Updated: May 24
An amazing plant-based, vegan-friendly, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free Barbecue Jackfruit Taco recipe that makes approximately 6 servings and takes about 10 minutes to prepare, with an additional 40 minutes for cook time.
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Pulled pork is a favorite amongst many, especially Southerners, but meat consumption is consistently associated with diabetes risk and other animal by-products, such as dairy consumption. Meat consumption is a risk factor for diabetes and isn't just limited to red meat consumption like most think (1). According to U.S. News & World Report, the worst cancer-causing foods are red meats such as beef, veal, pork, lamb, and goat and processed meats such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, ham, and bacon (2). Processed meats have been linked to chronic diseases such as high blood pressure (hypertension), heart disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (3). Research also suggests that highly processed foods are tied to higher cancer risks. Breast cancer, in particular, was associated with greater consumption of mass-produced, ultra-processed foods because these foods may often be loaded with sugar, salt, and fat while lacking vitamins, fiber, and other nutritional value (4).
If you're plant-based or vegan, you've probably used jackfruit as a meat substitute. When cooked and prepared correctly, jackfruit has a meat-like texture and can taste like anything you season it to be. If you've never had jackfruit before and you have a latex allergy, jackfruit may not be suitable for you. Jackfruit is a potential trigger for those with latex-fruit syndrome who have cross-reactivity due to the similar proteins in natural rubber latex and certain foods like jackfruit. If you have a known latex allergy, it is important to be professionally evaluated for the possibility of food allergies to fresh fruits like jackfruit. If you're new to jackfruit, you may need some assistance preparing jackfruit; check out my blog, How To Properly Prepare Jackfruit, which covers both canned and fresh jackfruit.
Southerners love to top their pulled pork with coleslaw, traditionally made from dairy mayonnaise, which has a main ingredient of milk. Approximately 30 million to 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, including up to 75 percent of African Americans and American Indians and 90 percent of Asian Americans, myself included. That's not even counting that traditional dairy is linked to increased risk of broken bones, diabetes, ovarian cancer, antibiotic resistance, and is brimming with saturated fat, somatic cells (pus), and hormones. To learn more, check out my blog, The Truth About Cow's Milk.
Plant-based mayonnaise is an excellent alternative, but it's essential to understand that not all plant-based options are created equally. For instance, many options are made from soybeans, and although soybeans do have some health benefits, we must remember that most non-organic soy products are brimming with GMOs, causing less nutritional value and more toxic effects due to the chemicals involved in the genetic modification process. Soybeans contain compounds like phytate, which may interfere with the body's ability to absorb vitamins and minerals crucial for vegan and plant-based dietary demands. These same anti-nutrient compounds may also cause digestive issues due to a reduction in the gut's barrier functions resulting in inflammation that causes these digestive problems. To learn more, check out my blog, The Truth About Soy Products.
Even most plant-based alternatives don't have the most ideal ingredients. A brand I used to use contained: safflower oil, filtered water, brown rice syrup, apple cider vinegar, pea protein, sea salt, mustard flour, and lemon juice concentrate. The biggest concern here was the oil, which I've learned is the problem with every plant-based mayonnaise I've come across. Due to this, I typically choose Primal Kitchen's Vegan Mayo. Even though they're not organic, which I typically prefer, they use avocado oil, and their other ingredients are clean and GMO-free.
Thankfully you can make your own at home with minimal ingredients and no preservatives. I am allergic to soy and have adopted a plant-based lifestyle (no meat or dairy), so this recipe is vegan-friendly, plant-based, soy-free, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Barbecue Jackfruit Tacos Topped with Slaw
1 pack of taco shells or tortillas
1 can young jackfruit (I use Native Forest's Organic Young Jackfruit)
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
2 tbsp. avocado oil
1 tbsp. liquid smoke (I use Wright's Hickory Liquid Smoke)
1 tsp. Smoked Maple Rub (I use Watkin's Organic Grilling Smoked Maple Rub)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Coleslaw (try my homemade sweet coleslaw recipe)
Gather your ingredients, preferably organic: taco shells or tortillas, young jackfruit, barbecue sauce, avocado oil, liquid smoke, smoked maple rub, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, chili powder, and coleslaw.
After you've gathered your ingredients, start by preparing (shredding) your jackfruit. If you've never made or prepared jackfruit before, check out my blog, How To Properly Prepare Jackfruit, which covers both canned and fresh jackfruit.
After you've shredded your jackfruit, you can add your liquid smoke, smoked maple rub, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and chili powder to the jackfruit.
After you've seasoned your jackfruit, fry your jackfruit in about two teaspoons of avocado on high heat for about ten minutes or until it's mostly dehydrated and reaches a slightly browned color (this is important for texture purposes).
After you've fried your jackfruit, reduce the heat to low-medium, add in your barbecue sauce, cover it, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Be sure to remove the lid and occasionally stir to avoid any sticking.
While your jackfruit is simmering for 30 minutes, you can prepare homemade coleslaw or use a premade one.
When the jackfruit is done cooking, warm your taco shells or tortillas before loading it up with your barbecue jackfruit and topping it with coleslaw.