My husband and kids (well 2 of the 3) LOVE bacon. Noah can actually eat an entire pound of bacon by himself in one sitting, yeah, I know, teenagers. I snapped a picture of how I cook bacon because I think it is a really good technique:
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (not parchment paper)
Place a baking rack on top of the cookie sheet
Lay out the bacon on top of the baking rack and cook according to package instructions.
Why cook it this way?
- When you cook it in a frying pan, it makes a total mess of your cooktop
- The bacon cooks a little faster this way
- The majority of the bacon grease drips through the baking rack onto the cookie sheet which leaves your bacon less greasy and allows you to save the bacon grease for other recipes more easily. You still need to blot the bacon with a paper towel, but it is much less so than when the bacon cooks in its own grease.
Here are some other things to think about with bacon:
Adding bacon to a salad, sautéed veggies or a lettuce wrap is an excellent way to make your food more flavorful!
- When you buy bacon, look at the ingredient list. I have yet to find one in the store that doesn’t contain a trace amount of sugar. Still, look for a brand that is nitrate free and has the fewest ingredients possible.
- If you are zoning, I consider bacon a fat, not a protein. My nutrition label says that 1 strip of bacon contains 70 calories, 7 grams of fat and 2 grams of protein. So, indulge with a little bit of caution as it is easy to scarf down 3 or 4 pieces of bacon kind of mindlessly.
- If you are eating pretty clean, you don’t really need to watch your sodium, but if you are having a bad day, bacon may not be your go to food as it does contain a fair amount of sodium.
- Bacon contains about 40% saturated fat and about 50% mono unsaturated fat. This is not anything to worry about. The remaining 10% could be polyunsaturated fatty acids (think Omega 6), depending on what the pig ate (think corn and soy). However, if you are already avoiding major sources of Omega 6s like vegetable oils, you should be just fine.
So if you don’t eat pig products, I get it. What about turkey bacon? If you also buy a high quality, nitrate free brand with very few ingredients, go for it. It is not going to generate the same kind of grease as traditional bacon, so I do cook it on parchment paper. Here are some other things to note about Turkey Bacon:
- The nutritional breakdown is somewhat different than traditional bacon, with 35 calories per slice, 1.5 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein. So, I do consider turkey bacon a protein not a fat when I am zoning.
- The sodium levels are even higher on turkey bacon than traditional, so indulge with caution if you have eaten a lot of other salty foods.
- In a saucy or meat based recipe, I find it rather hard to distinguish between turkey bacon and traditional bacon, so it can be a good substitute.
So indulge for sure, but as with most things, keep moderation in the back of your mind too!