coconut bacon – the real maple kind

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

Happy Canada Day to all of my fellow Canadians all around the world!

I thought we should have something Canadian today, and what’s more Canadian than bacon? Maple bacon! You know, the real maple kind…

 

So, coconut bacon. Does it taste like bacon bacon? To be honest, I have no idea. I haven’t had the real thing in over 2 decades, so bacon bacon is a foggy memory at best. But I can assure you that coconut bacon is good. Really, really good.

I used to be really into fake meat products and there was a soy Canadian bacon that I was particularly fond of. When I started my first degree in nutrition I realized how processed those fake meat products really are and have more or less eschewed them ever since. I do still indulge in them from time to time (hello, veggie pizza pepperoni), but only as an occasional treat.

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

A friend asked me the other day how I define real food, and after some consideration my answer is that real food is either a whole food or food that is or that can be made by human hands. I could make my own tofu, I could make my own seitan, but making my own soy bacon would be tricky. Coconut bacon, then, is a game changer.

Since coconut is naturally fatty it crisps up nicely in the oven. The smoky flavour comes from a mix of liquid smoke and smoked paprika, which balances the saltiness of liquid aminos (or soy sauce) and the sweetness of good quality maple syrup.

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

Best of all, making your own coconut bacon is so dang easy. It’s a matter of mixing just five ingredients together, and then baking those ingredients in the oven. Be warned that coconut bacon is a bit of an attention seeker, so you’ll need to be available to stir the tray every five minutes and to watch it very carefully towards the end. Your efforts will be worth it though, as you’ll end up with a big old tray of salty, smoky bacon. The real maple kind, eh?

I’ll be back later this week for a recipe that uses some of this coconut bacon. Yum!

MM_Know_Icon_FINALSo what’s the deal with liquid smoke? Chips or sawdust from hardwoods such as hickory or mesquite are burned at high temperatures, and particles of the smoke are collected in condensers. The resulting liquid is concentrated down for a stronger smoky flavour. Not all liquid smoke is created equal, so read your labels! It shouldn’t contain anything other than natural smoke and water, so be wary of those that add additional flavour, colour, or other ingredients.

maple coconut bacon // the muffin myth

coconut bacon - the real maple kind

There are a lot of coconut bacon recipes floating around and they all look very good. It's important to note that not all liquid smoke is created equal, so you may want more or less depending on how smokey it is. Mine was made from hickory smoke and a tablespoon was sufficient for a nice and smoky flavour. You can also dial back the maple syrup if you'd prefer your coconut bacon a little less mapley.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Author The Muffin Myth

Ingredients

  • 3 cups large coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp liquid aminos I use Bragg's or soy sauce
  • 1 - 1.5 Tbsp good quality maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

Instructions

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 325°F / 160°C. Line one large or two standard baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid aminos, maple syrup, liquid smoke, and smoked paprika.
  3. Place the coconut flakes into a large bowl and drizzle the liquid mixture over the top. Stir for about one minute to ensure the coconut is well coated and the liquid is evenly distributed.
  4. Spread the coconut onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven.
  5. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Stir the coconut and redistribute on the tray (you can lift the edges of the parchment to tip all of the coconut towards the centre, then stir, then smooth back out). Repeat two more times, so you're stirring at the 10 and 15 minute marks.
  6. At this point you'll want to start checking the coconut every 1-2 minutes as it can go from browned to burnt very quickly.
  7. The coconut should be dark brown in colour but not burnt.
  8. Remove it from the oven and let the coconut bacon cool on the tray. It will become crispy as it cools.
  9. Store in an airtight container, and use to add bacony deliciousness to all kinds of dishes. Coconut bacon not kept in an airtight container will become soft and will need to be carefully re-crisped in the oven.


 

Comments

  1. Ooooh, very excited to have a good recipe for this. Have you ever been to Aux Vivres in Montreal? https://auxvivres.com/en/menus They do a delicious “BLT” with coconut bacon that I am very much missing these days (I’m living in Alberta right now – lots of Alberta Beef bumper stickers). Now I can try to recreate it – thanks!!

    • I’ve actually never been to Montreal! I used to be a real sucker for the Yves veggie bacon in sandwiches until I realized how processed that stuff is. I do, though, still indulge in their veggie pizza pepperoni from time to time, as I figure that if I was a meat eater pepperoni would be a similar indulgence. Great idea to use this coconut bacon in a BLT! I’ll have to try that right away.

  2. Hi there, I’m a bit of a coconut dummy and have a question about the flakes. Do you just shave your own coconut flakes, or can you get these pre-flaked? Thanks for this recipe. I’m going out for dinner tonight to a place that has an Avocado BLT with coconut “bacon”, so I wondered what the heck is this coconut bacon they speak of?! And I ended up on your page. My niece is newly vegetarian, and her birthday’s coming up so I’m totally making her a jar of these! I’ll do my test run this weekend. Thanks for the recipe 🙂

    • You can get them pre-flaked! It would be a real labour of love if you were shredding up a fresh coconut for this recipe! Look for coconut chips or large coconut flakes, two different names for the same thing. And be sure to buy unsweetened!

      • Thanks so much for your quick reply. I figured that was the case, but I just didn’t quite know what to buy. I’ll go on the hunt today :). By the way, the Avocado Coco-BLT I had last night was FANTASTIC. I’m so excited to make these.

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