9 Healthier Ways to Enjoy Bacon

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9 Healthier Ways to Enjoy Bacon

by Bryn Mooth, SparkPeople Contributor
Unless you've been living on a deserted island the past few years, you've noticed the bacon trend. Bacon is everywhere: at food festivals, in chocolate and milkshakes--even as a toothpaste flavor! We can't get enough of our beloved bacon.

But piling bacon strips onto a giant cheeseburger isn't the only option for true bacon lovers. Here are nine ways to bring bacon back to your plate in a healthful and delicious way.


Use Bacon for Flavor

Cooked bacon packs a ton of crispy, salty, smoky goodness, making it a terrific flavor addition to add to all kinds of dishes, from soups to salads to pastas. Think of bacon as a flavoring, and you'll be more likely to use it sparingly. Just one 45-calorie slice of bacon goes a long way when crumbled into a dish.


Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

This classic 1970s bacon party appetizer--known as rumaki--has gotten a healthy makeover. The secret ingredient? Barbecue sauce!


Better-for-You Breakfast Sandwich

This easy bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich is faster (and healthier) than the drive-thru version. Add spinach and tomato to boost the nutrition.


BLT Salad

The key to this tasty salad is the dressing, which combines low-fat mayonnaise, garlic, chives and grated fresh tomato. It's tangy and creamy, the perfect supporting player. A big pile of chopped lettuce, additional chopped tomato, toasted croutons and crumbled bacon make a great salad, at just 150 calories. Get the recipe.


Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

This variation of the classic salad with bacon dressing gets lightened up thanks to a hint of artificial sweetener; reduce the bacon from 6 slices to 4 to save a few more calories.


Pasta with Vegetables & Bacon

Bacon plays a supporting role in this easy and flexible veggie pasta recipe. But a little bit goes a long way, giving lively flavor to an otherwise plain pasta dish. Get the recipe.

Photo courtesy of writes4food.com.



Healthier BLT Sandwich

This healthy BLT might better be called a TLB--with the emphasis on thick slices of perfectly ripe tomato. Use a good whole-grain bread, toast it well, and stack on three slices of cooked bacon, a generous pile of sliced tomato and lots of chopped crisp lettuce. Instead of mayo, swap in avocado for healthy fats and creamy goodness.

Apple-Glazed Carrots with Bacon

Baby carrots simmer in a braise of apple-cider vinegar and brown sugar; crumbled bacon and snipped chives on top add a pop of flavor.
Get the recipe.


Creamy Fettuccine with Shrimp and Bacon

Sounds like a calorie disaster, but this healthy pasta recipe has just 400 calories per serving. Bacon takes a back seat in this dish, which features peas and carrots and uses the bacon drippings to sauté fresh shrimp. Get the recipe.


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Member Comments on this Slideshow

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GRAPHICS2

6/20/2014 10:01:35 PM

GRAPHICS2's SparkPage
Nice to have new recipes for bacon. Love to includes all foods on the my program, without going overboard.

MLJCARMAN

6/17/2014 4:20:29 PM

MLJCARMAN's SparkPage
I love bacon but do not want chocolate covered bacon etc... and we do not need to add bacon to a hamburger sandwich that already has a bazillion calories.
I have heard that pigs are very smart though I don't know any personally.

HILLSLUG98239

6/17/2014 2:24:12 PM

HILLSLUG98239's SparkPage
I was a vegetarian for a long time. I had a co-worker who was really hostile everytime he noticed my meal had no meat. I asked him, "If I told you I didn't eat ice cream, would you constantly tell me I should?" He said no, and the reason he acted that way was he was "tired" of vegetarians "pushing" their beliefs on him. I reminded him I had NEVER told him he shouldn't eat meat, nor did I trumpet my food choices. He admitted he was being unfair.

So yeah, I get there a lot of reasons why people chose to not eat meat or to follow a vegan diet. But telling people their choices are immoral only alienates people. I want people to make educated choices about their diets, and I hope people understand the misery of animals in factory farms. But people are free to make their own choices.

Pigs are wicked smart, though. Ask anyone who's raised one.

DSHONEYC

6/17/2014 1:44:54 PM

DSHONEYC's SparkPage
Recently gave up pork in all forms. Have tried turkey bacon recently cause I can't imagine spinach salad without "bacon". It's pretty good. I think I will soon be giving up other warm blooded flesh foods...desparate to find rack of turkey next.

ROSALINDRUSSELL

6/17/2014 11:23:39 AM

If you want to really enhance your bacon experience, get your bacon from the meat counter at your grocery store. Big, thick slices of heaven. Way better than the packaged stuff, especially if you're using it in pasta or a salad.

ACHANSO

6/17/2014 9:45:02 AM

ACHANSO's SparkPage
Ps, how do you know the intelligence level of a pig? Either way, what does that matter?
As for "chemical laced," as you said.....You can get bacon without additives.

ACHANSO

6/17/2014 9:43:00 AM

ACHANSO's SparkPage
Mmm pass the bacon. Protein, great flavor, various uses. What's not to love? !

TRYINGHARD54

6/17/2014 7:44:36 AM

TRYINGHARD54's SparkPage
well, I like bacon. no carbs. if you don't like it don't eat it,,, simple !

ZWOMAN916

6/17/2014 6:06:57 AM

Frecklepup needs to stop trying to push their immoral views on others. If you don't like bacon, God gave us the gift of choice SO DON'T EAT IT! Not many things are more irritating than the opiniated trying to force their view on others.

CHARMAINE.C

6/17/2014 2:50:33 AM

Bacon milkshake? Bacon chocolate? Bacon Toothpaste?? Ridiculous! Not for me thanks.

FRECKLEPUP

6/17/2014 2:18:54 AM

Must we bacon-up everything? Bacon is the chemical-laced, salted muscles and fat of animals just as smart as dogs and closely related to us genetically. It's bad for us and it's immoral to eat it.

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