When talking to your friends and family about your new plant-based diet, they typically respond with one of two comments: “Where will you get your protein from?” or “I thought about going vegan… but I can’t give up bacon.”
For many people, the mere mention of bacon is a cause for salivation. It’s culturally accepted as a comfort food that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert. Whether it’s the “B” in a B.L.T or the salty top of a maple chocolate bar, bacon is one of those rare foods that’s love in a variety of recipes and cuisines.
This is the reason why a diet void of bacon is difficult for many to imagine. However, there are a lot of options to replace the bacon in your diet without sacrificing the flavor! Take a look below at some popular picks:
Coconut meat and coconut shreds are amazing additions to any meal that calls for bacon. With the proper marinade and seasonings, this delicious option can have a chewy or crispy texture (depending on how it’s prepared) and can make for an excellent garnish. While the shreds are rarely long enough to replace bacon strips for a B.L.T, they’re great for adding to salads, baked potatoes and cooked veggies. Whether you’re making short pieces or long strips, use this crispy fake bacon bits recipe as a base.
2. Tempeh bacon
Tempeh is a fermented soy product that can make for an amazing bacon substitute. Tempeh strips can fit easily onto any sandwich. They can also be used to wrap foods similar to how thin slices of bacon would. Bacon-style tempeh can be found in many grocery stores, but if you already have original tempeh on hand, try marinating it overnight in a mixture of coconut aminos, vegan Worcestershire, maple syrup, nutritional yeast and a splash of liquid smoke to create that same bacon taste. If tempeh isn’t for you and tofu is more up your alley, you can also try soy bacon crumbles to garnish more savory meals!
A must-have in your plant-based pantry, rice paper is a great way to make use of those leftovers in your fridge! Use rice paper as a wrap for cooked veggies, grains and proteins to create entirely new meals (don’t forget to add a delicious dipping sauce!). The rice paper is also an excellent replacement for bacon. The thin sheets crisp up nicely and will soak all those amazing flavors in your hickory-inspired marinade. If you’re up for a simple new bacon-styled option, check out this Easy-to-Make Rice Paper Bacon recipe!
This member of the nightshade family may be a star staple of Asian and Mediterranean cooking – but it also makes for a great bacon replacement. Whether baked or dehydrated, you’re left with an end product that has a delicious bacon-like texture and taste. Take a look at how simple making your own raw vegan eggplant bacon can be!