There was a time when I thought baked beans only came out of a can. And, since we did away with most pre-made, canned foods back when we started our real food pledge, that means I didn’t have baked beans for a LONG time! As it turns out…I really like and missed baked beans. So needless to say, I am glad to have them back in my life and am also glad to be able to introduce them to my kids (they both gave this recipe two thumbs up – whew!). These beans would be the perfect addition to any summer BBQ, cookout, or picnic, AND they are just as delicious leftover, so if you are entertaining make your day even easier by cooking these a day in advance. We are officially ready for summer – bring it on!
Sponsor Shoutout: Funkins
Speaking of warmer weather, check out these cute spring and summer patterned napkins from our sponsor Funkins. They offer a variety of reusable, reversible, cloth napkins for both boys and girls that will be available in US retail outlets this fall (currently available online). They will be announcing the details on their Facebook page soon so go give them a “like” to stay in the loop.
Our family started using cloth napkins in our kids’ lunch boxes a couple years ago and have now done away with paper napkins all together. I started with the kids first because whenever I packed them a lunch their paper napkins came home looking barely used. I would wonder – Should I even throw these away? But isn’t it kind of gross to reuse (because who knows what they did with them)? So having some cute and playful cloth napkins that I could wash and reuse turned out to be the perfect solution for us and at this point – there is no turning back!
- 2½ cups dried navy beans (optional, but recommended: soak beans in water in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours and then drain)
- 8 oz bacon, cooked and diced (organic and/or local recommended)
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 – 15 oz can plain tomato sauce
- ¾ cup pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- black or red pepper, to taste
- Place the beans, bacon, bell pepper, and onion in the bottom of a slow cooker. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the tomato sauce, syrup, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, salt and pepper. Pour over top of bean mixture and then add 3½ cups of water. Turn the slow cooker onto high and cook for 10 to 12 hours. Discard onion pieces and serve warm.