There’s almost nothing better than the smell of bacon frying in a pan, especially on a weekend morning. The snap, crackle, and pop of the oil hissing in the pan. The addictively delicious smell as it wafts through the air and beckons you to get out of bed and head down to the kitchen for breakfast. Ahhh…excuse me while I have a moment.
But what if you practice a vegan, vegetarian, or plant-based lifestyle? Are you banned from enjoying that sweet sensation? Not at all, thanks to carrot bacon. Yes, you read that right, carrot bacon.
Health benefits of carrots
According to the Cleveland Clinic, carrots are a great source of Vitamin A. All you need is a half cup to receive 51% of your daily value. Carrots are also great for your eyes, and heart health, and may even help reduce the risk of cancer.
Christianna Gozzi MA, MS, RD, LD, and Owner of Gozzi Nutrition, shares that carrots are rich in beta carotene. This form of vitamin A is essential for vision. Plus, beta carotene supports reproductive health for both men and women and is required for proper immune function.
She explains that carrots also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that supports gut health and may help reduce your risk for heart disease. Carrots are also a good source of potassium, which is a mineral that works with sodium to regulate blood pressure. No wonder Bugs Bunny was always munching on a carrot!
Carrot bacon recipe
According to Gozzi, carrot bacon is simply thinly sliced carrots, tossed in smoky seasoning, and air-fried or baked to crispy perfection. “This plant-based option is a delicious and fun alternative to traditional bacon,” she says.
If you are curious about carrot bacon, give this simple carrot bacon recipe a try courtesy of Melissa Collins, chef and food scientist at Perfect Brew.
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 large carrots, peeled
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ Tbsp garlic powder
- ½ Tbsp maple syrup
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- ¼ tsp paprika
- Whisk together black pepper, garlic powder, maple syrup, olive oil, paprika, liquid smoke, and soy sauce.
- Peel the carrots to make thin slices.
- Soak the carrot slices in the marinade for ten minutes.
- Cook the carrot strips in the oven for 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Gozzi says you can use carrot bacon in place of traditionally cooked bacon either on its own or in recipes.
“At breakfast, make a vegan egg sandwich with carrot bacon, scrambled tofu, and vegan cheese, or sprinkle carrot bacon on top of a vegan caesar salad for a crunchy topping at lunch.”
You can also impress your plant-based friends with carrot bacon on a charcuterie board at your next gathering.
The next time you are wondering what to do with all of those extra leftover carrots in your refrigerator, transform them into plant-based bacon with this delicious, and nutritious, recipe for carrot bacon. Bon appetit!