Why I Love to Eat Healthy Beans
Mainly because I am SO excited to be able to share this yummy, health-supportive, warming recipe with you today…but it’s also because I am literally full of beans due to all the learning and cooking I’ve been doing in class at The Natural Gourmet Institute!
As someone who is usually surrounded by friends who have gone the paleo way, you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking beans haven’t been a major player in my diet. Until now.
Like grains and everything else in life, beans have their positives and negatives. After learning more about them, I can honestly say for me personally, the positives of consuming beans far outweigh the negatives. From what we’ve been fed by the media (pardon the pun) it would be easy to think beans are the devil. But for vegans, vegetarians and some meat eaters too, beans are a huge part of the diet, providing all sorts of good stuff like folate, manganese, proteins, essential B Vitamins as well as immune supportive minerals including phosphorus, copper, magnesium and iron.
Plus, they taste so damn good!
For this recipe, it’s all about the beloved navy bean! Given its name back in the 20th Century due to being a staple food of the United States Navy, these small white, creamy beans are ideal for making the most scrumptious, healthy baked bean dish you have ever tasted.
I could go on and on and on, trying to convince you NOT to banish beans if you’ve never had a problem with them in the first place. But I won’t. Ultimately, you will either try this because you’re an adventurous soul who won’t be dictated to by dogmatic diets or media messaging. Or, you will try this because you love beans – including the baked kind – and have been looking for a healthy, yummy homemade baked beans recipe.
Well, here it is, from my little bean-loving heart to yours…
- 1 ½ cups navy beans, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
- 2 level tbs white miso (you can get this from any local asian supermarket)
- ½ tsp Celtic sea salt
- ¾ cup tomato puree (I make my own because that's just what you do when becoming a Natural Foods Chef! But go ahead and buy the packaged kind if it's easier - just aim for 100% tomatoes, minus the sugar)
- ½ cup maple syrup (must be PURE, 100% organic maple syrup to be health-supportive)
- 1 heaped tbs Dijon mustard
- Pressure cooker (if you don't own one of these, I sincerely encourage you to consider investing in one - what an amazing invention! Cuts your cooking time in half and is very inexpensive. If you don't have a pressure cooker, that's fine - just cook your beans until soft but not mushy and nix step 2).
- Preheat oven to 200C or 325F.
- Pressure cook beans with 4 cups water for 15 minutes.
- Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid.
- Dissolve miso in ½ cup cooking liquid. Save remaining cooking liquid to moisten stew after baking, if necessary.
- In medium bowl, whisk together salt, tomato puree, maple syrup, mustard, and miso; add your cooked beans.
- Transfer bean mixture to 1-Litre or 1-quart casserole and bake covered for about 45 minutes.
- Check beans to make sure sauce doesn't dry out - add more reserved bean liquid, if necessary.
- Your beans are ready when sauce has thickened - enjoy!