If you live in a tropical climate, you can add a sustainable and tropical twist to your Thanksgiving stuffing recipe by making a simple swap from bread to breadfruit (ulu or Artocarpus altilis)! Not only is it a delicious and nutritious switch, but when you use ulu in your Thanksgiving meals, you support agriculture, food, and economic security in the tropics. This tropical take on the traditional side dish also includes quinoa, which was introduced to the United States world-renowned botanist, David Fairchild, whose former residence serves as the location of NTBG’s Kampong Garden today. This tasty dish also includes macadamia nuts, celery root, onion, and garlic. Add your favorite sausage to spice things up.
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*notes on preparing and cooking breadfruit… We recommend cooking your breadfruit ahead of time! You can even steam a whole, unpeeled breadfruit in a pressure cooker or roasted in an oven to make peeling and slicing easier. Refer to our cooking page for tips. You can also peel and cube raw breadfruit and pan fry with the vegetables the day of. The raw breadfruit will be crispier on the outside, like home fries, whereas the pre-cooked breadfruit will add a softer, more bread-like texture to the dish which works wonderfully in a stuffing! The point at which you add the breadfruit to the pan depends on whether you choose to cook it ahead of time so pay close attention to the directions below to get the desired result.
Cook quinoa according to package directions. Set cooked quinoa aside in a large mixing bowl.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium-high heat. If you are using the optional raw breadfruit, plantains and/or sausage, add to the pan first and cook, stirring frequently until browned. Once browned, add the garlic, onions, and celery or celery root to the pan. Cook on medium, continuing to stir frequently, until veggies are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Once the veggies are softened, add the steamed breadfruit (if you did not use raw breadfruit), poultry seasoning and salt, stir to coat evenly. See the notes on preparing and cooking breadfruit above for more information.
Add the cooked veggies to the quinoa in a large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Mix in chopped parsley, macadamia nuts and olive oil and toss until everything is evenly distributed. Serve and enjoy!
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“regarding food, if a man plants 10 (breadfruit) trees in his life he would completely fulfill his duty to his own as well as future generations…”
Polynesians brought Breadfruit to the Hawaiian Islands because of the many uses they had for these important trees. Breadfruit trees provided food, medicine, clothing material, construction materials and animal feed.
Breadfruit is an excellent dietary staple and compares favorably with other starchy staple crops commonly eaten in the tropics, such as taro, plantain, cassava, sweet potato and white rice.
Complex carbohydrates are the main source of energy with low levels of protein and fat and a moderate glycemic index. It is also gluten free. 100 g fresh fruit provides 102 calories. Breadfruit is a good source of dietary fiber, iron, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium with small amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
The trees are traditionally used and are a major component in mixed cropping agroforestry systems. Breadfruit creates a lush overstory that shelters a myriad of useful plants including yams, kava, noni, bananas and sweet potatoes.
One of the highlights of the McBryde Garden is NTBG’s Regenerative Organic Breadfruit Agroforestry (ROBA) project which acts as a living classroom and 2-acre demonstration project. The data that is collected by our ROBA team is used to advise local farmers on best practices and techniques. This year, our team was able to ground proof ROBA’s productivity and display breadfruit agroforestry’s ability to support community resilience in times of need. So far, over 6,000 lbs. of breadfruit has been donated to local food banks on Kauai!
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Wondering how to sign up for a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription or where you can buy breadfruit in Hawaii? Check out the links below to find a source near you.
Breadfruit Locator: https://eatbreadfruit.com/pages/findbreadfruit
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and Farm Locator: https://gofarmhawaii.org/find-your-farmer/