Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Craving bacon? These TOFU BACON BITS will take care of that, and then some!
Prepare to be amazed!
Bacon is one of those foods that most people are afraid they’ll miss too much when they transition to a vegan diet. Bacon’s power of seduction is so strong, I myself doubted if I would be able to resist its charms.
I can proudly report that I was able to.
That didn’t stop me from trying to find ways to incorporate that unique bacon flavor in my vegan meals. I’ve tried everything from coconut bacon to mushroom bacon, and even rice paper bacon! (This last one was good, but a lot of work 😅). I’ve also tried several store-bought vegan bacon brands. And, after all this searching, I can confess one thing: there is no vegan bacon that truly imitates real bacon to perfection.
But, all is not lost. There are ways to get a similar flavor, and even a similar crispiness. This recipe is one of them. I think what makes it work is that it doesn’t try to imitate a slice of bacon, which is really hard to do.
Another thing I love about this recipe is that it’s made out of tofu. If you know me, you know that tofu is my jam. It‘s got a high protein content, it’s low in fat and sodium and it has zero sugars and cholesterol. Just make sure you buy organic, non-GMO tofu. Also, for this recipe, make sure you use the Extra Firm kind. It’s best to achieve a crispy texture.
Also, most vegan bacon recipes call for one ingredient known as Liquid Smoke. Even though this product is good for giving foods a smoky flavor, it certainly does not have the healthiest of ingredients. So, for this recipe I used a new Smoked Salt made by Poliniza using salt from Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico with a mix of natural, healthy ingredients. It’s perfect for this bacon recipe!
Make this recipe and store the bacon to use in a variety of ways: as a salad topping, over vegan mac and cheese, with vegan pasta alfredo, or with a vegan tofu scramble for breakfast.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already hungry!
Let’s get started!
VEGAN TOFU BACON BITS
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1/2 block extra firm tofu, pressed
3.5 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce*
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp Poliniza smoked salt
1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp smoked paprika
*You can substitute for liquid aminos, but I find that soy sauce yields an end result that tastes more like bacon.
HOW TO MAKE IT:
In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, maple syrup, smoked salt, nutritional yeast and smoked paprika.
Finely crumble the tofu (you’re looking for a ground beef-like sized crumble) and add to the bowl with the marinade. Mix well and let sit for at least 20 minutes (let marinade overnight for best results).
When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Spread the marinated tofu crumbles on a thin, even layer on a baking tray lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
Bake for 20 minutes and take it out of the oven. Toss the tofu around and arrange in an even layer again. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Check your bacon bits after the 10 minutes. If they are not yet crispy, place back in the oven and bake in 5-minute increments until they crisp up. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Let the bacon bits cool completely before serving.
Place in an air-tight container and store for up to a week in your refrigerator.
Let me know if you make this! Tag me by using @mindfulgrub or the hashtag #mindfulgrub when you share your creations on social media. I‘d love to hear how it went for you!
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