Tonight's mash-up was inspired by the DDD (Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.) I am sure it was a repeat, but the other night it was on in the background and I overheard "Vegan BLTs" so I quickly turned to listen. I didn't catch the name of the restaraunt, but I did catch that this place used coconut bacon! Well apparently I have been living on another planet, because this was all over the vegan blogosphere going back at least to 2009! Anyhoooo...had I done a simple Google search, before I started this adventure, well, then I would have seen that other talented vegans had already done the R&D and I could have used one of their recipes. Instead I started from scratch.
Coconut Bacon (on top of a green salad)
|Green Salad topped with Coconut Bacon|
I don't have exact measurements, but my marinade was very simple...liquid smoke, olive oil, salt, and pepper. I thought about maple syrup, but opted against it because of the natural sweetness of the coconut. However, after this first experiment, I would say the added sweetness would have been nice. I would probably also opt to use soy sauce or tamari instead of salt next time. I think the flavor would be great, as well as the color would be more bacon like.
After I soaked my coconut flakes in the marinade for a bit, I preheated my oven to 400 F. I lined a baking sheet with parchment and laid out my coconut in a single layer. I baked it for 5 minutes, removed it from the oven, tossed it about, and put it back in the oven for 5 moore minutes, watching carefully to prevent burning.
I removed it from the oven and let it cool and crisp up and then tasted it. Pretty good! I found the ones that were toasted a little darker were definitely the color of bacon, and crispier. But, I prefer the ones that are still a little bit soft. They seem to have a better flavor and texture.
All in all, these are a fun new addition to my condiment crew and I know I will continue to play around with different marinades and applications.