RECIPE: Carrots you’ll love like bacon

I’ve been experimenting with different plant-based bacon recipes, looking for a heart-healthy option. Strictly speaking, the search for a meaty-tasting meat alternative that perfectly replaces meat remains ongoing. But along the way, I discovered a shockingly delicious vegetarian preparation for carrots. If you’re looking to add more vegetables to your sandwiches and salads, carrots seasoned and cooked like bacon is the way to go.

ExploreRECIPE: Bacon from carrots? Yes.

A single carrot makes more than enough “bacon” for two people. Be particular about the carrot you choose. Look for one that is thick from end to end; skinny carrots make narrow strips that can burn. Use a vegetable peeler to quickly slice the carrot into strips. Really push down as you go to give the strips a little extra thickness. You can also make thick-cut carrot strips (that look just like real bacon) using a knife to cut the carrot lengthwise into four or five pieces. This is a good option if you prefer chewier carrot bacon.

Soak the strips in a savory marinade that complements the carrot’s natural sweetness. In addition to bacon-inspired flavors like garlic and maple syrup, I add deep, earthy notes with miso paste. I think the miso is a fantastic flavor addition. However, it is optional in this recipe because it’s not practical to buy a tub of miso if you’re only going to use a tablespoon here. But if you are a fan of soup or salmon, miso can be a versatile staple ingredient in your kitchen.

For the ultimate crispy-tender texture, cook the carrot “bacon” in an air fryer. You can also saute it in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until the edges are dark brown. Enjoy your carrot “bacon” in any dish that needs a little extra flavor or eat it my preferred way: straight out of the cooker.

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This recipe makes very thin “bacon.” For thicker slices, use a sharp knife to cut the carrot lengthwise into 4 or 5 strips. Air fry at 350 degrees 5 minutes per side.

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