January 6, 2015

Apple Cider Baked Beans

On the Menu Today~
Apple Cider Baked Beans and
Legumes 101

You can never have enough baked beans or
baked bean recipes my grandma used to say....
and she was right!
Beans are affordable,
nutritious, and delicious~

Legumes 101~

Legumes 101~

Beans, peas, lentils, peanuts and
soybeans are all part of the legume family.
A legume is any plant with seed pods that have two seams along the sides,
when split open the pod reveals the seeds, peas or beans held inside.

Legumes are packed full of fiber and complex carbohydrates,
which means they take time to digest...
which helps with moderating blood sugar levels,
lowering LDL cholesterol and
helps to maintain good colon health and
aids in weight loss.

Legumes are high in protein and
contain good amounts of  vitamin B,
magnesium, copper, zinc and phosphorus.
Small legumes also known as lentils,
cook fast and don't require soaking before cooking.
Lentils are available whole, split, and come in many colors

Dried Lentils:
Split Red Lentils: Which are actually yellow and tan lentils. Mild and Sweet. Used in Indian cooking.
Olive Green French Le Puy Lentils: Are great in hearty winter soups. Use in French cooking.
Black Beluga Lentils: Tiny and have a firm texture, are wonderful in salads.
Split Peas: Yellow or Green, robust earthy flavor. Used in soups.
Mung Beans: Green, yellow or black with a tiny white sprout. Milder than split peas.
Available whole, split and sprouted. Look for sprouted mung beans or mung-bean sprouts (like alfalfa sprouts) in the produce section of most grocery stores

Dried beans can be kept for years stored in air-tight containers and
are about half the cost of canned beans.
Dried beans need to be soaked overnight before using but
this is an easy and simple step

Dried Beans:
Black and Brown Beans: Black/turtle beans are popular in Cuban cooking and bean salads.
Swedish Brown Beans: Swedes use brown beans in their version of Boston Baked Beans.

Red and Pink Beans:
Red Kidney Beans: Are popular in chili.
Pink/Chili Beans: Smaller and paler than kidney beans.
Pinto Beans: Popular in chili and baked beans.
Adzuki Beans: Tiny and reddish brown. Popular in Asia, are often cooked with sugar for desserts.

White Beans:
Cannellini/White Kidney Beans: Creamy texture, popular in white chili, salads and Tuscan soup.
Cranberry/Borlotti Beans: Looks more like a pinto bean but tastes like a white bean.
Great Northern Beans: Firm flesh, used in baked beans and soups.
Navy Beans: Small and oval, popular in baked beans and soups.
Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans/Ceci Beans: Key ingredient in hummus and popular in salads.

Pale Green Beans:
Fava/Broad Beans: Large and flat, common in Middle Eastern soups and dips.
Lima/Butter Beans: Large and flat, called Lima when fresh and Butter when dried.
Flageolets: Small green, delicate, delicious. Called French kidney beans.

Multi-Color Beans:
Black-Eyed Peas/Cowpeas/Field Peas/Lady Peas: Small, pale green or white, with a dark "eye" Southerners simmer them with ham hocks and collard greens.

This recipe uses Apple Cider instead of water called for in most recipes.
It's a favorite in the Autumn months,
when Apples and Apple Cider are plentiful but
Apple Cider Baked Beans are delicious anytime of year.
The secret to making great baked beans is long, slow cooking.

Apple Cider Baked Beans

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups great northern beans, soaked
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp
  • 1/2 cup smoked cooked ham, chopped
  • 1/4 packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup apple cider or more
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak beans: Place dried beans in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add enough cold water to cover the beans. Stir, cover the pan. Let stand at room temperature at least 8 hours or overnight. Drain water and rinse beans, drain again.
  2. Make Beans: In a large soup pot, combine 6 cups of water and soaked beans. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered 2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain beans, reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
  3. Preheat oven to 325ยบ
  4. In a 2-quart casserole or bean pot, combine cooked beans, onion and bacon or ham. Stir in 1/2 cup apple cider, brown sugar, molasses, ketchup, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
  5. Bake, covered, for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally, adding more apple cider if needed.

Legumes, Apple Cider, Baked Beans Beans

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