by Catherine Misener
Looking for some healthy alternatives to bacon? Try LightLife’snew Smart Bacon in your next quiche or breakfast taco! New from LightLife is Smart Bacon – fat free, cholesterol free and low calorie. With 3.5 grams of soy protein per two strips, this bacon is a smart way of getting the FDA’s recommended 25 grams of soy each day.
Smart Bacon is 100% natural, without nitrates or MSG, and uses non GMO soy protein isolate.
We tried the bacon cooked in 1 tsp of vegetable oil (per directions on the package), in an omelette and in a quiche.
As just plain bacon, Smart Bacon was not very flavorful. It actually reminded us of (pork) bacon that is cooked until crispy. Some people like their bacon cooked very well done, while others prefer it a little less dry. If you are among the latter, you may not care for Smart Bacon. It had a nice bacon taste, was certainly not greasy, and cooked quickly and evenly. It just was missing that moistness you find in other bacon.
When we used the bacon in the omelette and quiche, we were much happier with the results. In the omelette, in provided a nice bacon flavor and a good texture (slightly crunchy), without the fat and cholesterol of pork bacon. We also made breakfast bacon & egg tacos on another day – also very good this way!
For the quiche, we browned the bacon first (following the directions on the package) before adding it to the other ingredients. The quiche had a very good bacon flavor (baking it may have brought out more of the flavor), and the bacon held up very well.
A note about cooking with Smart Bacon – it is very difficult to separate the bacon strips, which resulted in several broken pieces. If you are using the bacon in omelettes, tacos, quiche… then this should not pose a problem. If you are going to serve is as bacon strips you may have trouble keeping the strips in one piece! As this is a soy product and also does not contain fat, the bacon will cook very quickly. Cook the strips in a small amount of oil or cooking spray, over low heat. The bacon does not have to be “cooked” since is does not contain animal products – you are just heating the strips. For use in omelettes and other dishes do not cook for more than 2 -3 minutes, to keep the strips from drying out too much.
Is this as good as good as other types of bacon (pork, turkey)? It is without question healthier for you, but some flavor is certainly sacrificed. However, compared to other meatless bacons, Smart Bacon is a very good choice. It has the right appeal – color, texture, taste and is good mixed with other ingredients. We were especially pleased with the bacon & egg breakfast tacos – great flavor, without the grease and that heavy feeling you get from eating pork bacon. We would not use Smart Bacon in some salad recipes (where we have used tempeh bacon with excellent results), but for those who prefer a crunchy, bacon bit type product – this would be a good product to use.
Smart Bacon contains 14 strips per package, and costs approx. $2.49. If you frequently purchase LightLife products, you will probably find coupons in the inside of the packaging. You can find most LightLife products, including Smart Bacon, at your local chain grocery store and health food stores – check with the other soy products.