6 Healthy Alternatives to Bacon… That Your Tastebuds Will Worship
I’m sure you’ve heard that bacon is all the rage these days. Bacon is everywhere and on everything – on cupcakes, calendars, and even clothes. But is it our only option? Is it necessary to idolize something that is full of unhealthy salt and fat, and is most often a product of cruel factory farming? When it comes down to it, bacon is not good for you, or the animal it came from.
Thankfully, these days there are plenty of alternatives which are just as prevalent, and in my opinion, just as tasty – without all the unhealthy salt and animal fat (which is what most people actually crave). No cruelty involved, and you are free to eat as much as you want (to a degree) without feeling guilty.
These are some of my personal favorites – for toppings, desserts, breakfast, and beyond.
- Tempeh Flavored with Tamari and Smoke Flavoring (Please note, tempeh contains small amounts of yeast – be sure to choose the gluten free version)
Tempeh is a healthy form of soy. Because it’s fermented, this makes it more easily digestable than regular processed soy, and contains healthy probiotics. There are many other benefits to eating tempeh, which is eaten widely among many cultures. To prepare, slice into thin strips and marinate overnight in a mixture of gluten free tamari, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar and smoke flavoring. Great the next morning cooked in a skillet with coconut or olive oil.
- Phoney Baloney Coconut Bacon I admit I have not tried this yet, but have heard great things from friends who have. Use in place of bacon in almost any dish. UPDATE – I’ve made my own version of coconut bacon (from another recipe) in >>THIS POST<<, and it is BY FAR, my favorite!! MUST TRY! You WON’T BELIEVE IT when you try it.
- Zucchini Bacon Check out this recipe! You can’t even tell it’s not the real thing! And MUCH healthier for you! I used maple syrup instead of agave, gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce, rice vinegar instead of ACV (since it’s what I had on hand). You can bake it, fry it in coconut oil, or dehydrate. Whichever you prefer. You can also do this with eggplant sliced thinly. Mmm!!
4. Crispy Homemade Baked Potato Skins
Ever notice potato skins have a similar taste and texture to bacon? Control the salt and fat content by making these yourself and adding your own. Purple potatoes are my favorite. Slice thin, add olive oil and a dash of mineral-rich sea salt. I put these in the oven until they come out nice and crispy. Add salt at the end so you don’t lose any flavor, or you can use tamari and smoke flavoring to enhance instead.
If you’re not worried about Gluten Free, these are some other great options.
- Maple Bacon Tempeh by Turtle Island Foods (contains wheat)
Premade maple bacon flavored tempeh is convenient and delicious for any dish.
- Bac’Uns® (not labeled gluten free)
Great for salads and BLTs. My boyfriend makes these all the time. Veganaise or Hampton Creek Foods Mayo is a great vegan option for mayonnaise. Neither of these products skip out on flavor.
I hope you now have some new breakfast favorites, that are cruelty free and good for your heart – and the planet. See Why I Chose Vegan in a Non-Vegan World for more info!