Anything is possible. You can make scrambled ‘eggs’ out of cauliflower, you can make your own milk out of seeds, and chocolate yoga is a thing. So, you’d better believe you can make bacon outta veggies. What a time to be alive.
Here are the best wholefoods to turn into bacon, and how you do it in the first place:
First up, you gotta make your marinade. Any go-to concoction should feature something savoury/salty, something smoky, something sweet and something a bit sour.
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For the salty/savoury part, tamari or liquid aminos work a charm. For sweet, look no further than maple syrup. Liquid smoke will give that really smoky flavour, but smoked paprika is a close runner-up. And for your sour fix, the holy-grail apple cider vinegar finishes first. Are you drooling yet?
For a basic marinade, try the following (and adjust to your tastebuds):
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Dash of olive oil (to get things a lil’ crispy)
Simply mix all ingredients together and prepare to marinade your veggies. Depending on how flavoursome you like your bacon will depend on how long you should be lettin’ it stew. To pack a punch, marinade your veggies in the mixture overnight in the fridge. Extra points if you pre-empt your hangover and have vegan bacon on hand to remedy the situation in the morning.
Now, for the bacon itself. Our top picks:
Grab two large portobello mushrooms and slice thinly. Once you’ve marinated the mushies (overnight might be a bit optimistic for these bad boys as they’re very thin—try half an hour and be done with it), then oven bake for 10-15 minutes, until they’re crispin’ up nicely.
A fan-fave, coco-bacon is one of the latest sensations to hit vegan-town (alongside cauliflower scramble, of course). It soaks up the flavour of the marinade like a sponge, so it only needs a very quick soak. Simply scoop out the coconut meat, brush it with the marinade and bake until crispy.
Simply soak four cups of blanched, sliced almonds and coat well in the marinade. This is a great one to pre-soak overnight, as they’re much less porous than veggies which means they make a much milder end product. Bake for around 30 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning.
Cut three large carrots into thin slices lengthways, and give ‘em a good rub in the marinade. Because they’re a slightly tougher veg with a fairly mild flavour, they’re a great textural alternative to the real deal. Oven bake for around 25 minutes, keeping your eye on them and turning often.
To serve, stuff into a bap and smother with an assortment of your favourite condiments for a hangover cure that’s completely vegan approved. Alternatively, use non-bacon-bacon to add something smoky to any salad or pasta dish.