After going plant-based, many people often mention bacon as the one food they miss the most. After a little research and experimentation, we found that if you are keen to make your own plant-based bacon alternative, carrots, banana peels and rice paper sheets were some of the most affordable and widely-found ingredients people use.
The carrots were a good bacon alternative for dishes that require thin bacon strips. The banana peels were the perfect option for recipes that ask for thick bacon strips, thanks to its chewy texture. And the rice paper sheets were the ideal choice for bacon crumbs as they crisped up immensely when cooked.
Vegan Bacon Marinade
Not sure how to replicate the same smokey flavor you remember in bacon? We are here to show how with the help of a simple marinade. The best part? Your pantry might already have most of the ingredients needed to make it.
Experimenting with pantry ingredients to create interesting marinades is always a fun and interesting way to switch things up in the kitchen. If you’re feeling inspired, know that the same marinade used to get the “bacon flavor” can be used to make mushrooms, seitan and tofu bacon among many other possibilities.
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1/2 tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp Paprika
- 6 tbsp Tamari or Soy Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke (or 1 tbsp BBQ sauce)
- 4 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
Stir well to combine.
Using a peeler, peel 1 whole carrot into thin lengthwise strips. If you are using a knife, cut the strips as thinly as possible to minimize cooking time.
Mix with the marinade, making sure that all the strips are coated evenly. Allow carrot strips to sit in the marinade for 5 to 7 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place carrots strips flat on the pan. Allow the strips to cook for 2 minutes on each side. Flip promptly to avoid charring. When done, the strips should be of a dark orange color with slightly crisp edges.
Suggested serving—use the carrot bacon with some beautiful baby asparagus. Using the pan (we suggest wiping it clean), to pan-fry asparagus. Once the asparagus is fully cooked-through and softened, roll 2-3 carrots strips around the asparagus and serve.
Peel 3 large bananas. Ensure that the peels are of similar width for even cooking.
Mix the banana peels with the marinade, allowing all the peels to be coated evenly. Allow banana peels to sit in the marinade for 20 minutes.
Heat a non-stick pan over high to medium heat. Once hot, lay the peels flat on the pan. Allow the peels to cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Flip occasionally to avoid charring. When done, the edges should have a darker brown color compared to the other parts of the peel.
Suggested serving—Build your favorite BLT sandwich. Use sourdough bread, tomato, lettuce, Follow Your Heart’s Vegenaise and the cooked banana peels for a great lunch.
Rice Paper Sheets