This stuff will change your life.
Coconut bacon is something long overdue to come into my life. I was never a fan of bacon. In fact, I find it rather weird when I talk to other vegetarians who tell me bacon was the toughest thing for them to give up. I always found it completely gross, from my meat eating days as a kid, into my early twenties when serving breakfast to hungry tables at the local Friendly’s. The breakfast shift was my least favorite for the mere fact that the aroma of bacon continuously pumped out of the kitchen.
So I never thought a whole lot about veganizing bacon. That is, until I started veganizing recipes that called for bacon. There was most definitely something missing. I’ve had success marinating tempeh, tofu, mushrooms, eggplant and even almonds in a smoky baconesque marinade. All were delicious, but there was still something missing.
I have to thank Dawn from Florida Coastal Cooking for giving me a push in the right direction when she posted this deliciousness. I got really excited about the recipe and went out in an attempt to obtain all of the ingredients in advance of an impending snowstorm. Coconut bacon was the only thing I couldn’t get my hands on (everyone must have been scrambling to stock up on coconut bacon for the snowy day), so I went and made my own. The results left me asking myself how I made it this far in life without coconut bacon.
This stuff has everything that I consider to be good about bacon, and none of whatever it is that turns my stomach (I’m guessing it’s the animal fat). It’s crispy, smoky salty and amazingly satisfying. I was a little concerned that the coconut flavor would overpower all of the bacony flavors, but instead it come through very subtly and surprisingly compliments the seasonings. These are the perfect substitute for bacon bits. Thus far I’ve used them in Dawn’s recipe and one of my own, which I’ll share in just a couple of days. I’ve got lots more big plans for these tasty little buggers though. Twenty years of a vegetarian life living without them is a long time. Hang in there. Recipes forthcoming.
- 1 tsp. liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- a dash of smoked paprika
- 1½ cups unsweetened flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Whisk everything except coconut together in small bowl. Add coconut and mix to coat. You should have just enough sauce to coat all of your coconut.
- Spread coconut in an even layer on parchment.
- Bake for about 15 minutes, tossing every 3-5 minutes during cooking. Watch closely, because this stuff can go from crispy to char in a very short time.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.