I have loved beans since I can remember and these BBQ Baked Beans really hit the spot. Oh, yum! One of my favorite meals growing up was a simple bowl of pressure cooked navy beans flavored with catsup and a few other ingredients. Simple and delish!
My tastes are a little more sophisticated these days, but it’s a good thing I love beans because they are a super food for health. “Adding just half a cup of beans a day to the diet can significantly reduce LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels.” And, well, there’s nothing wrong with that!
According to a meta-analysis published by the Canadian Medical Association. I’ve said it before, that all of the long-lived areas of the world, called the Blue Zones, have beans in their diets.
Beans add protein, fiber, that can help you lose weight and manage diabetes, and cancer-fighting plant chemicals, specifically, isoflavones and phytosterols.
Enjoy these fan-favorite dishes at your next picnic:
- Low-Fat Broccoli Salad
- Roasted Potato Salad
- Black Bean Mushroom Burgers
- Baked Vegan Macaroni and Cheese
- Crustless Broccoli Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche
My favorite recipe as an adult, and one my friends always liked, was one I picked up years ago from a neighbor. It has – wait for it – a whole cup of brown sugar, a cup of apple cider vinegar, and bacon. I haven’t used bacon for years, but I wanted to get the sugar out.
So I decided it was time for a new BBQ Baked Bean recipe. One that relies on whole foods for its sweetness. But also retaining the essence of the original recipe – sweet yet tangy. This recipe includes lima, baked and kidney beans, but you could add your favorite.
I’ve also used unsweetened crushed pineapple and dates to add to the flavor and sweeten it up. A little tamari and optional liquid smoke adds more depth and really gives you that baked bean flavor we’re looking for. And of course, apple cider vinegar adds the tangyness.
This is a great side for a picnic or BBQ!
Enjoy this article by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, “Beans, The Ideal Carbohydrate.” And, tips from the Blue Zones, “Eating To Break 100: Longevity Diet Tips From The Blue Zones.”
I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below for this BBQ Baked Beans recipe! If you have a photo, post it on my Facebook page, tag me using the hashtag #plantbasedcooking
BBQ Baked Beans
- 2 (15-oz). cans kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 2 (15-oz). cans vegetarian BBQ beans do not rinse
- 1 (15-oz.) package frozen lima beans or 2 cans of your other favorite beans
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup unsweetened crushed pineapple in its own juice
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup low-sodium tamari
- 3-4 in dates pitted and cut into quarters
- 1/2 tsp liquid smoke or more to taste (optional)
- 1/2 cup water
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Saute the diced red onion in a little water with a splash of apple cider vinegar. Add more of each if the pan becomes dry before the onions are softened.
- Put all of the beans into a large bowl.
- To make the BBQ sauce: Place the tomato paste, pineapple, vinegar, Tamari, dates, liquid smoke, and water in a small saucepan. The liquid smoke is optional but adds a smokiness which usually comes from bacon.
- Whisk to combine and simmer for a few minutes to soften the dates a little.
- Place the BBQ sauce ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (be careful if it’s too hot as it can splatter), adding a little water to thin if it’s too thick.
- When the onions are soft and most of the liquid is gone, put them into the bowl with the beans along with the BBQ sauce and stir to combine well.
- Pour into an oil-sprayed 9 x 13″ baking pan, cover with foil and place in the preheated oven.
- Bake for 45-60 minutes, stirring every 20 minutes or so. Take off the foil for the last 20 minutes.
- The beans are done when they are bubbly and heated through.