Vegan bacon is widely available, and it’s also easy to make at home. You have strong reasons to choose it over traditional pig-based bacon.
What’s Wrong with Bacon?
Smoky, chewy, and full of flavor, no meat receives more hype than bacon. Unfortunately, bacon is quite possibly the world’s most terrible food when it comes to health, the environment, and animal cruelty. As a cured meat, bacon is heavily associated with colon cancer. Pig farms are infamous for polluting local wells and rivers. And bacon is commonly produced by farms that subject their pigs to appalling conditions. Vegan alternatives let you enjoy bacon’s unique flavors without the cruelty, the environmental damage, and the health risks.
While some veggieburgers and vegan sausages taste indistinguishable from their meat counterparts, no vegan bacon product is yet in this league. Today’s offerings are a “generation 1” sort of alternative. They won’t fool anybody, but they will give you the crispy-chewy texture, the fatty mouthfeel, and the fried smokiness that people crave.
You can make a delicious meat-free bacon substitute from scratch in your kitchen. Plus, there are a number of excellent vegan brands sold at natural food stores and better supermarkets. So let’s now run through all your options.
Making Vegan Bacon at Home
Believe it or not, there is an entire cookbook devoted to vegan bacon: Baconish, by Leinana Two Moons. This cookbook features every imaginable sort of bacon recipe, with main ingredients including everything from carrots to eggplant to coconut to chickpeas. And it’s got a fantastic assortment of bacon-oriented breakfasts, sandwiches, and main dishes. Baconish is a must-purchase for any bacon lover who wants to eat better.
Also, here’s a quick and easy vegan bacon recipe put out by the Plant-Based Bistro, along with an accompanying video.
Vegan Bacon Brands
Every good natural foods store carries at least one variety of vegan bacon. Here are some top brands:
- Lightlife: Smart Bacon
- Sweet Earth: Benevolent Bacon
- This: Isn’t Streaky Bacon (England only)
- Thrilling Foods: Bakon
- Turtle Island Foods: Tempeh Smoky Maple Bacon
- Upton’s Naturals: Bacon Seitan
Other Bacon-Style Products
- All Y’alls Foods: Big Crunchy Vegan Bacon Bits (Amazon.com link)
- Cool Foods: Hickory Smoked Veggie Bacon Bits (Amazon.com link)
- Louisville Jerkey Co.: Maple Bacon (jerky style)
To sum things up, you already have a number of exciting vegan bacon options. And given that well-funded vegan food companies are pouring millions of dollars into R&D, this product category has a remarkably bright future. Expect some astonishingly good new products to hit the market in the coming years.