Bacon bits are a savoury, crunchy, delicious extra for sprinkling on top of salads, baked potatoes or fall and winter soups.
But then you like to eat less meat and you think you are stuck. At least that was what I though. I would never be able to turn veggie or vegan, since I would miss bacon way to much. Not true though. It's not the bacon I miss, it's the smokey flavour. And that is a lot easier to replicate. All thanks to 'liquid smoke'. Who knew there was something like 'smoke in a bottle'.
This recipe will give you a small jar full of bacon bits. Add them to an air tight container in your fridge and you'll have something to sprinkle on top of all your meals for the few days. Unless you can not help yourself and start eating the bits by the handful as a snack.
We make these vegan bacon bits with TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) also known as Soja chunks (Sojabrokken in Dutch). Low in fat and calories, very high in protein and a great source of fibre. Since they are flavourless they are perfect to absorb any flavour you marinate them into.
The preparation of the TVP is very simple and very important at the same time. Before adding them to the brine, sift them so you don't have the 'flour' substance in your meal.
I found the recipe for this bacon brine on the website from Shane.
Smoky crispy vegan bits
- ½ cup TVP (textured vegetable protein) use small or large, depending on what you like
Ingredients for the smoky brine
- 2 Tbsp low sodium tamari sauce substitute with coconut aminos or soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Place all ingredients for the brine in a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer.
- Once the mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat.
- Add the TVP and stir. Let sit, stir occasionaly until all the liquid has been absorbed.
- Pre-heat oven to 225° F / 100°C. If your oven is not able to go this low, be extra careful to not burn your bacon bits.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the TVP out evenly on the baking sheet and place in the oven. Roast for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven en shake the baking sheet so the bacon bits will cook evenly. Repeat until the bacon bits are crispy. Be careful not to burn, especially important if you had to set your oven temperature higher than the 225° F /100°C.