Raw Vegan Bacon
It seems like there are a lot of raw recipes for SAD foods. This may be because people want to find a raw substitute for their old favorite foods, especially comfort foods.
Some people don't mind this idea, especially while transitioning to a raw food diet. It does make it easier to have foods you are used to eating.
However, some raw foodies think you should not try to copy a SAD food, mainly because the results fall short of actually tasting like the food they are imitating. Also because it may be trying to re-create a food that you don't want to eat, like the "M" word. (meat, sssshhhhh)
With this in mind, I am still going to offer you several raw vegan bacon recipes...lol!
There are some really cute names that people have given their recipes, like bac-un, and fake-un. This is a fun idea, since it is not really bacon:)
I'll just refer to mine as bacon, but you gotta love mock meat names like sham ham, fakin’ bacon, not dogs and phoney baloney, right?
I know everyone has different tastes, so there are a few options, if you are craving something bacon-like.
Although there are actual recipes, I encourage you to mix and match the components and find your perfect bacon. Most recipes have just two parts, a base veggie for the bacon, with some kind of marinade. If you come up with your own recipe, and would like me to post it here, let me know!
For the bacon base there are several options. Here are some suggestions.
1. Eggplant, aka aubergine, I think is the most popular
2. Zucchini, aka courgette
3. Yellow summer squash
4. Jicama, if you can slice it really thin:)*
5. Young coconut strips, or coconut chips for bacon bits
*To slice the base veggie used for the bacon, I love to use my electric food slicer. This is the one I have, pictured below.
JCPenney has several models, and they are sometimes on sale.
A mandoline will work, but if you have a very large veggie it may be difficult to slice.
I find the electric slicer to be faster and safer than the mandoline.
If you make raw veggie lasagna, veggie chips, ravioli, manicotti, or bacon, you will find it very useful.
I find the thinnest possible slices of jicama to be my favorite.
You don't have to slice squash paper thin because it shrinks so much, and may be too thin after drying.
Eggplant works well sliced a little thicker than a nickel, and looks the most like real bacon. I love making the eggplant bacon:)
For the marinade:
Some spicy options include black pepper, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, onion, and salt.
For a bit of sweetness you can try agave, dates, honey, or maple syrup.
There is often some kind of vinegar, with the most popular eggplant bacon recipe using ume plum vinegar. You may want to check the nutrition facts for the plum vinegar, especially if you are watching your sodium, as it has 1050mg per teaspoon.
Apple cider vinegar is a common ingredient most raw foodies have on hand.
Nama Shoyu is also popular for raw bacon.
Another ingredient necessary for creating an authentic bacon is oil or some kind of fat. Any mild oil, or olive oil, or even an avocado should give you a bacon-esque texture:)
For the smokey flavor, there aren't any raw options, so you may choose to leave these out. Smoked paprika, liquid smoke, chipotle pepper, smoked salt, smoked black pepper, and Lapsang Souchong tea. I find a little goes a long way with these ingredients, and they do give an authentic smoked bacon flavor to the finished product:)
Now for the recipes! There are many online, which I will provide the links to. One simple BLT recipe just used long strips of dulse as the bacon:) I hope you find one you like. Please let me know if there is another raw bacon recipe you would like to see here. Also, if your recipe is posted here, but you would like it removed, just let me know:)
Most of the following recipes are for eggplant bacon.
Raw Bac-un(bacon) from queenfluff on gone raw
Yummy Raw Vegan Bacon from Detox Darling
Recipe by Matthew Kenney, posted here by raw+simple
Raw Bacon by missveganlove, posted on sparkpeople
Bacon! by inspiredbyeverything, posted on gone raw
Raw Bacon, by rawclaire, posted on gone raw
Eggplant Bacon (raw vegan) by iRaw, posted on Foodbuzz
Bacon and Eggs, posted by rawbryan (raw Chef Bryan Au) on gone raw
Bacon, Why Not posted on from sad to raw website
My own recipe is posted on gone raw, of course:)
Here it is with some slight modifications
2 or 3 excalibur dehydrator sheets
1 medium eggplant, sliced thin, lengthwise*
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, not raw
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2-3 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon agave, or maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 tablespoons water, or a little more to thin mixture
*I split the wide end of the eggplant an inch or so vertically in the middle and overlapped it to create straight slices (after marinating), or trim the eggplant to a rectangular shape before slicing, as pictured. Trimmings can be chopped for bacon bits. Peeling the eggplant is up to you. You can slice the eggplant into rounds if you prefer, like eggplant bacon chips:)
1. Mix all ingredients, except eggplant.
2. Lay the slices out on parchment paper.
3. Brush one side of the sliced eggplant lightly with mixture, add water to mix as needed. I use my fingers or a pastry brush. Turn each slice over, and brush the other side. The eggplant will become soft and if you like you can shape it to resemble real bacon:)
4. Transfer with the parchment to mesh dehydrator sheets.
5. Dehydrate at 115 degrees till crisp, flipping and transferring to mesh sheets 1/2 way through. Mine took about 12 hours as they were very thin.
Store in glass jars 2 weeks. If they wilt, you may re-crisp in dehydrator about 1 hour.
Adjust all ingredients to your own taste. Quantities also vary according to the size of your eggplant, and how thinly it is sliced. I use organic eggplant, which is usually a bit smaller than conventional.
Here are a few pics of makin' the bac'un!
Slicing the eggplant
Laid out on parchment
Brushing with the marinade
Scrunching to look like bacon:)
Here are a few pics of things you can make with the bacon:
One of my favorite ways to eat the bacon, a BLT salad
A BLT with sprouts on an ezekiel tortilla
Russell James' Wilted Kale Salad with eggplant bacon chips added
The following recipe was my very first bacon. It was one of those happy accidents:) I was trying to make a BBQ "potato" chip, and was using jicama for the chip. This is the recipe I was rawifying. After tasting it, I realized it tasted quite bacon-like, and so my bacon recipe was born! I must admit at the time I was transitioning, and had some in a BLT on real toast with some vegenaise..hehe.
Crispy Jicama Bacon
1 jicama peeled, and sliced paper-thin into rounds, strips, or chopped into 1/4 inch dice for bacon bits
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1-2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon agave, or maple syrup
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Lay jicama out on parchment paper.
2. Coat both sides of jicama with a marinade. If making bacon bits, just mix the marinade with the jicama and spread onto parchment.
3. Dehydrate until crisp, flipping and transferring to mesh sheets 1/2 way through. The jicama may take up to 24 hours to get really crispy.
Here is the jicama as Canadian style bacon..sorry for the old pic:)
Jicama bacon bits on little tomatoes filled with nut cheese. Sorry, another old pic:)
I hope you find this collection of raw vegan bacon recipes helpful. It does make a unique addition to the raw food diet:)