Coconut “Bacon” Bits

1 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari (I used coconut aminos)
1 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tbsp. liquid smoke (optional)
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

*Mix all liquid ingredients, whisk quickly. Add coconut and stir to coat all pieces evenly. Bake at 325F for 15-20, checking every 3-5 minutes to redistribute pieces as needed so that nothing burns. When browned (and resembling bacon bits), salt lightly and let sit for 10 minutes. Storing in the freezer will keep them nice and crunch. Great for snacking, salads…and potato skins! Here’s what the finished product should look like:

Coconut Bacon Bits

Cashew Sour Cream
1/2 cup soaked cashews
Splash apple cider vinegar
Squeeze of lemon wedge
Pinch of salt

*Blend all, stirring and shaking as necessary, until creamy. Can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

Potato Skins
6-8 medium potatoes
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
Dash of salt
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
Generous dashes of cumin, paprika, garlic powder
1 cup soaked cashews
Reserve of potato skins after baking (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk of choice
To taste: turmeric, sriracha (or other hot sauce), white vinegar, extra water
Chopped parsley, chives, or scallions

*Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake at 400F for about 40-50 minutes, or until a fork comes out easily. Scoop a generous portion out of each half, reserving for later.

*Swirl olive oil around medium saucepan to lightly coat bottom. Add onion and salt. Sweat the onion for about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cook another 2 minutes. Add cumin, paprika, garlic powder, and cashews. Let the cashews toast up a bit, just a couple minutes. Add reserved mashed potatoes, water, and milk. Cover and let come to a low boil. Remove from heat and let cool slightly before blending. Blend mixture to start to form the cheese sauce. Add turmeric, sriracha or other hot sauce, vinegar, and water to your liking. I needed about 3/4 cup water for this batch. Blend, stir, and taste until it has the color and texture you desire.

*Top each potato half with cheese and bacon bits. Put under a low broiler for just a couple minutes to get the potatoes all warm and melty but without burning the bacon. Add a scoop of sour cream to each and garnish with parsley, chives, or scallions. Amaze everyone that there is no meat or dairy in these potato skins!