Jackfruit Stew with Sweet Potato and Parsnips

Article written and reviewed by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH
Published January 30, 2023

Jackfruit is a very versatile fruit alternative to meat. Using Jackfruit in this delicious stew will give you all the protein you need.

Jackfruit as the Main Ingredient

Jackfruit is considered healthy because it is a good source of a variety of vitamins and minerals. It is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin A, and potassium. It also contains dietary fiber, which can help promote healthy digestion. Additionally, it is a good source of antioxidants, which can help protect the body against damage from free radicals. Furthermore, it is naturally low in calories and fat, making it a good option for people who are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

Jackfruit is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes. When unripe, it has a firm, meat-like texture and a neutral taste, making it well suited for use in savory dishes as a meat substitute.

In Asian cuisine, it is often used in curries and other savory dishes, as well as in sandwiches and as a meat substitute in pulled pork-style dishes.

When ripe, it has a sweet, tropical flavor that makes it a popular ingredient in desserts and smoothies. The fruit can be eaten as it is or can be used to make jams, syrups, and canned fruits.

Jackfruit can also be dried to make jackfruit chips, or be used in flour to make bread or pastries. It can be consumed in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines. Because of its unique texture, it could take on different flavors, spices and seasonings making it a very adaptable ingredient.

Jackfruit and Diabetes

Jackfruit is a good option for people with diabetes because it has a low glycemic index (GI) value, meaning it doesn't cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Additionally, it is a good source of fiber which is helpful in managing blood sugar levels.

However, it is still important for people with diabetes to be mindful of portion sizes and to monitor their blood sugar levels closely when eating jackfruit or any other fruit.

Buying and Storing Jackfruit


  • Look for jackfruit that is heavy for its size and has a slight give when pressed.

  • Avoid fruit that has bruises, cuts, or mold.

  • Jackfruit can be found fresh or canned. If you're buying fresh jackfruit, make sure it is ripe. You can tell if it is ripe by the sweet smell it emits. Unripe jackfruit has a more bland smell.


  • Fresh jackfruit can be stored at room temperature for a few days before cutting and eating.

  • Once cut, you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.

  • If you bought canned jackfruit, you should store it in a cool and dry place. Once opened, transfer to an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a week.

It is worth mentioning that when Jackfruit is very ripe, it can turn soft and brownish. In that case the fresh fruit may not have a long storage life and it might be better to consume it soon.

Sweet Potatoes for the Win

Sweet potatoes are a nutritious and healthy food that offers a variety of health benefits. These root vegetables are a good source of complex carbohydrates, providing a steady source of energy. 

They are also rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining good vision and a healthy immune system. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage, while potassium is essential for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. 

Furthermore, sweet potatoes are high in fiber, which can improve digestion and lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, they are also a good source of antioxidants, natural compounds that can help protect the body against disease. Lastly, it's worth mentioning that sweet potatoes are low in fat and calories, making them a healthy option for weight management. 

The way in which sweet potatoes are cooked affects their nutritional value, for example, boiling or baking tend to preserve more of the nutrients, while deep frying can significantly decrease the nutritional content.

Parsnips for the Extra Nutritional Punch

This recipe calls for parsnips, which are healthy for several reasons:

  • They are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps to promote regular bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels and improve blood sugar control.

  • Parsnips are also a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are particularly high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and folate. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protects cells and promotes healthy skin, while vitamin K is important for blood clotting and folate helps the body to make healthy red blood cells.

  • They also provide a good source of potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure and support healthy nerve and muscle function.

  • Additionally, parsnips are low in calories and fat.

  • Parsnips are also a good source of prebiotics, a type of dietary fiber that feeds the good bacteria in the gut, promoting a healthy gut flora.

Like most vegetables, how you prepare parsnips can affect the nutritional value. Boiling or steaming are better choices. Parsnips can also be enjoyed raw, for example grated into a salad.

Buying and Storing Parsnips

Parsnips are a root vegetable that can be found at most grocery stores, often located in the produce section alongside other root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes. 

When purchasing parsnips, look for firm, straight roots that are free of any soft spots or wrinkles. They should also have a smooth, creamy-white color. They can be stored in a cool, dry place such as a root cellar or a refrigerator crisper drawer for up to a month. Before using, they should be peeled and cleaned, and any woody core should be removed. To store parsnips after they are cleaned, it's best to wrap them in a damp paper towel, placed in a plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator to maintain freshness.

Jackfruit Stew with Sweet Potato and Parsnips

Beverly Verwey
Servings 2 people
Calories 438 kcal


  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp dried rosemary crushed
  • 12 oz fresh jackfruit cut into cubes (if in canned in brine, drained and rinsed)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 2 large parsnips peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped


  • Combine the arrowroot flour, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper in a bowl. Add the jackfruit and mix so that the jackfruit is coated with flour mixture.
  • Over medium heat, heat up the 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in a large pot. Add the coated jackfruit and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  • Add onion and garlic to the pot and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if needed. Scrape the bottom of the pot to mix in any flour that may be stuck.
  • Stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato, parsnips and the jackfruit; cover and bring to boil again. Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender for about 25 minutes.
  • Add the peas to the pot during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
  • Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.


You can add other vegetables such as carrots, broccoli stems, butternut squash etc.


Calories: 438kcalCarbohydrates: 101.7gProtein: 10.7gFat: 1.8gSodium: 147.1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the author 

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD and Robby Barbaro, MPH

Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, and Robby Barbaro, MPH are the coauthors of the New York Times bestselling book Mastering Diabetes: The Revolutionary Method to Reverse Insulin Resistance Permanently in Type 1, Type 1.5, Type 2, Prediabetes, and Gestational Diabetes. They are the cofounders of Mastering Diabetes, a coaching platform that teaches people how to reverse insulin resistance via low-fat, plant-based, whole-food nutrition. Cyrus has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002, and has an undergraduate degree from Stanford University and a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from UC Berkeley. Robby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2000, and has been living a plant-based lifestyle since 2006. He worked at Forks Over Knives for 6 years, and earned a Master’s in Public Health in 2019.