Saturday, April 14, 2012

Maple Baked Beans (Slow Cooker)

Baked beans are a classic comfort food especially in the north.  Here's my vegetarian version I lived on during university when I wanted a wholesome meal and money was tight.  Pretty easy and economical to whip up. In this vegetarian version you can also add any hard dense vegetables like carrots, parsnips, potatoes and/or squash.   I think they are best made in a slow oven but here is my slow cooker instructions.

2 cups
500 ml
Beans, navy, raw
12 cups
3 litres
Water, cold
2 each

Bay leaves
1 cup
250 ml
Maple syrup
½ cup
125 ml
1 Tbsp
15 ml
Mustard seed, ground/powder
½ tsp
2.5 ml
Thyme, dried, leaves
½ tsp
2.5 ml
Salt (optional)
¼ tsp
1.25 ml
Black pepper, freshly ground
2 each

Onions, raw, large, cut in half, peeled
8 pieces

Cloves (spice), whole
2 Tbsp
30 ml
Apple cider vinegar, natural

* you can sub 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup dark molasses for the maple syrup with good results

1.  Rinse beans and add to crock of slow cooker with the bay leaves.  Cover with 3 times as much cold water (about 12 cups).  Cover and cook on LOW overnight - 6-8 hours.  The beans should be tender but not falling apart.  Alternately, you can boil them on the stove for an hour or so until tender but not splitting.  I am using black eye peas for this batch in place of the navy beans.  Necessity is the mother of invention .... what I had on hand.

2.  Remove 2 cups (500 ml) bean water from crock.  You may use this later if beans are dry.  Keep in fridge.  Discard it later if you don't use it.

3.  Stir maple syrup, ketchup, dry mustard powder, dry thyme, salt and pepper into beans.  If you don’t like sweet beans add less maple syrup.  Also, I don't usually add the salt as the ketchup is salty.  You can always adjust later.  

4.  Cut onions in half and peel.  Push two pieces of whole cloves into each of the four halves.  Add to bean pot.  Push down to cover with beans.

5.  Cover and cook on LOW heat 4 hours.  Then cook one hour with lid off to evaporate liquid.  How you want the beans is a matter of preference.  At any time if you want them saucier you can add some of the reserved bean liquid.

6. Remove onions to cool and discard cloves.  Dice and add back to the pot.  Stir in the cider vinegar (optional).

You can also bake them in a bean pot or 16-cup (4 L) casserole. Cover and bake in 300°F (150°C) oven for 2 hours. Uncover and bake until thickened and beans are coated, about 1 hour.

Dehydrated zucchini I added to my veg baked beans

Makes approximately 15 x ½ cup -125 ml servings 
Nutrients (per 1/2 cup - with the salt)

Protein (g)
Total Fat (g)
Saturated Fat (g)
Carbohydrate (g)
Fibre (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
%Daily Value

Vitamin A
Vitamin C

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