On my show, Junk Food Flip, Bobby Deen and I go around and transform comfort food into delicious dishes that you can actually eat every day.
To do this, I look at each component of a comfort food to try to find a way to lighten it up or infuse some vegetables!
I began to notice there was one ingredient in particular on almost every dish we tackled.
So obviously it officially become my food nemesis (I have many nemeses, including the old man at the gym who insists on changing the TV channel without asking. I mean, doesn’t everyone watch cooking shows while working out?!).
The ingredient is...
...you guessed it…
Bacon and I are in a love-hate relationship.
It's tasty pork candy, but it's definitely something you really shouldn’t have every day.
That being said, I would like to bring you a bit of good news: there is one type of bacon that you can have every day.
Turn off your phones.
Let’s talk about Coconut Bacon.
What is Coconut Bacon, you ask?!
Well, it's pieces of flaked coconut tossed with maple syrup, smoked paprika, soy sauce, and liquid smoke—all baked off until crispy.
Unless you chop it up and put it on or mix it up wit something (like my Deviled Eggs!), it probably won’t truly fool anyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not super tasty and somewhat addictive.
Coconut Bacon is a great meaty and nutritious option for those lighter days.
So don’t give up bacon completely, but maybe give Coconut Bacon some air time as well.
And the best part is, you can eat as much as you want. ;)
servings: makes 1½ cups
- 1½ cups flaked coconut
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. To a medium mixing bowl, add the coconut, tamari sauce (or soy sauce), liquid smoke, maple syrup, and paprika. Stir until the coconut is completely coated.
- Spread the coconut flakes evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until crispy, flipping halfway through—about 20 minutes.
- Before serving, allow the “bacon” cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Use this bacon on your salads, as a topping for your deviled eggs, as a replacement for bacon in a BLT, or to top your pasta (Or of course, just eat it as is! I love to have a dish of it out at parties!).
- “Coconut is full of saturated fat!” people might say. “Well,” you can tell them, “In one serving of coconut, 90% of the fat is saturated, yes. HOWEVER, not all saturated fats are created equally! The saturated fats in coconut are said to be very different than those saturated fats you find in animal products (heavy cream, bacon, steak, etc.). The main component of saturated fats in coconut is lauric acid, which is known to help raise the HDL (good cholesterols) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Lauric acid is also said to be have antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties (you won’t find that in any saturated fat derived from animals!). To find out more about coconut and the differences in it, you can head over to these articles:
Once a Villain, Coconut Charms the Health Food World
Saturated Fat: Good or Bad?