If a man plants ten breadfruit trees in his life, which he can do in about an hour, he would completely fulfil his duty to his own as well as future generations. – Joseph Banks, 1769, Captain Cook’s botanist
I recently introduced my readers to this amazing fruit in my last Puerto Rico Travelog. I didn’t know it at the time, but my neighbor–and fellow Game of Thrones and American Gods fan–liked the breadfruit pictures that I took on the island so much that he framed four pictures from my Puerto Rico trip and gave them to me as a birthday gift a few months later!
If you read the Travelog, you’ll learn that breadfruit is contributing in the battle against world hunger in this age of overpopulation. You’ll also learn that it’s very versatile and that it can be roasted, boiled or fried, but in my family we typically boil it and serve it with a little salt and olive oil. It’s treated as a very simple dish, but does not have to be. There are many wonderful ways to treat this fruit. I’ve made breadfruit salad using an identical recipe from the one people traditionally use for potato salad (with some spices and salt, mayo, a little mustard, sometimes apple, and celery seeds!).
My favorite breadfruit recipe these days is a breakfast treat inspired in a West African porridge known as Koko Hausa (which is made from fermented millet). Many people like to add peanut butter to their Koko Hausa. Upon trying this a few times, I realized this is a great idea, and also changed the millet flour to breadfruit flour to make a breadfruit peanut butter porridge. If you have children, make this for them. They will love it! Here is the recipe.
Breadfruit Meal Recipe
- If you can’t find breadfruits or 2 tbsp of breadfruit flour, you can buy Jamaica Sun Bread Fruit Slices 540g, boil them and mash them
- 1-2 tbsp Peanut butter
- 1 tbsp Brown Sugar or honey (if your peanut butter is sweetened you can do less)
- 1 cup (or more) milk, almond milk, or evaporated milk (for a creamier version)
- (The picture above looks dark because I added Ovaltine for chocolate flavor, which works great but isn’t necessary).
- Heat up the milk to just before the point of boiling.
- Add peanut butter, keep in very low heat.
- In a separate bowl, mix 1/4 cup of breadfruit flour with water until smooth; then add to the milk. If you are using the Jamaican canned breadfruit, you must boil them separately, remove from water, and mash them until smooth using either a mortar and pestle or a potato masher, then add to the milk after you’ve added the peanut butter.
- Sweeten to taste.
- Stir in low heat for a couple of minutes until thoroughly mixed.
Growing up, I always enjoyed my mother’s cornmeal and oatmeal, and I also enjoyed breadfruit separately for lunch or dinner, and never thought that one could use breadfruit to prepare a yummy, gluten-free breakfast. It’s a good idea, from time to time, to be adventurous, and to take a second look at the foods that we eat and think creatively about them; to take culinary techniques from another continent and apply them to foods from our own. This is how food evolves! If you do try this recipe, or some variation of it, please share your experience in the comments!