Baked beans are such a comforting side dish. That sweet sauce on creamy beans is just one of the most comforting of comfort foods. However, that sweet sauce is sweet for a reason. It is heavy on sugar! I cannot find a “no sugar added” can of baked beans in the store or on line. And when I started looking up recipes I found out why. The recipe I started with to try to make my own had 3/4 c of molasses AND 1/2 a cup of brown sugar AND 2 TBSP maple syrup! That’s a lot of sugar!
Well I knew I couldn’t go there and I knew I needed a baked bean recipe that tasted amazing on it’s own and that I could use in my family’s Bean Casserole recipe that signals Thanksgiving day for me. (Don’t worry, that recipe is coming and you don’t want to miss it!)
Well, I think I’ve done it! I searched and scoured different recipes, tweaked and tasted and finally came up with the following recipe. One note. This recipe calls for canned navy beans for ease. However, I like to make up big batches of beans in my instapot. That is what I used. If you like to do the same you just put dry beans (I did 2 lbs navy beans) in the pot and cover with water to 1 inch below the max fill line. I manually set it to cook for 30 minutes and they were perfect. I like to cook up a bunch of beans and freeze them in 1 cup servings pictured below. That way I have a perfect E serving of beans whenever I want them.
Now on to the recipe! This is how you make this amazing pot of beans!
Amazing Baked Beans ~ THM E
3 15.5 oz cans navy beans rinsed and drained
3/4 c xes sweetener or gentle sweet
1 tsp black strap molasses
2 TBSP sugar free syrup
3 TBSP tomato paste
2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
3 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp maple extract
1/2 tsp caramel extract
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
2 TBSP real bacon bits (optional)
1/2 – 1 cup water
Whisk together all ingredients except beans (starting with just 1/2 cup of water). Add beans and stir to coat. At this point add more water if necessary. (I did not need any more water.)
Bring to a boil over medium high heat and boil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often to keep from burning.
Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
As you can see from the picture, these baked beans will not be as “brown” as store bought baked beans. That is because we are not filling the pan with molasses and brown sugar! But never fear, this is a sweet, baked bean sauce, not a “tomato-heavy” sauce, so don’t fear the difference in color. Trust me, these are fantastic!