Breadfruit is a huge tree that has a height of up to 85 ft. Each tree can yield up to 150 fruits per year. It is a tree from the Moraceae or mulberry plant family, a flower-growing tree. The fruit and seeds are all edible food.
The fruiting breadfruit tree looks like heavy balloons hanging in the air within a giant shadow of large leaves.
Growing up in Jamaica, I always adore the huge trees that are heavily loaded with lots of fruit. It’s so pleasing and eye-catching.
Ever seen 12 pounds weighing balls hanging on a huge tree?
That’s what sums up the appearance of a breadfruit tree. The first thought that I got right after seeing the tree of breadfruit was like melons hanging on a massive tree.
Let me clarify the confusion between the breadfruit and the jackfruit. They both belong to the same family but are of different varieties. The jack fruit is botanically named Artocarpus heterophyllus while the breadfruit is Artocarpus altilis.
The two fruits are almost similar in exterior appearance but have major differences.
The breadfruit has many beneficial uses of the fruit, roots, leaves, seeds, latex (used as chewing gum), flowers, vegetables, and stems.
What is the appearance of Breadfruit?
The breadfruit is round, oblong, or oval in shape and has a weight of almost 12 pounds for each fruit. The leaves of the Breadfruit tree are also very large in size, glossy and oval in shape.
There are two groups of flowering in the same tree that differentiates between male and female flowers. The fruit is green in color and is a tropical fruit yet commonly used as a vegetable.
The flesh is firm in mature and ripe fruits while it’s soft in over-ripe or rotten breadfruit. The color ranges from pale white to yellow-white tones.
The seeds are also considered as edible portions and are utilized in medicine or wound healing.
This prickly oval fruit is native to New Guinea and can commonly be seen across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific islands.
What Does It Taste Like
The semi-ripe and unripe breadfruit taste much similar to freshly baked bread when roasted. The breadfruit is starch-rich and it may seem closer in taste to a potato. The name breadfruit is due to the fruit’s resemblance with the bread. The ripe breadfruits are sweeter and less starchy, as the starch starts converting into sugar.
Unripe, or under-ripe breadfruit is inedible and must be cooked, boiled, roasted, or fried before consumption. However, the ripe fruit is edible for raw consumption. The breadfruit is more likely to be baked and roasted for a better taste.
Nutritional value of Breadfruit:
Plenty of benefits can be obtained by consuming breadfruit. This fruit cum veggie is a powerpack of several nutrients. It is a perfect treat for diabetic patients as it has a good amount of fiber in it that reduces the rate of glucose and helps maintain the balance of sugar.
Consuming just a ½ cup of breadfruit provides 25% of the RDA for fiber. Which is the ultimate good for diabetes patients.
Its also a rich source of potassium, magnesium, proteins, phosphorus, and thiamine (B1).
The excellent breadfruit has nutrients that will fight a variety of infections. The breadfruit also lowers cholesterol levels. Another major benefit one can obtain with its daily consumption is evergreen young skin and healthy hair.
How to choose a mature fruit?
It’s an important step to choose a mature fruit that can be done by looking for the following requirements.
- Look for breadfruit whose exterior is beginning to turn slightly brown
- Or look for one that is yellow-green and has just started turning brown through crackings.
- Firm flesh is another sign of maturity and ripeness.
- The fragrance of breadfruit shows the ripeness of the fruit.
- Unripe breadfruits are green in color and have a sap when cut.
How to grow a breadfruit tree?
Remember, the tree is giant enough to cover your little lawn. But if you want to grow it in your farmhouse then alright. Just find a parent tree for a cut root or shoot. Because these trees are propagated from roots. Dig it deeper into the soil and wait for its gradual growth.
How to store a Breadfruit?
Breadfruit can be stored for a few days. What you need to do is to grab a bucket of cool water. Now submerge the whole breadfruit without cutting.
Breadfruit should be consumed fresh right away. But if you still want to keep it for later then the frozen one will work for longer than the refrigerated one. I usually roast my breadfruit then freeze it.
How to cook a Breadfruit?
Breadfruit selection is very much important, once done. You can begin with the customized recipes or the ones shared here for your convenience.
Peeling Unripe Breadfruit: I start by removing the stem, cutting around the stem into the core. Now remove the rind by peeling it off. The peel releases a sap that is not sticky. Cut the firm flesh into lengthwise quarters. The flesh has basically three layers; the first one is firm and solid, then comes the porous portion, and then the one that’s dense, and that middle dense part is to be removed and thrown right away.
Peeling Ripe Breadfruit: remove the stem. Cut vertically, just beneath the skin using a knife. Then peel the skin by pulling it away from the creamy soft flesh. The flesh is very sweet and custard-like at this point. Remove the core and discard.
Quick & Easy Recipe using Breadfruit:
- Steam the breadfruit and mash the steamed breadfruit.
- Dice the quartered pieces of breadfruit and toss them in salt and with drops of olive oil. Then just bake them.
- Literally, the easiest one, fry the chunks of breadfruit in oil and eat.
- Love bonfires, just grab the whole breadfruit, forget about preparing. Just throw it in the bonfire and wait for the breadfruit to turn black. Once it’s done, just peel off the rind and enjoy it as it is.
The huge tree of heavily loaded fruits can be seen commonly in southeast Asia, pacific island, and New Guinea. The fruit is green when under-ripe or unripe. It turns yellow-green and with brown cracking when ripe and mature.
The unripe fruit is inedible. Raw breadfruit is inedible too. Always boil, cook, roast, fry, or steam the breadfruit before eating. The tree looks amazingly beautiful in its harvesting season carrying heavy maximum fruits.
Other Related Fruits Of The Moraceae Family
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.