Baconut (Vegan Coconut “Bacon”)
Large flakes of unsweetened coconut are the perfect canvas to infuse the smoky-sweet flavor associated with bacon. Coconut has natural fat and the flakes absorb seasoning well. After a low-heat bake, the flakes are crunchy, savory, salty, smoky, and just a touch sweet. Try them on your next sandwich and take your lunch to a new level of deliciousness! Recipe from from Plant-Powered Families: Over 100 Kid-Tested, Whole-Foods Vegan Recipes* by Dreena Burton, BenBella Books © 2015, reprinted by permission. Photos by Nicole Axeworthy.
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
- ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ scant teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2½ tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
- ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke (see note)
- 2 cups large flaked, unsweetened coconut
- Preheat oven to 275°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the coconut sugar, paprika, sea salt, garlic powder, black pepper, tamari, vinegar, and liquid smoke. Mix through until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the coconut and stir through until all the marinade is absorbed and the coconut is fully coated.
- Spread on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 32 minutes, tossing once about halfway through baking and checking for doneness at about 27 to 28 minutes. The coconut can turn from just perfectly cooked (a dark pinkish brown color) to burned (dark brown, and with a bitter flavor) in just a few minutes. So, don’t overbake!
- Remove, and let cool. They will continue to dry and crisp once out of the oven. Once completely cool, you can transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate; it will keep for weeks, maybe longer!
Liquid Smoke Note: While this is not an ingredient you may use often, it has a unique and essential flavor. It is worthwhile adding to your pantry (and it stores well in the fridge). You can find it in many grocery stores and also specialty/health food stores. It is not a chemical product; rather, it’s made from condensing vapors from the smoke of smoldering wood chips.
Serving Suggestions: Try sprinkled on soups, in BLTs, on top of baked potatoes, on veggie burgers/cheeseburgers, folded into breakfast scrambles, and as a pizza topping!
Visit Dreena Burton at Plant-Powered Kitchen.
- Here are more tasty Vegan Snacks and Dips.
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