Hope you enjoyed strawberry week (click here to see those posts), and welcome to coconut week! Since coconut comes in so many forms – fresh, shredded, flakes, milk – I wanted to use a variety in my recipes. For this first recipe, I used coconut flakes. I got this big bag from a health food store but I think you can buy them at a regular grocery store. You gotta make sure they are unsweetened too or else that will affect your cooking.
If you’ve been following for a little while (back when I was doing my yum and yummer cookbook challenge), you would know that I do not eat/cook any pork products. So, that means I have never had a true BLT (bacon, lettuce, tomato) sandwich. I guess I could have made one with turkey bacon, but oh well. The time is now and I made coconut bacon.
I know you might seem skeptical about the idea of trying to turn coconut into bacon and I understand your concerns. Everyone says that bacon has this great flavour that you can’t replicate, but as someone who has never experienced that, I have nothing to compare it to. I was pretty open minded about this recipe. For anyone out there who eats bacon, please make this coconut bacon and let me know your thoughts 🙂
Before getting into the sandwich, let’s talk about the “bacon” itself. The recipe (link here) was super simple and only had a few ingredients. Side note: a lot of fake bacon recipe call for a thing called liquid smoke but I couldn’t find any at the store, so I picked a recipe that used smoked paprika instead. It has the same purpose. Aside from the paprika, all you need is maple syrup, soy sauce/tamari, sriracha and olive oil. With all those items, there was a good balance of sweet, spicy and salty.
The cooking process was a little hands on because you have to stir the coconut pieces every couple of minutes to ensure they cook evenly, but it was worth it. I took mine out after 13 minutes of cooking. They got nice golden brown and crisped up as they cooled down, which made me happy. Each piece packed a lot of flavour, I really liked the amount of smoke and spice. I will say that you could still tell it was coconut, but the flavour was definitely there.
Now let’s get to the main event. The BLT sandwich. Because it’s me though, I wanted to add some avocado. So, I guess I made a BALT – pretty funny name. I mashed the avocado on both pieces of perfectly toasted bread then layered on the other components. From the first to the last bites, I loved this sandwich. I didn’t add any seasoning aside from what was on the coconut and I didn’t even need it. The salty, smoky flavour came through well.
Overall, I don’t think this bacon was totally like real bacon but as someone who doesn’t eat it, I think this coconut bacon was pretty delicious. Also, I included a picture of the bacon itself because you can’t really see it in my sandwich.