How- to 13: Make Coconut" Bacon"

Coconut bacon with avocado and sprouts makes a simple salad into a meal!
This month's how-to is another useful vegan sprinkle for salads, soups and flans; one which I've seen all over the internet lately, even as a topping for some delectable-looking vegan butterscotch cupcakes at Post Punk Kitchen, cookbook author Isa Chandra Moscowitz's fantastic site. We are not into meat substitutes usually, as there are so many plant foods that are worthy of showcasing in their own right, but this one looked so delicious and versatile, we just had to try it out! Many recipes for coconut bacon contain an ingredient called Liquid Smoke, and I was all prepared to buy some online but I then found out there are some pretty serious health concerns with it, so I've stuck to smoked paprika instead.
These instructions make enough for a bowlful- keep any that are left (there may well not be; we could not stop munching on them long after the soup we served them with was gone!) in an airtight jar for next time...

2 cups (1 cup = 250ml) unsweetened coconut flakes
1 tab smoked paprika
2 tabs dark soy sauce/ Liquid Aminos/tamari
1 tab agave nectar/ maple syrup

1: Preheat your oven to 200C.

2:  Measure out the coconut and put it in a bowl. Stir in all the other ingredients.

3: Spread onto a shallow baking tray lined with baking paper or foil and cook for 10-20 minutes, turning with a spatula from time to time. Be careful not to overcook it as it will lose its flavour and just taste like charred coconut (which of course it is by this time). The "bacon" will crisp up as it cools down.


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