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.

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Smoked Coconut

Makes 1 cup

1 cup large flake unsweetened coconut

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp coconut or grapeseed oil

1tbsp water

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.

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