I have always HATED bacon. Even way back in a far off time when I was a carnivore. Even more than the taste, I loathed the smell of bacon. One tiny whiff and I literally wanted to throw up. This coconut bacon is another story though. It’s smoky, salty, crispy, slightly sweet, and delicious. I know hard core bacon lovers may scoff at me calling this bacon. It definitely has that essence of bacon though.
This fakin bacon is pretty simple to make and calls for only 6 ingredients
- unsweetened coconut flakes
- sesame oil
- soy sauce, or gluten free tamari
- coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- liquid smoke
- smoked sea salt
Don’t be intimidated if some of these ingredients are unfamiliar to you. I have provided direct links for most of them, so it can be as easy as a click of a button on Amazon !
Soy Sauce vs Tamari
Soy sauce is one of the oldest condiments in the world. It is a by-product of fermented soybeans and wheat mixed with a brine. Tamari is basically the same thing as soy sauce, just gluten free, made with only soybeans and no wheat. I prefer this brand as it’s organic and quality made. So many soy sauce brands are really just crap. Traditional soy sauce is cultured and allowed to ferment for at least six months. Higher quality brands are fermented for several years. The cheap soy sauce brands can be made in about two days by breaking down soy protein, or defatted soy meal, and combining it with other flavorings. They are flavored with corn syrup, caramel, water, and salt. There is no taste comparison between these brands and traditional soy sauces made with fermented soybeans. Do yourself a favor and read the label before you buy a crap filled jar of soy sauce.
Here’s the thing about sugar. It’s not good for you. Are maple syrup, honey, and other natural sweeteners such as coconut sugar better than white sugar? Yes. They have some nutritional value, but sugar is sugar is still sugar. We all need a treat sometimes though right? My go to sweeteners are dates, maple, and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm tree. The liquid sap is collected from the flower of the coconut and heated until most of the water has evaporated. It is pretty similar to brown sugar in color and appearance. Unlike regular table sugar, coconut sugar does retain some of the nutrients from the coconut palm such as iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, as well as some antioxidants. It’s also lower on the glycemic index as it contains the fiber insulin. Don’t go crazy though. It’s still high in calories and you’d have to eat a ton of it to actually benefit from the retained nutrients.
I really enjoy the flavor of coconut sugar. It has a subtle sweetness with hints of caramel. FYI, it doesn’t actually taste like coconuts if you aren’t a huge coconut fan. Give it a try in your next dessert in place of brown or table sugar.
What the heck is liquid smoke you ask ? Well, if you ask me, I’d say it’s magic. Close your eyes, take a whiff, and all of the sudden you’re at a cookout, a bonfire, a barbecue joint. Liquid smoke is a highly concentrated liquid made from hickory, applewood, or mesquite wood that is burned inside a chamber. The smoke is captured in a condenser and cooled, forming condensation. These droplets are collected and filtered twice, resulting in liquid smoke. It adds an authentic smoky flavor to your dish. Check out the post on my Smoky Chickpea Bacon ‘Bites’ for some other great ways to cook with liquid smoke.
I was always kinda hesitant to use liquid smoke because many brands contain artificial flavors or chemicals and gross things like caramel color. I am not really ok with putting caramel color in my food. I mean what the heck is that anyways. I don’t even wanna know. I found this brand on amazon with no fake ingredients. It’s all natural, from wood. Just make sure you read the label and only buy brands with no added chemicals or weird ingredients, just straight up liquid smoke.
Smoked Sea Salt
The final ingredient to bring these chickpeas even more “bacon” essence is smoked sea salt. There are so many different flavors and brands. I love this brand, but you really can’t go wrong. Smoked sea salt is such a great finishing touch to any dish that could use a little more smoky flavor.
They say bacon makes everything better. I disagree. I think this coconut bacon does though. I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy it as much as I do ! It’s great just to snack on by itself. You could throw it into some yogurt or granola with apples or pears. It’s also great in savory dishes. Add it to a kale salad or tomato soup for some crunch. The possibilities are endless.
Eat yourself healthy
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes ( not shredded coconut )
- 1 tsp sesame or melted coconut oil
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 TBS soy sauce or tamari
- 1 TBS coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- ¼ tsp smoked sea salt *optional
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees
- Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl
- Spread mixture evenly onto parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet, do not overcrowd pan
- Bake 10 minutes, remove pan from oven and stir
- Bake 10 more minutes or until starting to crisp up to golden brown color
- Let cook for 10 minutes, mixture should continue to crisp as it cools