This Vegan Ackee dinner is an example of honoring cultural heritage while maintaining a whole food, plant-based nutrition plan.
Oh, ackee…how I love thee. I was in Jamaica a couple of years ago to visit my grandmother and family, and I swear I ate ackee every day for the first week I was there. Ackee is nostalgic for me. I remember my mom making ackee for a special breakfast during the holidays. It has always been one of my favorite things to eat growing up. So, when I’m in Jamaica and eat fresh ackee from my family’s property, I am also ecstatic. Eating fresh ackee from the tree is such a treat, as it is only sold in the can back home here in the States.
This fruit cooked and simmered with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and the scotch bonnet pepper delights the soul. Although ackee is not indigenous to Jamaica, it is at the heart of the Jamaican culture and cuisine; It is the national dish of Jamaica, served with saltfish. If ever in Jamaica, you can’t leave the island without trying ackee.
This Vegan Ackee recipe has 11 key ingredients.
- Scotch bonnet pepper
- Quinoa (or brown rice)
This scrumptious Vegan Ackee meal is filling and rich in several micronutrients, including Vitamins A, C, E, and K, the B-Vitamins Thiamin, Riboflavin, B6, and Folic Acid, as well as the minerals iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and zinc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unripe ackee contains high-level amounts of a toxin, hypoglycin A. Exposure to this toxin can result in vomiting, hypoglycemia, weakness, coma, and even death. Once the fruit fully ripens, the level of hypoglycin A toxin diminishes to "negligible" levels. However, the rind and seeds still have high levels of this toxin and should not be eaten. The FDA monitors canned and frozen ackee. Approved suppliers are put on a Green List of importers allowed to ship canned and frozen ackee to the United States.
It's reminiscent of an avocado, another fruit high in healthy plant fats, but with a soft, subtle savory, and nutty flavor. It looks like scrambled eggs on the plate. Check out this taste test conducted by a writer for The Paris Review.
Ackee is rich in omega six fatty acids, a healthy plant fat. Ackee also contains niacin, Vitamins A and C, potassium, iron, protein, and fiber.
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