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The Plant-Based Vegan Bacon You'll Want to Eat with All the Things

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Photo: AnnaPustynnikova / Getty Images

Have you ever thought about going vegan or vegetarian, but stopped in your tracks when you thought about one specific food you'd have to give up? Was that food bacon?

Good news: Vegan bacon exists.

FYI: Even if you have no intention of going vegan or vegetarian, there are plenty of reasons to reduce your meat intake and make plants the star of your plate. Research shows that following a well-balanced plant-based diet and being mindful about meat consumption can help reduce your risk of certain illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and obesity. You don't even have to go full-on vegan to reap the benefits—simply incorporating more plant foods and reducing meat portion size and frequency of consumption will also do the trick.

But one of the things that holds people back from following a more plant-based diet is worrying they won't be able to find satisfying alternatives to their favorite foods. And bacon, understandably, is high on that list for many people. If you're nodding your head RN, then this recipe is for you. (True, you can use tempeh to make great vegan bacon, but that's not the only option.)

Mushrooms are a delicious way to add umami flavor to your day. Just a rather obvious but necessary note: Mushrooms are not bacon, and therefore this recipe is not going to taste exactly like crispy pork bacon, but it's not supposed to. It's a delicious, craveable food in its own right that hits that sweet-salty sweet spot—and it's a helluva lot healthier whether you're exclusively plant-based or not. (P.S. There are some bomb vegan cheese alternatives out there too.) Enjoy this vegan bacon with eggs or tofu scrambles, in a salad, on sandwiches, with popcorn, or as a garnish for soups and Buddha bowls—whether you're vegan, vegetarian, plant-based, or just hungry.

Mushroom Vegan Bacon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Makes: about 1 cup (or eight 2-tablespoon servings)

Ingredients

  • 8 oz sliced cremini or white mushrooms, washed and dried
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 dash of sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Cover a baking sheet with foil.
  2. Toss mushrooms with olive oil, spices, and maple syrup until well coated. Spread evenly on foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. Bake until mushrooms are crispy but not burned, about 35 to 45 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool before covering. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Nutrition Information (per 2 tablespoons): 59 calories, 5g fat (0g saturated), 3g carbs, 1g protein.

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