This post and recipe is from one of my favourite West Coast Canadian Foodie Websites and award-winning cookbook authors: http://www.ripplerockcooks.com/
This is a brilliant recipe to try (and keep!). You will be amazed with the delicious outcome!
From The Ripple Rock Cooks:
The other day a friend dropped a little inspiration into my foodie mind. He mentioned eating a vegan BLT that was made with smoked coconut as the “bacon”. How could I possibly hear that and not want to taste this for myself. So I set out on project “replicate something I’ve never tasted” (as you can see there’s a lot of projects around here that are entered into with very little knowledge – but always with much excitement).
Quite often, if a smoky flavour is desired and a smoker is not available, liquid smoke is the solution. As much as I know this is going to be my best source of smoky flavour, the concoction of chemicals in it is less than desirable. But don’t let me stop you – I’m all for a small dose of ‘unhealthy’ indulgences here and there. The recipe I came up with uses smoked salt and a touch of smoked paprika, but you can easily use liquid smoke in their place.
If you have access to fresh coconuts you can start from scratch. Drill a hole and drain the coconut milk, then use a cleaver to split the coconut in half. Roast it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 5-10 minute, this will make it easier to get the meat away from the shell. Use a knife to pop it out. When it’s cooled, thinly slice with a vegetable peeler to equal 1 cup shredded coconut. If that doesn’t sound like a fun project, you could use large flaked coconut – we always use Gathering Place Coconut.
Try this as the bacon in a BLT or sprinkle on salad, or as I always seem to do with most things, just eat it straight off the baking sheet. There you have it, a small salty Sunday morning confession. And salty this is – as any replacement for bacon should be.
Makes 1 cup
1 cup large flake unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil
2 tsp tamari
2 tsp smoked salt*
1 tsp smoked paprika*
If you want to use liquid smoke, omit the smoked salt and paprika. Use 2 tsp liquid smoke and increase the tamari to 1 tbsp.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix together the marinade and toss with coconut to coat. Spread in an even layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently until golden brown. The coconut will crisp as it cools.
*The quality and smokiness of the salt and paprika will determine how smoky your coconut is. If it’s not enough ‘smoke’ for you, you might want to try a different brand or go with the liquid smoke variation.