I remember when I was a kid and my mother used to buy Bac-Os, simulated non-bacon bacon bits, to sprinkle onto salads. Absolutely no nutritional value and the ingredients were questionable. However, the satisfaction I got from them was the smoky-saltiness and crispy texture they added. Well now, folks, I have discovered something new and improved — Coconut Bacon — made with only 4 ingredients. These are vegan and gluten-free (if you use gluten-free tamari sauce). My boys were my taste testers –they loved eating these even without the salad — what are these, mom? I told them that they was Smoky Coconut Chips but they came up with better names: Smoke-onuts and Fakin’ Bits. Does food taste better with catchier names? You be the judge.Unsweetened coconut flakes can be found at bulk food stores; I like using these instead of shredded coconut for homemade granola (in fact, I used these in my granola recipe). Liquid smoke can be found at grocery or specialty food stores. Interesting product to have around to add a touch of smokiness to stews and soups too.Coconut flakes and liquid smoke, along with the addition of maple syrup and soy sauce are mixed together and baked for about 12 minutes until toasty-coloured and crispy. A delicious little extra to add to a salad or soup topping. Give it a try!
Smoky Coconut Chips
- 3 cups unsweetened coconut flakes (not regular shredded coconut)
- 3 tablespoons gluten-free tamari soy sauce, if preferred or other soy sauce
- 2½ tablespoons liquid smoke (any flavour, I found hickory-flavoured at the grocery store)
- 1½ tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie pan or large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Measure the coconut flakes onto the baking sheet. Drizzle the coconut flakes with tamari, liquid smoke and maple syrup. Mix well. Spread the flakes into an even layer on the parchment paper. Bake on the middle rack for 12 to 14 minutes, flipping halfway, until flakes are mostly dry and turning golden brown on the edges. Keep watching because they change colour and can burn quickly. The coconut chips will further crisp up as they cool.
- Let the coconut chips cool, then use immediately or transfer to a glass jar or a freezer-safe bag. These coconut chips keep well in the freezer for several months.