Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Uncanny Baked Beans

Awhile ago I heard a story on WAMC about the leakage of Bisphenol A (BPA)from the plastic liner on the inside of canned goods. It turns out that another food we thought was perfectly safe for our consumption really contains a toxic chemical that the Center For Disease Control states has reproductive and developmental effects when exposure is high( The Environmental Working Group's testing found that canned pasta's and soups contained the highest levels of BPA. However, all canned foods were found to have BPA leaching from the plastic liner to the food itself (
After hearing this distressing information I set out to reduce the amount of canned goods my family was eating. The biggest thing we regularly ate from a can was baked beans and I had been wanting to try my hand at making them from scratch. I got out my trusty crock pot cookbook and looked up a recipe I had looked at longingly for years. I have made them a number of times now and the family is more Bush's for us. This recipe is so simple and the ingredients are most likely already in your possession, except maybe the bag of dried beans. I have gotten into the habit of making large batches of these and freezing the leftovers for another quicker meal. Put the beans in the water to soak before you got to sleep and in the morning throw all of the ingredients into the crock pot and let them cook all day.

1 lb or 2 1/2 cups dried navy beans (I have used lots of different kinds but overall the smaller the bean the yummier they are)

2 onions, peeled, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp ground cloves (optional)
1/3 cup tomato ketchup or tomato paste
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
Dash of smoke flavor (optional)

salt and ground black pepper to taste after cooking

Rinse beans and cover them with cold water and leave to soak for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse beans. Place them in a large pan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to a boil. Boil gently for about 10 minutes, then drain pour them into the crock pot. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot and stir to combine. Turn the crock pot on high and let cook for 8-10 hours removing cover during the last 2 hours of cooking to thicken.


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With a degree in Restaurant Managment and Nutrition and a background in and love of the culinary arts, Jess is able to whip up delicious yet nutritious meals. She gardens extensively and uses what she grows to feed her family not only during the summer and fall but throughout the winter and spring by preserving and freezing the fresh produce. She is committed to growing, buying, and eating as much local food as possible. She started this blog to spread information about eating locally and its benefits. She also wanted to have a forum to share the recipes she uses and the stories she writes. She would love the opportunity to be able to share this knowledge to increase the amount of people using local and organic products.
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