I don't miss meat. I don't even miss cheese, which was a surprise. I do, however, miss BLTs. Especially in the summer with a big piece of juicy watermelon and an ear of locally grown corn. Yum. I have been trying out some bacon alternatives to see if there is something that will make for a great sandwich. Last year I tried a marinaded tempeh which I thought was pretty good. My husband choked it down with a fake smile, gritted teeth, and no complaints, but it was clearly not a favorite of his. Last week I thought maybe roasted mushrooms in a marinade would work well. However, between the dog and two small boys I got distracted and they burned. Laughably, this probably made them taste quite similar to the turkey bacon we used to eat because I inevitable burned that each time as well. So... last night I tried coconut flakes. There are some recipes out there using coconut flakes to mimic bacon in recipes. I liked the combination of seasonings I had used for the mushrooms so I based mine on that. They turned out great. Obviously, the goal is not a bacon replica. It is to find a substitute that has some similar characteristics (touch of hickory, salty, and a little crunch). They worked well on the sandwich, with the exception of not staying put as well as a longer piece of bacon and I ate them on a salad the next day for lunch and they were even better. I am seeing them turning up in soups and salads in the future. Yum.
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 4 tablespoon Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 4 cups large flaked coconut
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Pour in flaked coconut.
- Stir or toss to coat the coconut in the liquid mixture.
- Once the coconut is evenly coated, pour it onto a parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, stirring about every 5 minutes so it cooks evenly. It WILL burn if you’re not careful, so make sure to stir!
- For storage, place in glass storage container with lid and refrigerate.