Baked Beans (dairy-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free, fat-free, vegan)

Being from New England, one of my comfort foods has to be baked beans.  I like to eat mine with rice, that way I eat fewer baked beans but my husband likes to eat his plain with extra ketchup.  Whatever way you like them, this baked bean recipe makes hearty, not too sweet beans.

Soak overnight:

  • 1 16-ounce bag of dried red kidney beans (or whatever bean your family prefers)

Be sure that the water covers the beans by at least 3 inches.  Cover the bowl so that nothing falls in it while the beans are soaking.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  You’ll need:

  • 1 medium diced onion
  • 1/2 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup real maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want your beans)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar-free ketchup (such as Organicsville Agave Ketchup)
  • 1/2 cup diced bacon (optional) [when I add bacon, I use turkey bacon that doesn’t add any fat to the beans]

Combine above ingredients except the beans and onion.  Add the diced onion and your soaked beans to a bean pot.  If you don’t have a bean pot, a very heavy Dutch over would work (like a cast iron one).  Add 2 cups of the bean soaking liquid into the mixed ingredients and pour over the beans until they are just covered.  Don’t overfill your bean pot to start or you’ll have a mess in your oven.

Bake, adding liquid as needed, for approximately 3 hours or until the beans are soft but not mushy.  You want to check them every half hour and add liquid as needed as well as stirring them so that the beans on top don’t get undercooked while the beans on the bottom get overcooked.  Remember, once you take them out of the oven and leave the cover on the pot, they will continue to cook.  I usually let mine sit on the counter for about a half hour after taking them out and then I transfer them to a serving dish.

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