• Sumo

Oh bacon, how we love your taste but hate where you must come from. Probably the hardest of all meats to give up, bacon just has a unique flavor, a unique texture, and a unique smell that wafts through any house cooking up a pan. But as a vegetarian or a vegan, we know that bacon is strictly off limits. Is there another way? Can we have our bacon and be vegan as well? Actually, we may indeed, and it’s as simple as some sneaky thinking involving some coconut flakes. How? Let’s take a look.

If you’d prefer to just simply stick to something pre-packaged, no problem, you’ll have a handful of excellent bacon substitutes that replicate the taste and texture at least to the point that it does its job and doesn’t make you switch to the real thing in disgust (not usually anyway). One popular brand is Smart Bacon, a simple option for those shopping around the grocery store, though you can make your own by frying up some tempeh and adding specific spices.

Though if the thought of fakon just doesn’t sound appealing, how about coconut bacon? Many thanks to Vegan Brew for this tip, but it’s entirely possible to combine coconut flakes with a handful of other ingredients to create the perfect facsimile of real bacon. Those curious, here’s what you’ll need:

-1 cup of coconut flakes

-3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce

-1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

-1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

-1 tablespoon of maple syrup

-1 tablespoon of liquid smoke

-freshly ground black pepper

The most important ingredient there happens to be the coconut flakes. Shredded coconut doesn’t work, so make sure you have something with some real meat to it. Whole Foods tends to be a good place to look, so once you have that in hand, let’s move on to actually cooking it up.

Take all the ingredients and mix them up in a single bowl along with the coconut flakes. You want to get the flakes fully coated and the flavor soaked in, which will take roughly 15 minutes. After waiting patiently, pour everything into a frying pan heated to medium-high heat and be aware of all the extra liquid.

While cooking, stay with the pan constantly as it’s incredibly easy to burn everything. Keep stirring every minute or so to make sure the coconut flakes cook nice and evenly and gradually turn the heat down little by little to prevent burning. Give the flakes a taste now and then to see if the flavor is just right and remove them from heat when they’ve hit a point where you’re happy with the results.

And that’s all there is to it. See, being a vegan doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the thrill of bacon. Sometimes even we need to get some of that smoky goodness, and thankfully, we can do so without having to give up our diet or compromise our lifestyle!