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Make This: Vegan Bacon Strips

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By Aylin Erman, EcoSalon

Conventional bacon is chock-full of calories and fat and is often made from low-quality meat. But eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to go without the smoky, salty goodness that bacon provides.

Who better than Mother Nature to provide us with a compromise? When she made eggplant, she also gave bacon-lovers near and far a healthy, animal-free alternative to this guilty pleasure.

First, let’s break down why bacon can be bad for your health and physique. In just 3 ounces of cooked bacon, there are 763 calories, 85 grams of fat, 27 grams of saturated fat, 23 milligrams of sodium, and no fiber. These are off the chart quantities!

While enjoying bacon once in a while isn’t going to kill you, it’s a good idea to have an alternative up your sleeve so you can cut down on the fat and calorie overload. This recipe for vegan eggplant bacon is infused with the smoke and spice reminiscent of real bacon without the fat and salt overload. Enjoy!

Eggplant Bacon

Makes 8-10 slices

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the eggplant, lengthwise, into thin slices. Use a mandolin slicer to make the job easier.

Mix soy sauce, brown sugar, cayenne, liquid smoke, and maple flavoring.  Set aside.

On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, brush an even layer of olive oil. Place eggplant slices on the greased baking sheet. Turn them around so that now both sides are lightly greased from the sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the eggplant begins to brown lightly.

Remove from the oven and brush both sides of the eggplant with the soy sauce and seasonings mixture. Bake for another 4-5 minutes. Be sure that they do not burn and become too hard. They should darken because of the soy sauce mixture and slightly crisp.

Set them aside to cool and bend them as you like so they cool in a shape similar to that of bacon. Enjoy in salads, sandwiches, or in this scrumptious bacon cup recipe.

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Photo Credit: Shutterstock

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