Eggplant bacon

I’ve had a lot of bacon incidents recently. A coworker asked what I thought about bacon (nothing) and if I miss it (I don’t). I wasn’t a huge fan to begin with, but there is no denying it is very popular in everything right now and is a comfort food for many. I even have a vegetarian friend who is a big fan of bacon flavoring (most bacon flavoring is mostly soy). I think what I like most about it, if anything, is the saltiness. So when I saw the recipe to make fake bacon out of marinated eggplant, I was intrigued and gave it a shot.

This recipe is raw, vegan and gluten-free, super easy, has the umami flavor I crave and makes a ton of bacon (but it won’t last long!).

All it takes is slicing the eggplant, marinating it and dehydrating (or baking it in the oven, though it wouldn’t be raw). It couldn’t be simpler or tastier. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, it’s a way to add depth of flavor and veggies to a sandwich, salad or whatever.

And here are a few more tricks to add bacon’s smoky flavor to vegan, vegetarian and kosher dishes.

Eggplant bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into thin (1/4 inch thick or less) slices
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3-5 drops liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika (or 1 tsp regular)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Optional add-ins: garlic, tomato sauce, cumin, cayenne pepper, mesquite powder

Directions

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients (tamari through pepper) together. Submerge eggplant slices well, and let marinade for at least an hour.
  2. Place slices in a dehydrator and dehydrate at 115 degrees till totally dry: this should take about 12 hours. For crisper bacon, dehydrate longer.
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