5 Bacon Recipes That Are Actually Healthy
Admit it: If you could have it your way, every day would be bacon day. However, International Bacon Day(1) is celebrated only once a year, and that's on the 29th of August. Not to mention, eating heaps of salty pork on the reg isn't good for your health. But, it's not all bad news: You see, in just a few weeks, we'll all welcome this quirky celebration, which means we'll be able to fry, bake, or sizzle the treat to our heart's content.
However, the highlight of the day is that this year we don't run the risk of clogging our arteries thanks to TVP bacon. Made with defatted soy protein, this "faux meat" reduces the amount of sodium/saturated fat that we receive through each bite, sparing us the heart attack. So, if you're ready to down mounds of bacon without compromising on your health, these five bacon recipes are definitely worth your attention.
1. Zucchini-Bacon Egg Cups
Ready in less than 30 minutes, these bacon-y egg cups are perfect for anyone who wants to rush out the door in the morning, but hates the idea of starting the day on an empty stomach. Plus, they are packed with protein thanks to the eggs, so it's a win-win for everyone.
- 9 eggs
- ½ cup TVP bacon bits
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 zucchini, grated
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Add the bacon bits to a bowl along with one cup of warm water. Soak for 15 minutes, squeeze away excess liquid, and transfer to a pan. Cook them for a few minutes until they turn crispy.
- Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients one by one.
- Preheat the oven to 400oF and grease a muffin tin.
- Pour the mixture in each cup, filling ¾ of the way. Bake for half an hour or until the cups turn golden brown.
2. Chocolate Bacon Peanut Bark
Chocolate and peanuts are a match made in heaven. But, if you want to go the extra mile flavor-wise, bacon could serve as your "secret weapon." Pro tip: Opt for unsalted peanuts because bacon's saltiness is enough as it is.
- 1/3 cup TVP Bacon Bits
- 3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup unsalted peanuts
- Add the bacon to a bowl with warm water and soak for 15 minutes. Then, squeeze the bits to get rid of excess liquid and set them aside.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 400°F. Bake the bites for 10-15 minutes or until they turn brown and crispy.
- Fill a pot with water and place a heatproof bowl on top of it. Add the chocolate to the bowl and bring the water to a boil. Keep stirring with a spatula as the chocolate starts melting.
- Stir in the bacon and peanuts and pour the mixture to the baking sheet. Make sure you spread it evenly.
- Refrigerate the bark for one hour. Make sure you let it thaw for 2-3 minutes before you cut it into pieces.
3. Bacon-y Roasted Chickpeas
Salty, crunchy, and packed with fiber, roasted chickpeas are the ultimate "clean-eating" snack. However, this recipe catapults the treat into the indulgent territory by introducing TVP Bacon to the mix. And you know what that means: You can have your flavor (and nutrients), too!
- 1 ¼ cups dehydrated chickpeas
- 3 tbsp TVP Bacon Bits
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- Add the chickpeas and 2 cups of warm water to a bowl and soak the chickpeas overnight.
- Once hydrated, pat them dry with a towel and transfer them to a bowl.
- Toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Preheat the oven to 350oF and roast the chickpeas for about an hour or until they turn golden and crispy.
- Then, stir in the bacon bits and serve.
4. Bacon & Raisin Oatmeal Cookies
Oatmeal raisin is a classic cookie combination. But, throw in a little bacon, and you've got yourself a treat that even gourmet chefs would be proud of. Pro tip: You can use honey or agave instead of granulated sugar for a healthier version.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 2/3 cup raising
- ¾ cup TVP Bacon Bits
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- A pinch of salt
- In a bowl, pour 2 cups of warm water and the bacon and soak for 15 minutes. Once done, squeeze the bits to remove excess water and place them in a skillet. Cook the bacon for a while until it turns gold and crispy. Set aside.
- Add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt to a bowl and mix to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the butter and sugar and mix using an electric mixer. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix well. Lastly, stir in the dry ingredients.
- Once evenly combined, fold the bacon, oats, and raisins into the batter and form the dough into small balls.
- Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for about an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 375oF and bake the cookies for 20-25 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
5. Bacon Vinaigrette Dressing
If you're looking for a way to make your salads more exciting, this bacon vinaigrette recipe is where the money's at. Despite its fancy looks, the dressing is pretty easy to make and calls for basic ingredients, which you probably already have in your pantry. Plus, it takes minutes to prep, which is always a plus.
- ½ cup TVP Bacon Bits
- 1 tsp dried garlic
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- Place the bacon in a bowl and top with warm water. Soak for 15 minutes to hydrate.
- Then, squeeze away excess liquid and place the bacon in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until the bacon turns crispy.
- Transfer the bacon to a plate and reserve the liquids in the skillet.
- Add the remaining ingredients to the skillet and bring the mixture to a boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes and fold the bacon bits.
- Transfer to a jar and serve it on top of salads, chicken fillets, or roasted vegetables.
Which bacon recipes will you use to celebrate International Bacon Day? Let us know in the comments down below!