heat on at 7 on my electric stove (I miss my gas stove!) and this was a bit too high, so try it at 5 (medium). The result was still quite tasty though. The fruit itself is almost tasteless, and absorbs whatever you put in or on it while cooking. I had these slices of fried breadfruit for a snack round about tea time. Have I mentioned how much I love ginger?

frying breadfruitginger and turmericfried breadfruit


I also baked half of it, but left the seeds in. I put it in the oven, peeled, cut side down, on a baking sheet at 375F for about 40 minutes (test it with a knife or fork, if you can easily poke through the outside, it’s cooked). I sliced a couple of pieces off and sprinkled with cinnamon (NOT cinnamon sugar! Just cinnamon!)  I had this for dessert. Have I mentioned how much I love cinnamon? This was really yummy. The texture is a little strange…have you ever taken freshly baked bread and peeled it away from the crust and then rolled the doughy goodness into a ball? Yeah…it’s kind of like that. I don’t do that anymore of course, since my celiac dx.

baked breadfruitbreadfruit with cinnamon


The following morning I had some leftover rack of lamb and brussels sprouts, and fried up a couple of slices of breadfruit in the pan with some bacon fat. Oh come on! You knew I was gonna do it! It was YuuuuUUUmmy! Seriously, I think it should be a breakfast food. Fried in bacon fat! And with the lamb and the brussels sprouts, that’s a pretty dang good breakfast! It kept me going for quite a few hours.

breadfruit breakfast


Then I took the rest of the half that I had baked, I put it in a bowl with 2 tbsp of local raw honey, 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil, 1 vanilla bean (scraped the insides out)….did you know that vanilla is not actually a bean? It looks like one, so that’s why they called it that; it’s in the orchid family. Orchids are my absolute favourite flowers! I have a small one in my home; I’m always amazed when it flowers. So many times I’ve looked at it and thought “ouch…it’s dead…it’s not going to come back this time…” but I keep watering it, and eventually it comes back and gives me some amazing blooms for a few months, then we start all over again…Anyhoo…back to the recipe! I cut up the breadfruit into cubes, then popped it in the microwave for 30 seconds just to soften it a little bit. Then I added some coconut milk, I didn’t measure, but eyeball it, and make the pudding to your preferred consistency. After I added all the ingredients, I took my hand/immersion blender and mashed it all up. It took a while because I’d left the baked outside crunchy bits on, I could have scooped out the mushy insides, but it added some interest to the texture.  It was a bit too sweet for my taste buds, but I’m sure most people would find this to be a nice dessert just as it is. I think if I make it again (how often am I going to find breadfruit in my local grocery?!) I will use only 1 tbsp of honey. The vanilla adds to the breadfruit, and as a pudding it is quite nice.

breadfruit cubesmixing breadfruitbreadfruit pudding


As I said, breadfruit itself doesn’t have much of a flavour of its own, but it will take on the flavours of whatever you cook it with, so add whatever appeals to you. Be adventurous with your food. Look for new things in the store (not just a new brand of cookies or new flavour of potato chip!), test out new recipes, or hell, toss out all your cookbooks, and just start throwing things into the pot and see what happens!  Be creative! Think of all the flavours that you enjoy, and imagine putting them together and then DOOOO EEEET!

Next time I find a breadfruit, I’m going to try grating it and making pancakes, or maybe hash browns. It may need to be a little more on the not quite ripe side than this one was. Which could be difficult to find unless I go somewhere that they’re grown. Bucket List!

If you find it difficult to be adventurous with food, or you just feel very out of place in the kitchen, give me a call! Send me a message through the “Contact” link in the top menu. I can come to your house and coach you through some nutritious cooking adventures. I’d love to share my love of food with you.  

 

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