Vegan Bacon

Fakin' Bacon
Fakin’ Bacon

So, I’ve been looking at this product for quite some time now, and this past grocery-shopping day I finally got brave enough to throw a box of this in my shopping cart. The brand is Lightlife “Smart Bacon (R),” and since I do like some of their other vegan products I decided to take a chance on this. So, what is it like?

First and foremost, because this is a vegan “meat” there is only 1 gram of fat per serving, which means you must heat a little bit of vegetable oil in your frying pan before cooking up the strips, otherwise you will get a stuck-to-the-pan disaster. Second, do not expect it to be just like bacon. It’s darn near impossible to get a vegan twin of bacon, so don’t expect miracles, however the company did a pretty good job of  it. It doesn’t take long to get crispy and it has a delightful smoky flavor (and aroma) that appeals to the senses. Because it doesn’t have that heavy dose of fat-marbling like real bacon you can’t expect it’s texture to be the same, but that isn’t a problem, especially since that carries the bonus of skipping the “paper-towel-fat-blotting” step.  And then there’s the nutrition factor: Side by side with real bacon, Smart Bacon strips is a definite winner! In a comparison of two strips of real bacon vs. two strips of Smart Bacon, this is what we find (from the Self Nutrition Data website):

  • Carbohydrates: Bacon: Zero grams,  Smart Bacon: 1 gram
  • Cholesterol: Bacon: 18 mg,  Smart Bacon: Zero mg
  • Calories: Bacon: 86,  Smart Bacon: 40
  • Sodium: Bacon: 164 mg,  Smart Bacon: 300 (okay, this one isn’t so great, I admit)
  • Protein: Bacon: 6 grams,   Smart Bacon: 4 grams
  • Fat: Bacon: 6 grams (2 saturated) Smart Bacon: 2 grams (none saturated)

These Smart Bacon strips went well on my BLT, paired well with my breakfast tofu scrambler, and tasted great when crumbled as a salad topping. I will definitely be looking for this product again when I need my next bacon “fix.”

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