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The Smell of Bacon

Who wants bacon? That was a question I didn’t even have to ask when I recently prepared some of the Simple Truth Uncured Bacon in our company’s Break Room. Just the smell of the bacon drifting down the hallway enticed people to stop by with hopes of getting a sample. What a big hit! The co-workers that tasted it were asking me, “Where do I get this?” “What’s the name of it?” ”How is it different?” You may have seen the recently released Simple Truth Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon and wondered if you should try it. My coworkers and I would say DEFINITELY! It’s a wonderful tasting product.

So with all the other bacon choices available, why would we want to add another one? This Simple Truth Bacon is different in several areas. The first thing I noticed is that it uses brown sugar, sea salt and celery powder for flavoring. It still has the traditional sweet/salty taste but with less sodium per slice. This ST Bacon has 70 mg of sodium per slice compared to an average of 100 mg in the other bacons. I also saw that the animals sourcing this product have been given a 100% vegetarian diet, no added hormones and no antibiotics, and they have been humanely treated. I love that there is full disclosure about the ingredients. I appreciate knowing that there are no preservatives and no added MSG in the product. It is minimally processed to give us a good tasting, easy to prepare, nutritionally improved bacon.

In terms of cooking the bacon, I was able to pan fry it using an electric skillet and microwave it. The pan-frying was preferred by most people. It yielded a more traditional looking browned strip of bacon compared to the microwaved samples. Both were blotted with paper towel to remove some of the fat and had a crispy texture. I think this bacon will cook up about the same regardless of the method chosen. What a great choice to have without sacrificing quality! 

The sample I was sent was the 12-ounce package. There will also be a thicker-cut 20-ounce size available. More options … more ways to keep us as happy connoisseurs.

In addition to the standard serving of bacon strips, here are some creative options.

  • BLT salad: Start with Simple Truth Organic Spring mix; add some halved Simple Truth Organic Grape tomatoes and crumbled Simple Truth Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon.  Top with some ranch dressing.
  • Hot dog wrap: (This is great for the grill.) Partially cook the bacon in the skillet to help render out some of the fat. Then wrap one strip of bacon around each hot dog, covering it from end to end. Grill the dogs like normal.
  • String bean or Asparagus bundles: Line a lipped baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, then use a half slice of bacon to secure a serving-sized portion of fresh beans or asparagus. Roast for about 25 minutes in a 375 F oven.
  • Pig candy: Cut strips of uncooked bacon into thirds. Wrap each part around a cocktail wiener, secure with a toothpick, coat with Simple Truth Organic Light Brown Sugar, then bake at 350 F for about 40 minutes or until bacon is crispy and browned. This also works great with dates or hot dogs cut into pieces about 2” long..
  • Bacon-wrapped mango: Thaw a package of Simple Truth Organic Mangos. Combine 3 tablespoons of the juice with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon of ginger, and a dash of garlic powder. Add one cup of the mangos, and let marinate for 1 to 2 hours.  Drain off the juice. Wrap each chunk of mango with a third of a strip of bacon. Secure with a toothpick if desired to make handling them easier. Place on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave on high for about 5-9 minutes. (Time will vary based on wattage of microwave and quantity being prepared.)

Bacon has been a popular food trend this past year. It has been so popular that my nephew’s wedding reception had plates of candied bacon strips as part of the appetizer table. It is a versatile food that can be included at fall football parties, on top of salads, as part of a sandwich, and let’s not forget -- it is good for breakfast. Fry up some bacon, and you too may see people come running for samples!

What is your favorite way to prepare bacon?

Karen Ilhardt

Karen’s role as Home Economist in the Kroger Customer Connect (C|c) is to answer customer questions and write about recipes, ingredient substitutions, and Food Safety.  She holds BS and MS degrees from The Ohio State University’s College of Home Economics with a specialty in Resource Management.  Karen also has teaching credentials from Miami University (of Ohio) and Wright State University. 

After having been a food teacher for 20 years she transferred to the corporate world in 2011.  Farming and crafting have always been a part of her life.  Karen values being part of our food production and preparation processes PLUS  being able to share those experiences with others.  The Simple Truth Brand embraces the wholesome nature of the foods we select and consume which makes a perfect choice for Karen’s lifestyle.

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