Bacon-wrapped asparagus is nothing new — but when you glaze those succulent, pork-covered shoots with sweet, sugar-free maple “syrup” and sprinkle them with crushed pecans, the dish enters a totally different realm. This splendid springtime treat is sure to charm the whole family, and it makes a stunning side dish for dinner parties, too!
Tips for making the Maple-Glazed Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus
Luckily, this is a very easy dish to make — it doesn’t get any harder than wrapping the bacon around the asparagus spears. Plus, you can make as much (or as little!) as you like, since the recipe is so easy to adjust. Also, this is also a wonderful dish for grilling, so keep it in mind for your next barbecue.
Instead of the mixture of Sukrin Fiber Syrup Clear and natural maple flavoring, you can use sugar-free maple syrup, if you can find it. Even though it’s sugar-free, Sukrin syrup is known to raise blood sugar levels in some people: if you’re one of them, feel free to use an alternative sweetener that suits your system. And if you can’t find sugar-free maple syrup or Sukrin syrup (that seems to be currently bloody hard to find, just when I post a recipe using it!), you can mix 2 tablespoons of water, some sweetener (stevia or powdered erythritol) and 2 teaspoons of maple flavor to create an instant “syrup” you can use for brushing the bacon-wrapped asparagus spears. Also brown sugar substitute should work fine if you mix it with water so that it dissolves well (might be a good idea to heat the mixture).
So, let’s take a look at how to prepare this amazingly tasty dish:
Take some asparagus spears. This recipe calls for 16 spears. Wash them and snap off the woody stems. Here are more detailed instructions. You don’t have to peel the asparagus.
Take the same amount of bacon slices (here, I’m using 16 slices, since I have those 16 asparagus spears).
Wrap each asparagus spear in bacon, using 1 slice per spear.
Lay the wrapped spears in a glass or ceramic baking dish in a single layer.
Combine the Sukrin syrup…
…and the maple flavoring.
Brush the wrapped asparagus spears with the maple mixture.
Sprinkle the crushed pecans on top.
Bake in the preheated oven until the bacon is crispy, about 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven…
My asparagus experiments
This week, I wanted to post an easy recipe featuring the green goddess of spring — asparagus. I had several ideas, from which I chose three for further development. They were just ideas, and I hadn’t tried them out to see if they’d really work in practice. So it was about time to get started!
My first idea was asparagus gratin. After pondering the ingredients, I concluded that sour cream sounded like a perfect gratin ingredient: I’d use it to cover the asparagus. I was also thinking of cheese, but I was eager to see how velvety, tangy sour cream would work, and whether its flavor would complement the asparagus. I’d never tasted asparagus with sour cream before!
Naturally, I would need some seasonings too, in addition to the obvious salt and pepper. I had a long list of candidates, including garlic, rosemary, dill, lemon zest, chives, thyme, and orange zest. I ended up using lemon zest. Asparagus and lemon is a match made in heaven, so I thought it would work perfectly in this gratin, too. I also wanted to add some crunch to the topping. Some crushed nuts or seeds would do the job well, so I decided to go with sesame seeds.
First, I sauteéd the asparagus spears in butter for about 5 minutes. I thought if I used raw asparagus for the gratin, it would take too long to cook through, and meanwhile, the sour cream would become too browned. Besides, butter-sauteéd asparagus sounded like totally delicious way to start!
After tasting my experiment straight from the oven I was disappointed. To me, it tasted like a savory cheesecake — and not in a good way! It was the combination of lemon zest and sour cream that created the cheesecakey feeling (I always use a little bit of sour cream in my cheesecake, and I often add some lemon zest, too.) So I’d have to chuck this experiment. Naturally, I could have tried another seasoning, but I was too eager to proceed with my other ideas and to see whether they’d turn out any better.
Next, I had the idea of glazing the asparagus with a combination of maple flavor and mustard, like this recipe here. Wonderful! What could go wrong?
So, after washing and drying the asparagus spears, I laid them in a ceramic baking dish in a single layer. Next, I mixed the glaze ingredients: Dijon mustard, maple flavoring, olive oil, plus some salt and pepper. I also added 10 drops stevia glycerite for a hint of sweetness.
I drizzled the glaze over the asparagus spears and baked the whole thing for 25 minutes.
Again, I excitedly tasted the experiment. What on earth!? The taste was weirdly “steely”. I swear I could taste pure steel there! It was like licking metal. Disaster. How could such wonderful ingredients produce such an awful flavor?! I still haven’t got the answer.
Anyway, I still had one experiment in mind. For ages I had been planning to make bacon-wrapped asparagus — and to pep it up with a maple glaze. My previous experiment with maple flavoring (and mustard) was a desperate failure, but now, if I combined maple flavoring with something sweet — like Sukrin syrup — nothing could go wrong!
Now I had four ingredients: asparagus, bacon, maple flavoring and Sukrin syrup. There was still room for one more. Fascinated by the crunchy topping I’d wanted to use in my first experiment, I decided to add something crunchy to my bacon-wrapped, maple-glazed asparagus. Pecans are the best-ever (low-carb) crunchy topping for anything involving maple, so, I decided to sprinkle crushed pecans on top of the whole thing before baking. The pecans would get nicely toasted during baking, I thought.
I calculated the amounts of the ingredients carefully. I was using two packages of bacon, each of which had 8 slices. So, if I were to use one slice of bacon per asparagus spear, I’d need 16 asparagus spears.
After wrapping the washed and dried asparagus spears in bacon, I laid them in a ceramic baking dish. Then I mixed the glaze. I thought two tablespoons of Sukrin syrup would be just enough — not too little and not too much. Since I really was after some maple flavor, I added two teaspoons of natural maple flavoring and mixed it with the Sukrin syrup. I had a nice, brown, syrupy glaze that tasted just like maple syrup! But this version was sugar-free.
I brushed the bacon-wrapped asparagus spears with the glaze. Finally, I sprinkled 3 tablespoons crushed (or actually chopped) pecans on top. Then I baked the whole thing in the oven for 30 minutes, until the bacon was crispy.
Boy, was it beautiful! The crispy bacon with its glossy glaze was really gorgeous. When I tasted one bacon-wrapped spear, I literally jumped for joy: that’s how good it was!
My husband sniffed the dish enviously — he is on a calorie-restricted keto diet to jump-start his weight loss. Well, since this dish is a definite keeper, I will be sure to make it for him as soon as he can eat regular keto food again! (And many, many times after that!)
Here’s the recipe:
|Nutrition Information||In total||Per serving if 4 servings in total||Per serving if 6 servings in total|
|Protein||48.4 g||12.1 g||8.1 g|
|Fat||103.4 g||25.9 g||17.2 g|
|Net carbs||7.4 g||1.9 g||1.2 g|
|kcal||1215 kcal||304 kcal||203 kcal|
Tips for variation
This dish is a masterpiece of carefully-thought-out textures and flavors, but of course you can vary the ingredients to your heart’s content.
If you don’t have — or don’t want to use — Sukrin syrup, you can replace it with the alternatives that I mentioned in the Tip section at the beginning of this post.
Instead of pecan nuts, you could try using unhulled sesame seeds or crushed walnuts.
You can also omit the maple flavoring and use just the Sukrin syrup (or other alternative) to glaze the bacon-wrapped asparagus — but I really recommend using it, since it really amps up the flavor!
If you don’t want to add any sweetness to the mix at all, you can omit the glaze entirely and drizzle some freshly squeezed lemon juice on top of the bacon-wrapped asparagus just before serving.
Try this dish and let me know how you liked it!