Two of my favorite nerds, Brian Walker and David Salt spell it all out in Resilience Thinking, which helps the lay person grasp some pretty powerful concepts. One that has stuck with me is the concept of redundancy, which basically means that in a resilient system, there are more than one way to do any single thing, like a kitchen with a flat cheese grater, a standing cheese grater, a cheese grater that you crank and a planer. It flies in the face of efficiency and optimization, but I can see how it makes sense.
I bring this all up now because, in the spirit of redundancy, I want to share a recipe for a little thing that acts a lot like a bacon bit, but I don't care to force it into a "replace your bacon bits" place--I wouldn't dare, dears, especially in this almost overpoweringly pro-bacon climate.
But seriously, these little peppery crunchy things are great, whether or not bacon exists in the world. My sweetheart is now obsessed with their salty crunch. We eat them on salads, breakfast potatoes, casseroles, avocados and any place a little bacon wouldn't be argued with. You can make this recipe in the oven but I recommend using a dehydrator.
1 cup almonds (soaked in saltwater and then dehydrated is best, but any almonds will do)
3 tablespoons amino acids
1 teaspoon coarse ground pepper
Pulse the almonds in a food processor until the largest pieces are a little bigger than the size of a bacon bit. Combine all ingredients and spread flat on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate for a day or two until the nuts are completely dry. They will form flat sheets which can be used like bacon strips if you're careful, or break them up and store in an airtight container.
If you don't have a dehydrator, spread the combined ingredients flat on a baking sheet (lining the sheet with parchment paper will make a tidier experience) and bake at the lowest temperature your oven is capable of, checking occasionally to make sure the almonds aren't browning. If they do start to brown turn off the oven, keeping the oven door closed. After the oven has cooled check the bits to see if they have lost all their moisture. Repeat with another round of oven heat if necessary, checking again to make sure the nuts don't brown. Store in an airtight container.
Also, let's try this: