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Apple Cider Baked Beans and Legumes 101
Apple Cider Baked Beans and Legumes 101. You can never have enough baked beans or baked bean recipes my mother-in-law used to say and she was right! Beans are affordable, nutritious, and delicious. These beans are made with apple cider, which gives them a nice sweet apple flavor. Adding one or two chopped apples to the beans will add extra flavor and texture.
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 and 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.
Complex carbohydrates help 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.
One of our favorite small legume, would have to be lentils. Lentils are readily available, high in protein, quick cooking and can be added to soups, stews and casseroles. Lentils can also be made into or added to salad recipes. Lentils are delicious and can be added to so many different dishes. Lentils cook quickly, so you can bump up any dish nutritiously by adding them.
Storage and More
Lentils are available whole, split, and come in many colors. 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 to accomplish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple Cider Baked Beans
This recipe uses Apple Cider instead of water called for in most recipes making apple cider baked beans a favorite in the Autumn months, when apples and apple cider are plentiful. Apple Cider Baked Beans are delicious anytime of year. The secret to making great baked beans is long, slow cooking. Never made home-made baked beans?? You need too asap!! There is no comparison.
Here at Turnips 2 Tangerines, we love our beans. Happy Eating!
Delicious homemade beans!
- 6 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups dried great northern beans, sorted, rinsed and soaked
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 4 strips bacon, cooked until crisp
- 1/2 cup smoked cooked ham, chopped
- 1/4 cup 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
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 325º
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.
Bake, covered, for 2 to 2-1/2 hours or until desired consistency, stirring occasionally, adding more apple cider if needed.