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Baked Beans

Last week I had a sudden craving for baked beans and then I realized that I haven’t had them since going vegan in 2008! I’ve never found baked beans in the can that didn’t have bacon (or pork of some kind) in it. So, I decided that I would try to find a recipe that was sans bacon online. I was surprised that I didn’t find a vegan version of this treat online that seemed worthy of the time that goes into making it. Even though it’s not labor intensive, it does take time for it cook properly.

The biggest obstacle to making a dish like this is of course, a lack of bacon. While I don’t want it in my food doesn’t mean that I don’t want a similar flavor though. Through the years of trial and error with vegan recipes I have found that there are animal-free ingredients that mimic the flavors of things that I thought I’d have to give up forever. In this case, it’s a combination of Tamari (or soy sauce, if you can’t get Tamari) and liquid smoke. When the two are mixed in a dish, it is remarkably close to the flavor you would expect from bacon. Don’t ask how or why it works, it just does!

This recipe has the same sweet taste that I remember. The beans become a little crystallized from the sugar. The beans are surrounded in a delicious sauce that does thicken slightly as it stands. These are probably the best baked beans I ever had, if I do say so myself. 🙂

Baked Beans

2 cups dried navy beans
1 cup onion, diced
3 TBSP molasses
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 TBSP Tamari
1/4 tsp dijon mustard
2 TBSP liquid smoke
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place beans in a large soup pot and cover with water. Boil for one hour, checking to make sure the water level doesn’t get low. Drain. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place 1/2 of the beans in 2 quart casserole dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup onions, add rest of beans and sprinkle with rest of onions. In a saucepan, heat molasses, salt, pepper, tamari, dijon mustard, liquid smoke, ketchup, and brown sugar to a boil. Pour over onions. Add water to casserole dish until beans are covered. Bake for an hour covered. Remove cover and bake for another hour, stirring to keep from drying out.

Makes 6-8 servings

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One comment on “Baked Beans

  1. This writing has inspired me to start focusing on my own blog

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