“Everything is better with bacon!” This is all you hear nowadays and Mr. Bacon has been used and possibly abused in almost every way imaginable…poor boy. On the other hand, I have to admit I am a vegetarian, but even I can appreciate the creative things that bacon has inspired. I mean, come on…I just saw a bacon weave taco on Facebook for pete’s sake! I use to eat the heck out of bacon when I was little. Growing up, my grandma would fry up a pound or two of extra crispy bacon on a saturday morning and I would snack on it all day until it was gone. Does a body good!
I have been a vegetarian now for over 15 years, and from time to time I still find my mouth watering a bit when I smell bacon! This is why it did not surprise me when the other day one of my veggie friends posted on Facebook that she was now eating bacon… THE GATEWAY MEAT TO ALL OF THE MEATS!! My first thought when I saw this post, was another one bites the dust…or the bacon in this case. Losing another veggie friend to the alluring ways of bacon, got me to thinking that there has to be something out there for vegetarians that is similar to bacon. I am not talking about that fake bacon you can find in the grocery store that is loaded with processed products. It was in my hunt that I stumbled upon coconut bacon. I had no idea what the heck a coconut bacon was, but I was intrigued. I found a handful or recipes and played around in the kitchen until I impressed some of my meat-eater friends. Heck Yes!
Ok, so hear me out. This is not going to turn a meat-eater into a vegetarian, but by golly this coconut bacon is super tasty. I am convinced that if I sprinkled this over a salad or swaddled it into a breakfast burrito, I might be able to fool a meat-eater or two. Be prepared for your house to smell like bacon for the rest of the afternoon, but really is that so bad??
- 2 TBS Bragg’s Amino Soy Sauce
- 1-1.5 TBS Liquid Smoke – I used the Hickory Flavor
- 1 TBS Pure Maple Syrup
- 1 Tsp Hungarian Smoked Paprika
- 3 1/2 C Large Flaked Unsweetened Coconut
- Sea Salt for Sprinkling optional
- Coconut Oil or Organic Cooking Spray for greasing the baking sheet
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Mix the first four ingredients in a small bowl making sure to break up any clumps of paprika. Your house will begin to smell like bacon at this point…
3. In a large bowl add coconut flakes, drizzle the bacon magic wet mixture over top of the coconut and gently toss making sure to coat each flake well.
4. Using a slotted spoon, scoop seasoned coconut flakes and place a single layer of the coconut bacon magic onto lightly greased cookie sheets.
5. Sprinkle coconut flakes lightly with a bit of sea salt.
6. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Set the timer for intervals of 5 minutes and stir each time making sure to rearrange all pieces (the key is to stir during baking). You may even like to change the position of the sheets in the oven after the second interval, moving the top sheet to the bottom rack and vice versa. After the first 15 minutes, keep close and keep watch as the coconut bacon can burn very quickly at this point.
7. Remove when coconut has a nice browned and caramelized color. Let cool, it will get crispy as it cools.
8. Once completely cooled you can store leftovers in an air tight container and keep in the pantry for up to a week or two. If it softens a bit, re-crisp under the broiler for a few seconds, keeping an eye that it doesn’t burn.
9. Bloggy Friends… I would like you to meet Miss. Coconut Bacon…the sultry sister of Mr. Bacon. Try not to eat all of the coconut bacon while you are packaging it up, because you know you are going to want to sprinkle it all over a salad or something!
No go forth and make the heck out of the BLT that you have been craving 😉
Stay tuned for recipes for how I used Miss. Coconut Bacon on almost everything imaginable. 😉