I originally came up with this recipe because my son–who had never seemed very interested in baked beans before–was suddenly asking for them. And, as luck would have it, I didn’t have any baked beans in my cupboard. Eager to capture the moment to have my son eat healthy baked beans, I went ahead and made my own.
And yes, I could have easily run out to the store and bought some in far less time than it took me to make these babies–but if my boy was going to start eating beans, I wanted him to get used to how real, healthy beans would taste–not those often found in the grocery store with corn syrup and other not-so-healthy ingredients.
I used prepared mustard and barbecue sauce–the kind without corn syrup–because it is a bit of a time saver. Plus, the vinegar in the prepared mustard adds a *twang* to the flavor that I really love.
What makes these beans BIG, you ask? Instead of using the cheap white beans usually found in canned baked beans at the supermarket, I used pinto beans–notice the pretty speckling in the photo before the beans are cooked. Although the beans will lose this pretty coloration when they are cooked, the markings do make it easier to distinguish the dried product. Pinto beans are also larger (and plumper looking) than white beans when they’re cooked, which makes this dish seem particularly well suited when you’re feeding a bunch of hungry guys. (Or gals, for that matter!)
Beans are excellent sources for protein and other micro-nutrients. And they’re filling because of all the fiber they contain, which means they are an excellent food to eat if you are trying to cut back on calories. As baked beans, they’re great to serve alongside hamburgers, hot dogs, and chicken at an outdoor grilling party–though they’re also great any day of the week!
Baked Beans Ingredients:
- 1/2 bag dried pinto beans
- 1/4 cup Sugar in the Raw
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 T Liquid Smoke
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce – your favorite brand
- 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
- 1 large white onion, finely diced
- 2 T first pressed virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 10 cups spring water
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- Combine spring water and pinto beans in a deep bot and bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let beans soak for an hour.
- After beans have finished soaking, boil them for about 1.5 hours, or until tender. When done, set aside.
- Combine onions and olive oil and cook on medium heat, stirring frequently until the onions are soft and partially transparent – about 10 – 15 minutes.
- To softened onions, add barbecue sauce, mustard, Liquid Smoke, salt, pepper, molasses, and Sugar In The Raw; stir well to combine.
- Fold onion and spice mixture into beans as gently as possible so as to not damage the beans.
- Add mixture to a 9″ x 12″ glass baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for about one hour. (A small amount of water may be added during the baking process if the beans appear to be drying out.)