Do you ever get completely random food cravings out of nowhere? Last week all of a sudden I badly wanted baked beans, even though I haven’t had them since I was a little kid. I remember my grandma used to make them and add in chunks of hot dogs. They were delicious!
So I started googling recipes, but all of them were full of ketchup, salt, and lots of sugar. I was convinced I could make a healthier recipe by making a few swaps and cutbacks. And I was right. My modified version was a huge hit with my family! Even my dad, who hates messing with classic recipes, was a fan!
Served alongside a baked sweet potato and sauteed collard greens, it was the perfect healthy comfort food dinner.
Healthier baked beans
Serves 6-8 | Vegetarian with vegan option
2 cups dry navy beans
1 large onion, diced
3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
1/3 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce*
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
*Note: If you want to make these vegan, make sure to use a vegan worcestershire sauce available at health food stores
In a large pot, soak the beans for 3 hours in lukewarm water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 to 1.25 hours while covered. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 325°F. Then drain the beans into a big bowl and save the liquid. Pour the beans into a large casserole dish (that comes with a lid, if possible) along with the onion.
In a small pot combine the molasses, tomato sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, worcestershire sauce, mustard, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil for one minute then pour the mixture over the beans. Then pour some of the reserved liquid over the beans until it barely covers them. Cover with the lid or with aluminum foil and bake for at least 3 hours. Check partway through cooking and add more liquid if necessary.
Have you ever modified a classic recipe to make it healthier?
Do you like baked beans?