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 and try to find a way to lighten it up or infuse vegetables into it. There was one ingredient in particular that was on almost every dish we tackled and it’s officially become my food nemesis (I have many nemesis including the old man at the gym that always changes the channel on the TV without asking… doesn’t everyone watch cooking shows while working out?!)
The ingredient is, you guessed it… BACON! Bacon and I are in a love hate relationship; although it’s tasty pork candy, it’s definitely something that you really shouldn’t have every day. However, there is one type of bacon that you CAN have every day.
Turn off your phones, focus, and let’s talk about Coconut Bacon.
It’s pieces of flaked coconut tossed with maple syrup, smoked paprika, soy sauce and liquid smoke and then baked off until crispy.
Unless you chop it up and put it on something (like deviled eggs, recipe coming soon!) it probably won’t fool anyone that it’s bacon, but that doesn’t mean it’s not super tasty and somewhat addictive. It’s 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. Best part is, you can eat as much as you want ;)
Makes 1 ½ cups
1 ½ cups flaked coconut
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Tamari or Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- Preheat oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl add coconut, tamari, liquid smoke, maple syrup and paprika; Stir until completely coated.
- Spread the flakes evenly onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake until crispy - about 20 minutes, making sure to flip halfway through.
- Let the “bacon” cool down at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving.
- 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!” Well in one serving of coconut, 90% of its fats are saturated. HOWEVER, not all saturated fats are created equal and the saturated fats in coconut are said to be very different than those saturated fats which you find in animal products (heavy cream, bacon, steak, etc.). The main component of saturated fats in coconut is called lauric acid, which is known to help raise the HDL levels (good cholesterols) and lower LDL (bad cholesterols). 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:
New York Times article that talks about coconut oil and it’s saturated fats
An article from Authority Nutrition that really gets technically into what saturated fats are and how they effect you and your health.