If you enjoy bacon but not the part about it coming from a pig, you are in luck because there are various tasty alternatives available (one such version is my Tofaken). The latest craze, however, is coconut bacon. People go cuckoo for this stuff and I can understand why. While coconut flakes pack a lot of calories and fat, they are also low in carbohydrates and high in fiber (source).
To further boost the nutritional value of this coconut bacon, these crispy little guys are seasoned with liquid aminos (which boasts 16 different amino acids) and practically melt in your mouth. They make an excellent addition to nearly any salad, sandwich or wrap, and can even be enjoyed by themselves. Enjoy!
Crispy Coconut Bacon
Yields 1 cup
1/4 cup liquid aminos
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 cup dried, unsweetened coconut flakes
oil for the pan
Place first three ingredients in a small bowl and mix until combined. Add coconut flakes and stir to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 300° F. Grease a large baking sheet with oil.
Evenly spread marinated coconut flakes on prepared baking sheet and spray with oil. Bake in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, or until desired crispness is achieved. Remove and allow to cool before consuming.
Being a bacon lover, I’ve found that there isn’t a plant-based substitute that closely resembles traditional bacon. Nothing I’ve found has had the taste and texture I crave. Needless to say I created this “bacon” to match the animal-based version as closely as possible. It is smoky and salty, chewy yet crunchy. I like to call it “tofaken” because it is “bacon” made out of tofu and it is, well, fake bacon…makes sense, right?
Tofaken is soaked in a marinade overnight allowing it to absorb plenty of flavor. The finished product is excellent not only plain, but in BLTs and other sandwiches, as well as in tofu scramble and potato salad. It’s difficult to eat just one!
Easy 4-Ingredient Tofaken
Yields approximately 32 pieces
1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
Drain tofu and wrap in a towel. Press liquid out by placing a heavy item, such as a plate or two, on top and allowing to sit for 15-20 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix soy sauce and liquid smoke in a wide, shallow container; set aside. Cut tofu into 1/8 inch thick slices and pat dry again. Place into soy sauce mixture, turning to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, allowing tofu to absorb marinade.
Preheat oven to 325º F.
Grease a large cookie sheet with canola oil. Place marinated tofu slices in a single layer on the cookie sheet and spray with another thin layer of oil. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 90 minutes, or until the tofu is dark and slightly shriveled. The finished product will be chewy yet crunchy.