So, you’re a vegan. That doesn’t mean you don’t miss bacon. Even the most enlightened among us can’t help but crave a strip of savory bacon from time-to-time. There’s just something about its crispness, its saltiness, and that hint of smoke that make us hanker for it long past the bells of breakfast.
This past week, vegan cook Tabitha Brown went viral on social media platform TikTok after her recipe for carrot “bacon” elicited some 12 million views, per PlantBasedNews.org. On IGTV, the same recipe video also yielded quite the response with 578,840 views and counting. Check out the clip below.
So what is it, exactly about carrot-based bacon that makes our hearts sing so? (Okay, we love tempeh bacon, too.) As the maker of our go-to carrot “bacon” recipe, Chris Riley, culinary expert and founder of The Daring Kitchen has an inkling of a clue, having mastered a smoky, savory rendition of the vegan favorite.
“This is a great healthy snack to make for a few days ahead, especially if you are meal prepping. The Dijon, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce give a rich taste to the vegetable and will definitely surprise anyone that is skeptical towards carrot chips or ‘bacon,'” he tells us. Try serving your carrot “bacon” with a dip like guacamole or hummus or a cashew-based cheese dip. Or, serve on sandwiches or veggie burgers as a delightful topper.
Worth noting: “If you want to make this extra authentic use a small amount of liquid smoke (a substitute for cooking with wood smoke). It is quite concentrated so ½ teaspoon will be enough to add to the mix before baking,” says Riley. Yes, please, bring on the umami.
Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some vegan portobello burgers to whip up to accompany these savory slivers.
Easy Carrot Bacon
- 4 carrots
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp honey substitute maple syrup for vegan version
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray and set aside.
- Use a mandolin to slice the carrots lengthwise into thin strips. Be careful not to break the strips
- Combine all the ingredients except the carrots in a medium sized bowl. Whisk them until smooth;
- Brush both sides of the carrot strips with the mixture;
- Spread the coated carrots on the prepared baking sheet and put them in the oven. Bake for approximately 10 minutes and take them out. Flip each carrot slice and return to the oven. Cook for 5-10 more minutes or until the slices get lightly brown and get them out of the oven;
- Leave them uncovered until they are completely cool. You can cover them or put them in a paper bag. Store them at room temperature.