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These Low-Fat Vegan Coconut “Bacon” Bites Satisfy a Mean Snack Craving

Munch on these the next time you’re craving a savory snack.

Are you a sucker for salty, crunchy, addictive chips? (And really, who isn’t?) Wellness chef Charles Chen has the perfect, all-natural swap: coconut “bacon” bites. The special seasoning makes coconut chips taste remarkably similar to bacon, but without all the saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

Chen is a chef, entrepreneur, and vivacious host of the online cooking show Kitchen Hustle, where “hustlers learn how to fuel their passions.” Throughout his childhood, Chen struggled with his health. As a teenager, he was prediabetic and a self-proclaimed couch potato who had no energy or motivation to make healthier choices. After hitting what he calls his “rock bottom moment,” he reclaimed his health, lost more than 100 pounds, and now helps others fuel their “bodies, mind, and spirit starting in the kitchen.”

The flavor of bacon is easier to replicate than you may think. That’s because bacon itself is heavily seasoned and cured (nope, it doesn’t just naturally taste that way), so you can mimic that process to create bacon-like treats with a variety of non-pork foods. (Exhibit A: Here’s our low-cal recipe for “bacon” bits made from shiitake mushrooms.)

This recipe uses a few special ingredients to provide the bacon-like flavor. Liquid aminos is essentially soy sauce, but it has less sodium and is gluten-free. The potent liquid aminos gives the coconut some savory umami flavor, so it tastes meatier. The other secret ingredient? Liquid smoke. That’ll make the coconut bacon bites taste like they’ve been smoked over wood chips.

You could eat these by the handful (watch your portion size, of course), or you could throw them into salads or atop some creamy avocado toast.

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp smoked cayenne pepper
  • pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos (or reduced sodium soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 3 and 1/2 cups large flaked coconut
  • Spritz of cooking spray

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl - add coconut flakes, drizzle the liquid aminos and syrup mixture and gently toss making sure to coat each flake well, about 45 seconds or so. Scoop the seasoned coconut flakes and place onto a lightly greased, or parchment paper lined, cookie sheet/s. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove when coconut has a nice browned and caramelized color. Let cool, (it will get crispy as it cools).
Charles Chen

This video features Charles Chen. Charles Chen is a chef, host, and wellness expert based in Los Angeles and New York City.

Duration: 2:11. Last Updated On: Nov. 8, 2017, 6:14 p.m.
Reviewed by: Dr. Preeti Parikh, . Review date: Sept. 10, 2017

Nutrition Information

Recipe Serves 5
Nutrition Information Based on a Single Serving
Amount Per Serving% Daily Value*
Calories
185
9% Complete
9%
Fat
16g
24% Complete
24%
Cholesterol
0mg
0% Complete
0%
Sodium
271mg
11% Complete
11%
Carbohydrates
10g
10% Complete
10%
Fiber
4g
16% Complete
16%
Sugar
6g
12% Complete
12%
Protein
2g
3% Complete
3%
*Percent Daily Value are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Dietary Needs

Dairy Free
Dairy Free
Gluten Free
Gluten Free
Lower Carbohydrate
Lower Carbohydrate
Lower Sugar
Lower Sugar
Vegetarian
Vegetarian
Lower Cholesterol
Lower Cholesterol
Lower Sodium
Lower Sodium
Vegan
Vegan
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