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These Vegan Bacon bits are crispy, crunchy, and packed with the wonderful smokey bacon flavor that we are all familiar with. It’s made with TVP (textured vegetable protein) and plenty of common ingredients.
Plus, it’s easy and fast to make. It’s a perfect topping to salads, jacket potatoes, roasted veggies, and many more.
Whip up yourself a batch now, and you can have your own homemade bacon-style bits for up to a month–they are great for keeping in the fridge or freezer.
Ditch the store-bought vegan “bacon” bits and make your own version. Its crunchy yet chewy form beats anything you can get from a store.
Are Bacon Bits Vegan?
It’s hard to believe, but most ready-made bacon bits are meatless already, as they don’t contain any real bacon. They are made with TVP soy protein. However, just because they are vegan, it doesn’t mean they are good for you.
Store-bought Bacon Bits
Store-bought bacon bit products often contain a host of unfamiliar ingredients, food dyes, and preservatives. All these of course are not healthy. Thus, if you want to ditch these and save a bit of money along the process, try making your own homemade bacon bits.
However, I’ve tried these Beans Vegan Bacon Bits from Cool Foods, and they are quite delicious. (I have no affiliation with this company, so you can trust my judgment on this.
Vegan Bacon Bits
This recipe of vegan bacon bits yields a small jar/airtight container. If you keep them in an airtight container, you can store them in the fridge or freezer for a few weeks. Unless you give in to the temptation and devour all the bits as a snack.
We prepare these vegan bacon bits with TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) aka Soja chunks, low in calories and fat, but rich in vegan protein and fiber.
Since they are neutral in flavor, they are great for absorbing any flavorings you add or marinate them into.
How Do Vegan Bacon Bits and Regular Bacon Compare?
These vegan bacon bits are 100% vegan, so they can be enjoyed by both meat and vegetarian eaters alike. Now, to be honest, if you do a blind tasting test and compare these two, we bet most people would be able to tell them apart.
With that said, we like them just as much as the real thing, as they taste equally great. If you have a gathering or mixed eaters, you can serve both the real and the vegan version to satisfy them all. Or you may serve these alone but label them “smoky bits” or “sprinkles”.
Ingredients for Vegan Bacon Bits
These vegan bacon bits as mentioned earlier are made with TVP, which is another name for textured soy protein or soy chunks.
TVP is protein-rich but low in fat. Usually, you purchase them from the store dry and then add some water to soak and soften it. In this recipe, you won’t have to add any moisture.
You just use the dry bits of processed soy straight from the pack,
Most big grocery and health-food stores have TVP, and it’s quite cheap, costing around $4/10 oz. or 283 gram per pack.
This recipe is so easy to make–all you need is 6-7 ingredients and just 10 minutes or so and you are done! It’s a piece of cake.
The remaining ingredients are soy sauce, liquid smoke, maple syrup, date syrup, smoked paprika, garlic granules, and onion granules.
What Is Liquid Smoke?
Liquid smoke is totally vegan. It’s a liquid made of distilling the smoke and steam that comes out from burning certain woods, e.g., hickory.
As the product is super-concentrated, you only require a few drops each time to add that smokey flavor to your dish.
I personally used hickory-smoked liquid smoke in this recipe, as it is the closest you can get to the real smokey flavor of bacon. You can find liquid smoke in the condiment/sauce area of a grocery or health food store.
How to use Vegan Bacon Bits
Bacon bits make a great topping for salads (I always use it with this Creamy Pea Salad), soups, like this Dill Pickle Soup, jacket potatoes, Avocado Toast, and roasted veggies. You can use bacon bits in many ways, and we are about to share more ideas in upcoming posts.
How to store Vegan Bacon Bits
To keep the bits crispy, make sure they are cool and dry enough before keeping them inside a container. Keep your bacon bits in an airproof container at room heat for up to 4 weeks.
Are Vegan Bacon Bits Healthy?
This recipe of vegan bits is made with soy protein chunks (as the key ingredient).
While many store-bought bacon bits are processed and packed with salt and preservatives, these are lower in fat, more natural, and higher in protein (amount % per serving).
To add saltiness without adding excess salt, you can try making it with liquid coconut amino. Otherwise, you can use light soy sauce to keep sodium levels under control.
Soy is generally a great vegan alternative to meat if used in moderation.
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- ¾ cup TVP/soy bits
- 2 tbsp light soy or coconut aminos sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp date syrup
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic granules
- ½ tsp onion granules
- ½ tsp maple syrup
- Set the oven to 300F/150C to preheat.
- Combine all the internet apart from the TVP in a mixing bowl. Stir until smoothie and well-combined.
- Add the TVP and combine until the liquid saturates all the TVP bits.
- Spread the marinated bacon bits over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
- Place in the oven for around 10 minutes. Check every 203 minutes to make sure the bacon bits don’t burn.
- Take out the baking sheet from the oven and allow the bits to cool for 5-7 minutes. This will help them dry out and become crispier.
- If you are not going to use them right after, keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the fridge for up to a month.
- You may skip the oven altogether, but the bacon bits will feel a bit soggy.
- You can adjust the flavorings as you wish and based on your own taste.
- To control sodium levels, replace soy sauce with a few drops of tamari or liquid aminos and 1 tbsp of water to dilute it.
- If you don’t have or can’t find any date syrup, you can replace it with extra maple syrup or 1 tbsp of molasses.
- This recipe yields around 1 cup (243 grams) of bacon bits.