Applegate Bacon – adding flavor and texture to healthy dishes
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received complimentary samples to try this product and was paid by Applegate to write this post. All comments and opinions are my own.
It’s January 8th–the heart of the get healthy New Year’s Resolution mania–and I am a registered dietitian nutritionist talking about bacon!
It goes back to my post from earlier this week. If there is one thing that I’ve learned in culinary school it is that eating well comes down to balancing both nutrients AND the five tastes at every meal, as this is how we leave the table satisfied and content. This is a central message I’ll be sharing throughout 2015–the important role that balancing flavors plays in being satisfied with your meals and not wanting for more.
In my opinion, bacon is an excellent ingredient for balancing the tastes of a healthy meal. It’s salty, smoky, meaty flavor and crunchy texture adds so much to so many dishes.
The kicker is you only need small amounts to get the flavor and texture you desire (ideas on that are below)!
That’s why I’m dedicating a January post to bacon…because when used in smaller quantities to add flavor and texture to meals it doesn’t have to be a forbidden food while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. On the contrary, it can be a flavor and texture enhancer that completes a meal and makes it satisfying!
Don’t get me wrong, though, I don’t purchase bacon with reckless abandon. Not at all. There’s a wide range in the quality and nutrition of bacon products on the market and making the right selection is important.
That’s why I like the Applegate line of natural bacon products. The one I am focusing on here is Applegate Naturals Applewood Smoked Uncured Good Morning Bacon, which is:
- uncured, keeping the sodium content lower than cured bacon
- made with pork shoulder, a leaner cut of meat than pork belly
- free of added nitrates and nitrites, which are known carcinogens
- not administered antibiotics
- gluten-free, casein-free, and dairy-free
I particularly like using bacon to add flavor and texture to plant-based dishes, as we can all benefit from eating more fruits, veggies, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Here are some ideas, with links to recipes from sources I trust (note: I have not tested these recipes myself):
- Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing – Food Network
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic and Shallots – Cooking Light
- Butternut Squash and Apple Soup with Bacon – Epicurious
- Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus – Yummly
- Mixed Grains with Green Beans and Crispy Bacon – Food and Wine (Note: if you need to eat gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free grains mixture)
How do you use bacon to enhance the flavors of a plant-based dish? Please share via the comments box below.