Recipe developed & contributed by Maureen Gualtieri
In this month’s recipe, the eternal salad topper, bacon bits, gets a smoky, decadent (and vegetarian) reinterpretation. Whip up a handful of these spicy coconut curls – featuring DFC’s Original BBQ Sauce – anytime you have a BLT, bowl of soup, or tofu that needs a little nutty crunch. Roasting times do vary depending the size and thickness of your coconut slices: after about 10 minutes in the oven, watch carefully for ideal goldenness. They are great topping anything that could use a little bacon, and even better snacked right off the pan!
Smoky Apple Coconut “Facon”
(Yield: 2 cups)
2 cups unsweetened dried coconut slices
2 tbsp DFC’s Original BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp fresh black pepper
Generous pinches of sea salt, to taste
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with foil or parchment.
In a large bowl, whisk together the DFC’s BBQ sauce, apple cider vinegar, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Then add your unsweetened coconut slices and stir with a silicone spatula for a good couple of minutes, until all the slices are completely coated.
Spread the slices evenly on your prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt. (Remember, this is a bacon replacement, so you can be generous.) Place in the oven and roast in intervals of five minutes, stirring the slices well so they all switch places on the pan. Sprinkle with another dose of salt during one of these stirs. Repeat the 5-minutes-then-stir cycle for up to 20 minutes, watching the coconut slices very carefully for a deep gold colour after the first 10 minutes.
When the “facon” reaches your desired level of doneness, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool until crispy. Enjoy any way you would traditional bacon, and store leftovers (if any!) in an airtight container for up to a week.