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Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! and Food Finds

I bet that got your attention! I don’t know too many people who don’t enjoy a crispy piece of bacon once in a while. Okay, I am sure if you are the exception you will let me know…LOL! If I cook up a pound of bacon my family jumps with joy! Seriously they do, they get so excited and then they want to crumble up a piece and sprinkle it on practically everything on their plate all the while shouting Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! Just like that doggy treats commercial.

ARE CURED MEATS SAFE TO EAT?

I guess if I cooked bacon more often they wouldn’t get so excited but it is high fat and then there is that nasty little thought in the back of my mind about the studies that say nitrates might cause cancer and well, how do I make that fit into a healthy diet? My Internet research resulted in a mix of conflicting studies that said nitrates are bad avoid them completely all the way to limit the amount of food containing nitrates in your diet and you will be fine. Another case of moderation is the key perhaps? I suggest you do your own research and make your own decision for you and your family.

WHAT DOES CURED MEAN?

According to Wikipedia; curing refers to various food preservation and flavoring processes, especially of meat or fish, by the addition of a combination of salt, sugar,nitrates or nitrites. Many curing processes also involve smoking.

WHAT DOES UNCURED MEAN?

The USDA  designates that certain products not preserved by adding sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate or a salt cure be called UNCURED. Instead many companies are now using natural celery powder, which contains naturally occurring nitrates that bring depth of flavor while inhibiting bacteria and helping the product to retain it’s color.

MY CHOICE

I have decided to limit our consumption of cured meats and once in a while when I do purchase bacon, hot dogs or Canadian bacon I now mostly buy the uncured pork or beef products that are raised with out hormones and antibiotics. I say mostly because hubby and son still think Oscar dogs are just fine but I am working on them. Katy and I prefer the uncured brands. I find these uncured items at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Costco and even the regular grocery store. Once in a great while I want to enjoy one of these food items and I do feel better about eating the uncured meat that is antibiotic and hormone free. I have found these products taste better, fresher and have no chemical after taste! Cha – Ching!

TRIED AND TRUE BRANDS MY FAMILY LIKES

The photo of the plate of bacon at the top of the post is this Hormel brand that can be found at the regular grocery store.. It made some great BLT’S. It has good flavor but it is not my first pick. I know it is more readily available at your regular grocery store and I would buy it if I couldn’t find the other brand.

This is our favorite uncured bacon from Niman Ranch. I get it at Trader Joes. The applewood smoke adds a depth of flavor.  If you live near a Whole Foods they have several brands to choose from.

This Canadian bacon is so good and perfect for making your own egg muffin sandwiches. I get it at Costco.

 

This was last nights dinner. Ezekiel Bread toasted, 2 slices of crispy bacon, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, avocado and Kraft reduced fat olive oil mayonnaise.

To keep it light we had fresh fruit and some fresh corn on the cob that I forgot to photograph but it was delicious and sweet! This is one of my favorite simple summer meals. Perfect for a hot night. If I want to keep from smelling up my house with bacon, I will set up the electric skillet on the patio table (after I cover the table with some brown packaging paper or a couple of paper sacks to absorb the bacon grease) and fry the bacon out there. It keeps my kitchen cleaner too! This isn’t health food by any means but it is a healthier version of what I would other wise classify as junk food!

 

I first learned about these uncured hot dogs from Marisa at Loser For Life. She gave them a glowing review. She was so right, they are very good. I have bought them a couple of times. It is the best tasting hot dog I have ever had ( I don’t usually like hot dogs) and it tastes like real food not processed mystery meat. I don’t often want a hot dog but last week I saw sauerkraut in the grocery store and it made me want a hot dog! Whole Foods carries them in my neck of the woods.

 

 

This is my favorite hot dog bun, they also make a fabulous burger bun. They use to be available at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods but now I can only find them at Raley’s and Belair grocery stores in the health food section. Check out your local health food store and be sure to store these bread products in the freezer as they are preservative free and they get moldy quickly.

 

 

Served on a whole grain bun like these sprouted buns from Alvarado ST makes one uncured hot dog quite filling. I know it is not the healthiest meal I could eat but I have made it healthy enough that I can still enjoy it!

 


Enjoying, lighter meals, longer days, sunshine and my family.

Tami


Have you tried any uncured meat products?


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13 comments

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  1. tj says:

    I had no idea what cured/uncured meant! Learn something NEW every day huh? :) THANKS!

    I would have come over anyway to read but the BACON BACON BACON did draw me in! lol :)

  2. Sharon says:

    Hey Tami, That sandwich looks yummy. It’s already 9 p.m. here. You’ve made me hungry again and I can’t eat anything else tonight. You are so lucky to have a Trader Joe’s close by. My closest are Nashville or Atlanta, both 200 miles away. I do have an Earth Fare (owned by Whole Foods), but have gotten spoiled by visiting Trader Joe’s while traveling.

    I just became an official “follower” of your blog. I thought for sure I had done that last week, but didn’t find my picture. But it’s there now!!

    Gonna check out some of your recipes. Have to find something new to try for one of my Freedom Challenge goals. Got some zucchini I need to use. I’m still questioning my moment of insanity when I set a goal that required me to COOK!!

  3. Tish says:

    Thank you for researching and for posting your findings. I enjoy bacon and canadian bacon once in a blue moon and it’s nice to know how to make it a bit more healthful. Your dinner looked yummy.

  4. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    I so rarely eat bacon or hot dogs that I don’t worry too much about it, but I’ve tried the Hormel bacon and it’s pretty tasty. I’ve also tried turkey bacon and liked it too. Canadian bacon is tasty but out of my price range just now.

    But every summer has to have at least one BLT and one hot dog with slaw to be complete! I rely on my family or friends for that. :)

  5. Carla says:

    Tami, you are inspiring me to get my butt to the grocery store to try out some new products. I also eat bacon once in a while, and I enjoy it very much when I do. I had some the other day with two eggs and some fruit on the side. An absolutely satisfying breakfast that’s for sure!

  6. Dawne says:

    May I come over for dinner????

  7. Diane Fit to the Finish says:

    I never heard of uncured meats either! We don’t eat pork or beef so our hotdog/bacon life is pretty nonexistent. Not that I think they are bad – we just haven’t eaten it for years and years. I have bought the veggie bacon before, but that is nothing like the real thing!

  8. Marisa @ Loser for Life says:

    Thanks for that info, Tami! And for the shout-out! I do love those hot dogs – certainly, the lowest calorie natural hot dog I have ever seen! Now, we just need to wrap them in Bacon! Bacon! Bacon! :)

  9. Carol says:

    No uncured meats here that I know of!
    I don’t eat bacon often but the other day I thought I would try turkey bacon…we both loved it! And of course we both love BLT….that was our “first date” meal many, many, many years ago!LOL

  10. karen@fitnessjourney says:

    Luckily I’m not that big on bacon or hot dogs. I haven’t eaten a hot dog since my best friend told me about a show she watched about the process of how hot dogs are made. I’ll spare you the details, but it totally grossed me out!

  11. Sarah @ Low Stress Weight Loss says:

    Thanks for this explanation of all these technical items.

    I do like bacon, but in small quantities & not often (I get overwhelmed by it otherwise)

    I consider bacon one of the foods that I consider the extra money for organic is well worth it. In my neck of the woods the brands and choices are different, but with effort I can find it.

  12. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    Great info! I don’t buy bacon and hot dogs very often, but when I do, I buy uncured ones. Thinking of bacon makes me want to make BLTs… I think I’ll have to add them to our meal plan this week!

  13. Tish says:

    Yay! I was stolling along today at Costco and came across the uncured Canadian Bacon! I remembered your post, recalled that Canadian Bacon is a WW CORE food and threw it in my cart. Thanks again!

  1. Beef and Bean Chili – Slow Cooker Weight Watchers PointsPlus 5 | says:

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