Vegan Coconut Bacon
I stopped eating meat when I was a kid because something about the taste, texture and idea of eating it started to gross me out pretty early on. I cut out everything except pork for a while because, well, pork. I've got something of a salt tooth that seemed to be epically satiated by bacon. So much of what makes bacon delicious is the smokey, salty, maple-y flavor which, when added to non-pork food stuffs like coconut, easily quells my bacon cravings.
The only downside to coconut bacon is that dried coconut only comes shredded or in small flakes so while it's great on a salad (or by the handful), it's (delicious but) not ideal on say a BLT. I will be in heaven the day someone starts selling dried coconut by the strip. Also, it doesn't hold it's crunch so if you're going to make a sandwich with it, or put it on top of a baked good, your best results will be keeping it on hand as a snack and adding it to sandwiches, baked goods etc. close to when you'll be consuming them.
- 2 cups unsweetened, large coconut flakes
- 2 1/2 tablespoons tamari (not soy sauce - too salty!)
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I use fig balsamic)
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (less if you don't like garlic that much)
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- Preheat your oven to 275º.
- Mix all the the ingredients besides the coconut in a bowl.
- Add the coconut and toss until it's all coated.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the coated coconut on the sheet in as thin a layer as possible.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing a couple times.
- Turn the oven off and leave the coconut inside to coast checking periodically for crunchiness.