Homemade baked beans are super easy to make, especially if you have a crock pot. There really is no reason to purchase the canned varieties from the supermarket which contain preservatives and high amounts of sugar and salt.
Baked beans can be a great side dish, used as a topper, or as the main meal. Beans are really healthy for you and they are a complete meal because they provide both protein and carbohydrates.
This baked bean recipe is a healthy version, for it does not call for ketchup or brown sugar, as most recipes do, yet it still has the perfect sweetness.
Get creative by adding a variety of beans or another protein, instead of bacon use sausage or you can also add another vegetable. I like to add chopped peppers to my beans, sometimes I like hot peppers and sometimes I like sweet peppers. Go ahead and add what you like; mix things up.
Additionally, if you prefer to reduce the sweetness in this recipe, go ahead. Adjust to your liking.
Soak navy beans overnight. Drain and rinse well. Place the beans and the remaining ingredients into the crock pot or oven proof pot. Stir well.
Crock pot: Cook on low for 10-12 hours or high 6-7 hours until beans are soft.
Oven: Bake, covered in preheated 300F oven, for 4-6 hours, until beans are soft. Uncover the last half hour.
Be sure to keep an eye on the beans for the last two hours of cooking, for you may need to add additional water (1/4 cup at a time) if the beans become too dry.
You will notice a huge difference between these homemade baked beans and the beans that come in a can, so much so, you may never go back to the canned variety. If you decide to make a huge batch, you can put the beans in smaller containers and keep them in the freezer for those really busy days, you can simply warm them up.
Another great thing about these baked beans is that you can personalize it to your own liking and continue to experiment.
Have fun and enjoy.
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