Baked Beans
Print Recipe
A variation on a theme - plant based goodness without sacrificing any of the taste, tradition and aroma of baked beans from our childhood and beyond.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6-8 hours 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6-8 hours 15 minutes
Baked Beans
Print Recipe
A variation on a theme - plant based goodness without sacrificing any of the taste, tradition and aroma of baked beans from our childhood and beyond.
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6-8 hours 15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 servings 15 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
6-8 hours 15 minutes
Ingredients
  • 4 cups dry navy beans
  • 6 -8 cups water
Sauce
  • 2 cups onions diced
  • 1/2 cup molasses Blackstrap or Fancy
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup Not table syrup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard yellow mustard is okay too.
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke add at end of cooking time. Optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Place dry navy beans in a large bowl and cover with water.
  2. Soak overnight or for up to 12 hours.
  3. Drain and place in large pot.
  4. Cover with water, bring to a boil and turn heat down to medium.
  5. Remove white foam as required to prevent pot from overflowing.
  6. Boil uncovered for 30 minutes or until beans are tender and skin can be removed by pinching bean between fingers.
  7. Drain and reserve cooking liquid.
Sauce
  1. Dice onions and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except for Liquid Smoke which is added when beans are cooked.
  3. Stir to combine.
  4. Add cooked beans to bowl and stir well.
  5. Place beans in a slow cooker and add reserved liquid just to cover beans
  6. Set beans to cook on low for six to eight hours.
  7. Do not lift lid.
  8. Beans are cooked when sauce is kind of syrupy and brown.
  9. Add liquid smoke a few drops at a time until desired flavour is reached.
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Alternate Cooking Method
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Oil a baking dish or bean pot large enough to hold beans.
  3. Place beans and sauce in dish and cover with a lid.
  4. Bake for 7 hours or until beans reach desired doneness, stirring every couple of hours or so.
Recipe Notes

Serve beans piping hot from the slow cooker or reserve for another day. Add water as needed when reheating.

I usually freeze the beans in 2 cup portions. They make a quick and easy dinner when time is of the essence.

This recipe requires 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Please free to mix and match the combination and quantity, except for blackstrap Molasses, which should not exceed 1/2 cup.

It is that time of the year when those of us who celebrate Christmas are rolling out all the animal fat and sugar laden foods. Eating pigs and their parts is an ignominious tradition indulged in by many. So, let’s talk about beans and the ham hock. The definition is as follows.

A ham hock or pork knuckle is the joint between the tibia/fibula and the metatarsals of the foot, where the foot was attached to the hog’s leg.It is the portion of the leg that is neither part of the ham proper nor the foot or ankle, but rather the extreme shank end of the leg bone.

Since this piece generally consists of much skin, tendons and ligaments, it requires long cooking through stewing or braising to be made palatable.

Cooked Pig's Ankle
Pig’s Ankle
Salt Pork
Salt Pork

Apart from the fact that, on paper, this cut of meat (euphemism for animal part) sounds incredibly unappetizing and gross, the definition is rife with euphemisms created by farmed animal agriculture to blind us to the cruelty of their business. How so?-like this!!

A “ham hock” is really a pig’s ankle as is a “pork knuckle”.  The “ham proper” is the pig him or herself, a once living being. The “piece” is the body part of this unfortunate pig and all of his/her friends who meet the same fate. And just take a look at the pictures for a moment. They are disgusting and incredibly sad looking images of animals  served up as a desired food for human consumption.

The issue is the same for salt pork which is another popular “ingredient” in baked beans. The offending words are “pork” and “cut”.

Salt pork is salt-cured pork. It is prepared from one of three primal cuts: pork side, pork belly, or fatback. Depending on the cut, respectively, salt pork may be lean, streaky or entirely fatty.

 

"Veganized" Baked Beans
“Veganized” Baked Beans
Ready to Mix
Ready to Mix

So, what about those baked beans and the animal ingredients which seem to be an integral part of any “worth its weight in salt” recipe? How could we possibly do without them? Easy-peasy!  Just don’t use them. I have been making plant based baked beans since forever. I don’t really enjoy the taste of them (too sweet for me), but my husband, who is a francophone Quebecois loves them. I think they remind him of his childhood. But I was torn about making them for him because I was so grossed out by the amount of animal fat in this down home delicacy and especially by the piece of animal itself floating in the simmering beans and sauce. And this was way before I became vegan.

In the Pot
In the Pot

So I took an old recipe and I unknowingly did what people now refer to as “veganizing” it. I serve this dish every year at my annual Christmas party and get rave reviews. Turns out that being compassionate tastes good.

Ready to Cook
Ready to Cook

One of the fun things about this recipe is that it is super easy to put together and can be “baked” in a slow cooker. There is no need to  stay at home stirring the beans  every hour for the next seven or eight hours. If you like the traditional way of baking beans in the oven, this works too!

Vegan Annie’s Handy Kitchen Tips

Serve beans piping hot from the slow cooker or reserve for another day. Add water as needed when reheating.

I usually freeze the beans in 2 cup portions. They make a quick and easy dinner when time is of the essence.

This recipe requires 1 1/2 cups of sugar. Please free to mix and match the combination and quantity, except for blackstrap Molasses, which should not exceed 1/2 cup.

May all beings be happy and free.

Anne

 

 

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Plant Based Baked Beans

4 thoughts on “Plant Based Baked Beans

  • December 9, 2015 at 5:52 pm
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    I can ascertain that Anne’s baked beans are really tasty.

    Reply
    • December 11, 2015 at 9:02 am
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      Ha, ha! That is really good to hear because you are having them for supper again tonite.

      Reply
  • December 12, 2015 at 9:19 am
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    That’s so cool that you had already ‘veganized’ this recipe years before you were vegan. I also don’t like things *too* sweet, but I’ve toyed around with recipes sometimes too to make them less sweet and after the holiday chaos, I’m going to try to remember to make these. It’s always fun to try something different! And this post reminds me of when I was a kid (and I’m sure still, now) in the US “pork and beans” came in cans. I never ate it when I was little. There were a few things my mother didn’t force me to eat and that was one of them. Thank goodness! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    Reply
    • December 14, 2015 at 9:34 am
      Permalink

      H Krissa,
      Funny the things we do without even thinking about how others are impacted. This time it worked out for the better. I have to say that I do like sweets, just not sweet beans. Ah yes, canned pork and beans. My mother used to bake them in the oven with bacon strips on top-not one of my favorites, I have to say.
      Let me know how things turn out if you decide to make the recipe.
      Take care,
      Anne

      Reply

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