I know what you’re thinking. Why go through all the trouble of making baked beans when you can get it straight out of a can?
Because… It’s straight out of a can.
In the process of becoming more plant-based and cooking at least half of all my meals, I’ve become less and less reliant on processed foods at the supermarket. I recently discovered how much tastier hummus is when it is made from scratch.
Same with homemade baked beans. That human touch adds a depth that can’t be recreated by mechanical hands, and it is embodied in this simple dish of velvety beans with chunky tomato onion sauce. The tomato puree itself comes from a can, but using this is a small compromise for a dish that is not only speedy to put together, but is also a lot less processed than its store-bought counterpart.
Please bear in mind that this is a simple recipe, but an element of planning is still involved, so soaking and cooking the beans beforehand is a must. I cooked my beans plain the day before and stored them in the fridge overnight, ready for me to get straight into making baked beans the following morning. The other option is cooking the beans on the same day and incorporating this recipe into the last 10 minutes of cooking process – as in, dumping all the sauce ingredients into the pot and letting it cook together. This might result in the beans taking in more flavour, but also means you having to wake up earlier to prepare! I find that splitting the soaking and bean-boiling process from the baked bean cooking makes it less intimidating – and hey, a gorgeous homecooked breakfast in 10 minutes instead of 1.5 hours is hard to beat. Unless you’re making soup or stew, the basic prep for ready-to-eat beans is fuss-free and a comprehensive guide can be found here.
I grew up on melted cheese and baked beans on toast. To recreate that, Malaysia-based My Plant Deli offers an array of beautiful and affordable homemade plant-based cheeses.
But if you’re not into cheese (and trust me, such people do exist), eating it on its own with a slice of toast still marks the beginning of a day of greatness.
A simple pleasure gone modestly gourmet, homemade baked beans serve up a sizeable amount of protein, slow-burning carbs and minerals like potassium and magnesium.
Homemade Baked Beans
A delightfully simple dish that is marvelous on toast and/or accompanied with some eggless tofu scramble.
- 1/2 cup dry Baby Lima / Cannellini /Navy Beans, soaked for 8 hours and boiled until ready-to-eat
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 tsp pink salt
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 tsp paprika powder (Optional)
- Dash of pepper
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- Plain water to thin out sauce
- Step 1 Cut onion into small pieces, place into a pan with cooking oil and shallow fry on medium to high heat for 3 minutes.
- Step 2 Add all other ingredients, except beans.
- Step 3 Stir sauce constantly for 5 minutes, adding water to attain desired thickness of sauce.
- Step 4 Add in beans and stir until evenly heated and distributed in the sauce.
- Step 5 Serve immediately.