Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Myth: A serving of ackee has the same amount of calories as a large egg.

Ackee with salted cod fish and vegetablesAnswer: Busted!

One serving of ackee is 25 calories, while a large egg has about 78 calories. Ackee has high nutritional value and is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc and protein.

Ackee is a Jamaican fruit that is creamy yellow in color and has a texture very much like scrambled eggs when cooked. The fruit of the ackee is not edible in its entirety. Only the inner, fleshy yellow arils are consumed. It is usually served with salted cod fish.

Ackee must be harvested, prepared and cooked properly. The pods should be allowed to ripen and open naturally on the tree before picking. Then you can easily extract the fleshy yellow bits. These edible yellow bits, called the arils, must be boiled for 30 minutes and then drain the water. Keep in mind that raw ackee and the inner red tissue of the ripe ackee arils contain toxins which can produce a syndrome of vomiting, seizures and sometimes fatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

For information on other health and nutrition topics, visit the MissouriFamilies website.

Contributor: Maude Harris, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573.545.3516

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