Fakin' Bacon

5 meat-free ingredients you didn't know you could bacon
Photo: Alice Henneman via Flickr

For some of us, there is nothing like the smell of bacon cooking in the kitchen on a Sunday morning. The sweet and smoky aroma takes over the room as you prepare a few fried eggs and toast to go with it. After all, bacon is a classic ingredient that elevates any dish (including dessert).

The Internet has shown us that bacon can be transformed and manipulated into pretty much anything: It can act as a taco shell, be a woven burger topping, wrap around a hot dog or piece of sushi, stuff a pizza crust and be sprinkled on top of cupcakes. You name it, people have tried it. But we’ve found something that is going to blow your mind: classic bacon strip recipes, without the bacon. We’re talking about five things you didn’t know you could bacon—no meat involved.

1. Zucchini Bacon
Zucchini is such a versatile ingredient, but have you ever tried to turn it into bacon? Vegan Epicurean infuses flavor into this vegetarian bacon through liquid smoke and aminos, agave, and black pepper. Even if you’re not a vegetarian, this could be a great way to get rid of all the extra zucchini you have growing in your garden.  

2. Coconut Bacon
While this coconut bacon wasn't raised on a farm, it's sure to satisfy your bacon cravings. With only four simple ingredients, recipe creator Cookie and Kate promises that this coconut bacon tastes like the real thing. Use it as a topping for anything you want to add a little smoke and crunch to: pancakes, salads, soups, vegetables, desserts and more.

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3. Shiitake Bacon
We’re getting down and earthy with this chewy shiitake bacon from A Full Helping. Though it’s a slightly different texture, the flavor is everything it should be: smoky, salty and slightly sweet. Chili powder, smoked paprika and maple syrup provide that kick you want from your bacon.

4. Eggplant Bacon
Move over, BLT, here comes the ELT: eggplant, lettuce and tomato. The Divine Healthy Food blog’s combination of maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and soy sauce mimic the taste of real bacon. This vegan alternative is the perfect dipper for any hummus or guacamole dish.

5. Vegan Rice Paper Bacon
What would usually be used to wrap up vegetables is now making its way to the table in a different form: bacon. Rice paper bacon by The Edgy Veg is a great vegan alternative. The flavor of the bacon comes from Tamari, olive oil, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, liquid smoke and maple syrup.

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