Beans are one of those wonderfully healthy foods. High in fiber, protein and minerals and very low in calories. So when it comes to baked beans, I always been ambivalent about eating them. I like fact that they burst with flavor but all the brown sugar and molasses give me great pause.
Beans, especially white beans, are pretty much flavorless. So we decided to try something different. Over the winter (when having the oven on felt great) we did a bunch of baked navy bean experiments and came up with our favorite. It is flavorful, filling and tastes as good with honey in it as without.
Southwest Baked Beans.
- Soak 3 cups navy or any other white beans overnight and then pressure cook for 10 minutes (Or you can used precooked/canned white beans )
- In a large frying pan or Dutch oven sauté in olive oil:
- Garlic to taste
- 1 medium onion
- 1 cup mixed peppers (I use a mix of Bell, Jalapeno and Anaheim)
- 1 cup mirepoix
- When onions are clear add herbs and spices and continue to cook 5 minutes longer (you may need to add a little extra oil):
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil or 2 Teaspoons dried
- 2 Tablespoons fresh oregeno or 2 Teaspoons dried
- 2 Tablespoons dried and ground mustard or 3 Teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1t salt
- Optional spices include cumin, dill, ginger and cilantro
- Mix together
- Cooked Beans from above
- Veges and herbs from above
- 1 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes or 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1 cup favorite salsa
- 2T honey; this is optional and mainly cuts the acid from the tomatoes
- Salt, Pepper and mustard to taste
- Bake at 350 for 1 hour covered; uncover and continue to bake for 1-2 hours in a conventional oven.
There are a couple of notable variations on this basic recipe. For example:
- If you do not want to heat up the kitchen cut the liquids by 25% and put the entire mixture into a crockpot or slow cook and let bake for 3-4 hours stirring occasionally
- Do not precook the beans add 25% more liquid and bake in the oven for 6-7 hours. Be sure to stir about every hour and
- Do not precook the beans and cook them in the crockpot or slow cook cooker for 8-10 hours. Stir occasionally and add liquid as needed
These beans work well with corn on the cob, potato salad, cole slaw, on toast and even as an accompaniment to veggie burgers.