I hope everyone had a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with love, laughter, and a ton of delicious food.
We sure did.
I posted a series of photos of our vegan meal on Facebook, and had many requests for several of my recipes -- most of which were already here, on SexyVeganMama.com.
Then, I got a few messages and a phone call, asking for my baked beans recipe.
Now, growing up, we didn't eat a lot of baked beans, that I can recall. Maybe a few times at picnics and barbecues, I might have had a bite or two of some humdrum baked beans, but nothing that really stood out. Most of these beans were pretty bland, and had bacon or ham in them.
As I understand it, baked beans also come in a can? Who knew?
But, once I became an adult and started cooking for my own family, I went on a quest to create flavorful vegan versions of standard picnic, potluck, and large family gathering meal staples.
Included in that list was baked beans.
To be honest, I didn't know beans about baked beans, so I went to some old-school sources -- like vintage cookbooks and family recipes which have been passed down for generations -- for inspiration, and used what I found as a jumping-off point for my own recipe, which you'll find, below.
And, of course, I can't function without my espresso, so I threw some of that in there, too.
Toss your sad cans of baked beans, because these homemade beans can't be beat!
1 lb dried pinto beans
6 c water
2/3 c cane juice crystals or natural sugar
1/4 c water
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t ground black pepper
1/2 t ground cloves
1/2 t celery seed
1 - 12 oz can tomato paste
1/2 c brewed espresso or strong black coffee
1/4 c Southern Comfort OR gluten-free bourbon or brandy of your choice (Southern Comfort is not gluten-free, according to the manufacturer)
1 onion, thinly sliced
In a large saucepan, heat dried beans and water until boiling. Boil for 5 minutes, cover, remove from heat, and let the beans soak for one hour.
Add more water to cover beans, if necessary, and bring back to a rigorous boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer on low heat about one hour to an hour and a half, or until beans are tender.
Drain off bean liquid and reserve.
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, 1/4 cup water, vinegar, and spices. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil until sugar is dissolved.
Add tomato paste, and combine thoroughly.
Remove from heat and stir in espresso and Southern Comfort.
In a 9" x 13" casserole dish, spread half the drained beans, and cover with half the Southern Comfort mixture and half the reserved bean liquid. Layer half the onion over the top, and spread the rest of the beans over that. Layer the rest of the onion.
Pour the remaining Southern Comfort mixture and bean liquid over the top. Cover tightly with foil and bake for one hour at 350 degrees F.
Uncover, stir beans, and bake an additional 45 minutes.
"Like" Sexy Vegan Mama on Facebook! Don't forget to swing by The Gonzo Mama's place to see what she's up to. Get my vegan dessert cookbook (co-authored with William Maltese), Get-Real Vegan Desserts: Vegan Recipes for the Rest of Us, on Amazon!