Ginger Molasses Baked Beans from Scratch

By Sally on July 12, 2011

beans, legumes & grains, Side Dishes, vegetarian,

7 Comments

Ginger Molasses Baked Beans

July is National Baked Bean month, so what better reason to make a pot of baked beans. Instead of taking a shortcut with canned beans, this time I started with dried.  The result? Big baked beans with a meaty texture plus rich sweetness from brown sugar and molasses, a little kick from garlic and ginger, and smoky flavors from bacon and spices. Who could resist this summer classic?

Baked Beans – A Summer Classic

Baked beans signal backyard barbecues, casual get-togethers, and family gatherings.  Canned beans are great when you are short on time, but like many recipes, there are rewards when you start from scratch.

For years I’ve made baked beans as my mom did. By using canned beans and doctoring them up you can make tasty baked beans in about an hour.

Making baked beans from scratch takes longer, but you can spread the work over two to three days if needed: soaking, simmering and finally baking. The process is easy. It just takes a little thinking ahead.

Rancho Gordo Heirloom Beans

With my recent shipment of dried heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo I had a pantry full of good options for my baked beans.  Goat’s Eye, Yellow Indian Woman or Jacob’s Cattle are among the many good choices. For this batch I went with the Goat’s Eye beans. If you’ve never ordered from Rancho Gordo before, have fun reading all of the bean descriptions as you decide what to purchase. They all make for a good pot of beans.

Soaking and Cooking Beans

Begin by soaking the beans overnight in plenty of filtered water (or use the quick soak method to speed things up). The next day, simmer beans until tender with carrot, onion and celery. My beans took about three hours to become tender. Low and slow is the best way to cook beans.

Finish the Recipe – Make it Ahead

To finish the recipe, cook the bacon, sauté some onion and garlic, add your sweet essentials and spices, then bake the beans in the oven for about an hour. You can do this the same day or cool, refrigerate after cooking and finish baking the next day.

About sweeteners in this recipe. I opted out of refined white sugar and used molasses and real brown sugar. Be sure to buy a real brown sugar, not brown sugar that passes as brown because it is just white sugar with added molasses. Foe good sweeteners, check out the options from Wholesome Sweeteners

For fun, check out this website about American food holidays. The list for July reads like a classic summer cookout. Baked beans, hot dogs, ice cream, blueberries and picnics are all honored in the month of July. However you celebrate summer, try making a delicious pot of baked beans from scratch.

Helpful Links

Dried bean cooking method from Rancho Gordo

Quick soaking method at Epicurious.com

More dried bean recipes from Rancho Gordo

Mom’s Chili Bean recipe from Simply Recipes

 

7 Comments

Leave a Comment
Ron | July 12, 2011 at 2:26 pm

Beautiful!

Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger) | July 12, 2011 at 2:48 pm

This looks great. I’ve never seen ginger puree. Do you know of any substitutes?

    Sally | July 12, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Hi Rivki. Every grocery store has it. You can usually find it in the produce department in little jars. I prefer the organic kind. Right now I am using the brand from The Ginger People. The label says minced ginger, but its a fine puree and so easy to use. If you can’t find it, use fresh ginger pieces, peeled, the rubbed over a microplane grater for fine juicy ginger.

susan | July 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

Yay for baked beans month! Yours is a meal, all wrapped up into one little pot! We need to coordinate a baked beans pot luck!

Dr. Patrick Mahaney | July 14, 2011 at 4:43 am

This makes me want to barbecue!
I am going to forward this recipe to my mom and sister as a means of making the beans without white sugar or ketchup (also containing sugar in the form or 2 types of corn syrup…yuck).
PM

Francesca | July 18, 2011 at 10:22 pm

Glad I caught this entry before the month ended! I had no idea Baked Bean month. I’ll definitely try this. Thanks for sharing!

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