Yep, you read that right. Coconut bacon. It’s a thing–a very good thing! I have continued to be amazed at the genius recipes I find in the vegan world. Although I am no longer vegan, I still try to eat a ton of plants and use meat as a type of garnish or side dish. As far as meat goes, we really only eat fish, organic chicken and organic grass-fed beef. I will also buy organic, nitrate-free sliced turkey for my girls lunches on occasion.
It had been ages since I have bought bacon, but I recently bought some from Trader Joes that was nitrate-free & really enjoyed it on my salads. What I didn’t enjoy was the added cost to our grocery budget, and I really don’t want to get into the habit of buying bacon again.
I was recently scrolling through Bloglovin’ & came upon a recipe for Coconut bacon that stopped me dead in my tracks. I love coconut. I love bacon. I love anything salty-sweet, and I knew I would be making Coconut Bacon as soon as I possibly could.
Creative Vegan Food
I love how vegans come up with creative ways to use plant food. They soak cashews & blend them until creamy to use as a base in soups or to make nacho “cashew cheese“, they rough chop nuts and season them to mimic taco meat & it is simply delicious! They blend up frozen bananas into super creamy, non-dairy “ice cream”, & they bake their kale until it is a crispy kale chip. There are so many fun things I learned to do with food when I ate vegan the few year’s after my cancer treatment.
I continue to use many of tips and tricks I learned, and it keeps our diet balanced as we strive to eat less animal products and more nutrient dense plant food.
This coconut bacon is my new favorite. You simply toss large flake coconut in a sauce, then spread out on a baking sheet and bake just a few minutes until crispy. The smoky flavor comes from smoked paprika & soy sauce. The texture is crispy & chewy and perfect. We ate it on a kale salad, and also found ourselves eating the leftovers straight from a mason jar–a very addicting crunchy, salty snack. It would be great sprinkled on a baked potato or you could layer it with avocado on toast. I plan on using it not only to take the place of bacon, but also to add crunch on my salads which will keep me from topping them with crunchy croutons.
Coconut Flakes Are Good For You
From Choose Wisely:
Coconut is an amazing food and is a great addition to your every day menu. Coconut is sometimes frowned on because it is considered high fat, but the key here is it is a healthy fat and our bodies need it. Coconut is composed of medium chain fatty acids which are used as energy and are not stored in the body. Click for information about coconut oil and its benefits.
Coconut supplies vital nutrients for sustaining healthy cells in your body. This amazing food carries a vast array of vitamins, minerals, EFA’s and amino acids as well as anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties.
Coconut flakes are derived from the meat of the coconut. When compared to the rest of the plant, the meat is the most nutritious part.
Want to know more? Read the Coconut Oil Miracle
Coconut Bacon Recipe
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce (or use tamari for gluten-free)
1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
Whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, syrup, oil, and paprika in a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the coconut and mix it around until it is all evenly coated. Allow the coconut to sit for at least ten minutes so that it soaks all of the marinade up.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Spread the coconut evenly over foil or parchment lined baking sheet, ( I didn’t have either, so I just oiled the pan with coconut oil). Bake for 8-12 minutes, stirring halfway through to prevent burning (check the bacon at the five-minute mark, because it cooks up quickly). Let cool completely before serving.
This can also be prepared in a dehydrator–spread the coconut on a Teflex lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate for 8 hours or until crispy & dry. You can mix it around a few times to make sure it dehydrates evenly.
Coconut bacon can be stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month.