Let’s talk about this coconut bacon for a second. It’s pretty amazing that you can replicate a baconish flavor and crispness with coconut flakes. I’ve had my eye on this for quite a while and finally decided to give it a try. I first heard of coconut bacon from Fettle Vegan last year, which has got tons of fanfare since, even making it onto the PPK Top 100 of 2012. Awesome! And just recently I saw this post from Cupcakes and Kale and decided it was time to try this wonder of a creation. I gave these and a few other various recipes a try. All were tasty in their own way but my mission was still not complete. After more searching I finally read about adding smoked paprika from Then Squash and gave it a try. That was my favorite of all. The smoked paprika added a wonderful layer of warmth that I fell in love with. I can eat this stuff by the handfuls. Just to be sure I was not alone in loving this, I shared it with my non-vegan friends and it was a hit. “It’s guilt free with all the flavor”, one of my friends said. They were asking me to make a batch for them and suggesting I start to sell this stuff. That most likely won’t be happening but lucky there is a company already ahead of the curve, you can find out more here: Phoney Baloney’s Coconut Bacon. Now you have an option to make it yourself or purchase for convenience. And now I can say my coconut bacon mission is now complete!
This is a great recipe to have on hand. It’s easy and fairly quick, you can be enjoying your coconut bacon in about 40 minutes from start to finish. Then you’re ready to make the classic B.L.T. sandwich or wrap. Try adding it on top of soups, salads, tofu scrambles, home fries, pizza. Top it on stuffed or mashed potatoes, roasted veggies like brussels sprouts or other cooked vegetables, beans and/or legumes. And don’t forget the sweets, this would be great on these Butterscotch Cupcakes from Post Punk Kitchen or these Maple Bacon Donuts from Phoney Baloney’s. There are so many possibilities for its uses and I have no doubt that you will find all kinds of ways to add this quick and tasty tidbit to your meals.
- 2 tablespoons tamari, bragg’s amino’s or soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3 1/2 cups large flaked coconut (about a 7 oz.)
- mineral salt for sprinkling, optional
- coconut oil, for greasing
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Mix the first four ingredients in a small bowl making sure to break up any clumps of paprika. In a large bowl add coconut flakes, drizzle the wet mixture over top and gently toss making sure to coat each flake well, about 45 seconds or so.
Using a slotted spoon, scoop seasoned coconut flakes and place onto a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined, cookie sheet/s.
I used two sheets so they could be laid out in a single layer as much as possible but you can also use a single cookie sheet or a large 9 x 13 baking dish and have good results (the key is to stir during baking). Sprinkle coconut flakes lightly with a bit of mineral salt if desired.
Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Set the timer for intervals of 5 minutes and stir each time making sure to rearrange all pieces by bringing the center to the outside and the outside to the center for even cooking. You may even like to change the position of the sheets in the oven after the second interval, moving the top sheet to the bottom rack and vice versa. After the first 15 minutes, keep close and keep watch as the coconut bacon can burn very quickly at this point. I really babied my coconut bacon towards the end, it’ll be worth your while if you do too!
Remove when coconut has a nice browned and caramelized color. Let cool, it will get crispy as it cools.
Once completely cooled you can store leftovers in an air tight container and keep in the pantry for up to a week or two. If it softens a bit, re-crisp in the toaster oven on medium for a few minutes, or under the broiler for a few seconds, keeping an eye that it doesn’t burn.
Makes 28, 2 tablespoons, servings.
Use more or less maple syrup to suit your taste. I like the maple flavor and usually add a heaping tablespoon. Omit it if you don’t want any maple flavor at all.
Keep in mind there are different flavors of liquid smoke…ie, hickory, mesquite, etc., use your favorite. For a more intense smoke flavor, add up to 1 tablespoon more of the liquid smoke of choice.
Some recipes call for an addition of 1 tablespoon water or oil in the seasoning mixture. I found that I didn’t need it and do not call for it in my recipe. Use your discretion as to whether you want/need to add this ingredient. Oil is used to help coat and bind the seasoning to the coconut flakes. Water is used to ensure there is enough liquids to coat flakes evenly.