Roast breadfruit – a savoury crop that’s popular amongst the Caribbean islands.
I’m so excited because this is my first time showcasing a breadfruit recipe on my website. If you’re from the islands, the polynesia or certain parts of Asia then breadfruit isn’t an exclusive commodity for you.
With that said, with so many contemporary diets i.e paleo which consume a lot of Carbohydrate enriched foods that originate from the tropics I wouldn’t be surprised if many people had already heard of this wonderful fruit.
Firstly, if you’ve never heard of breadfruit you’re probably wondering, what on earth is it? The name alone sounds insane I mean Bread and fruit, is it a sweet fruit or some type of exotic bread? I’m looking at things from the outsiders perception right now and I know if I were clueless I’d be thinking along those lines.
Well Breadfruit grows on trees, it’s starched enriched (clean starch) and an emerald green colour in it’s infancy stage with the tendency to take on a darkened hue as it ripens. Although breadfruit can be eaten at all stages of development in the Caribbean we tend to eat it matured – when it’s soft to the touch with a subtle hint of sweetness.
It’s a very versatile crop – boil, fry, roast, mash, pickle, you name it and someone has tried it. In my household we would usually roast and then fry it, sometimes we grandmother would boil it along with ground provision (dasheen, yam, potatoes etc..).
To this day I enjoy eating breadfruit, though it’s not always easy to obtain where I live, thankfully I managed to purchase half a breadfruit to roast at home recently. In the Caribbean, you’ll find the entire breadfruit being roasted on a open fire, that’s just how it’s done on the islands. However, living in the diaspora, things are a little different, for instance on this occasion I foil wrapped the breadfruit (wrapped is only required when roasting half) with a little coconut oil and placed the whole thing directly in the centre of the oven.
When roasting a whole breadfruit I would follow the traditions of removing the stalk then mark an X at the bottom. Some people living abroad try to replicate what they did back home by roasting the breadfruit openly on the stove but for safety reasons I will not be endorsing that method.
As I said earlier we did the roasting and frying technique which tasted divine, it yielded a soft yet crunchy taste – great for a side dish or to form part of a meal. Being health conscious I knew this wasn’t right nor good for one’s health. Today I do things a little differently I roast the breadfruit (wrap only if roasting half), let it cool, slice the entire thing then coat in oil and roast again in the oven.
This may seem bizarre to some but the results are essentially the same as the roast and fry method, only cutting out 2/3 of the oil that’s used – kiss goodbye to deep fat frying. Don’t compromise your heart any longer, get the same results using a very small amount of oil – your cholesterol and blood sugar levels will be thanking you for choosing to cook this way.
- Half a breadfruit (can use whole)
- coconut oil
- Preheat oven on 180 degrees celsius or gas mark 4
- Wash and dry the breadfruit.
- Rub the entire breadfruit with coconut oil before wrapping it with foil. If roasting a whole breadfruit simply omit this step remove the stalk and score an X with a knife at the bottom.
- Place the breadfruit accordingly in the middle of the oven to roast. The cooking time will vary depending on the size. Half a breadfruit should take roughly an hour and a whole one should take 1 hr 30 minutes.
- Once cooked it should be soft and easy to pierce/prick with a knife.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool then cut in half cooking a whole breadfruit. If not, move onto scooping and the heart and discard (the part where the stalk was)
- Peel and cut the flesh into slices
- Line a baking try with parchment paper then use a pasty brush to coat each slice with coconut oil.
- Lay each slice on the parchment paper before placing back in oven to roast for a further 15 minutes or until golden brown - don't forget to turn over half way through.
- Serve accordingly