Not Your Average Baked Beans

8 Jul

When I hear the words “baked beans” I immediately think of beans drenched in a sweet tomato-ey sauce that come from a can.  I have fond memories of some of my earliest self-made lunches: canned baked beans, heated in the microwave, and eaten with a piece of buttered toast. Oh the good old days.

While I still love the taste of baked beans, I’ve never been willing to make them at home due to the amount of sugar found in most recipes.  Brown sugar + ketchup + molasses and/or maple syrup = a lot of sugar!  Those poor navy beans.  So when I stumbled across this recipe for lightened up baked beans, I knew I had to give these a try.

The verdict? Absolutely AMAZING!  I have never been so excited about baked beans in my life.  The beans were sweet (thanks to the Spanish onion, Bosc pear, and a little bit of honey) but not overwhelmingly so.  And the complexity of flavours!  The ground ginger and the balsamic vinegar really added a certain je ne sais quoi to the dish.  Who knew baked beans could be so interesting?

Baked Beans and Pears

Baked Beans and Pears
  (from Clean Eating Magazine, January 2011)

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 Spanish onion, diced
1 can (19 oz) navy beans, drained and rinsed well
1 Bosc pear, diced
3/4 tsp ground dry mustard
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp honey or molasses
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
2 tbsp water

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Rub a 9-inch glass pie plate with 1 tsp of oil and set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet, saute onion and 2 tsp oil over medium heat for 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Stir in beans, pear, mustard, ginger, honey, salt, and water.  Spoon into pie pan and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake for 45 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving: 220 kcal, 4 g fat, 8 g fibre

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