Ambrosia Apple Baked Beans
With all of the festivities over (for what they were!), it’s time to start thinking about hearty meals. Why not give baked beans the respect they deserve. First of all, they are packed with nutrients including fibre, manganese, magnesium, iron, potassium, and protein. Secondly, they are filling and oh-so satisfying when you’re looking for comfort food. Thirdly, if you’ve got special diets to accommodate, this dish is vegan and gluten-free (although you can easily add bacon if you prefer!) Plus, these baked beans are incredibly tasty thanks to the addition of delicious Ambrosia apples.
We love to bake these up and serve them over rice or in a baked potato. But, the real treat is the next morning when we have them with our eggs and bacon! Just don’t tell the folks at A Virtual Vegan who inspired us with their recipe – of course we had to try it with Ambrosia apples!
Traditionally, baked beans are soaked overnight and then baked for hours in the oven. If you have an instant pot, you don’t even need to soak them! You can go straight from dry beans to ‘baked’ beans in just over an hour. Cooking them in a slow cooker is another option, although not as fast at the instant pot. For this recipe, we’re doing it the old fashioned way – with overnight-soaked beans that we’ll bake in the oven.
One thing we’ve discovered as we’ve developed this recipe over time is that you get the best results when you peel and cut your Ambrosia apples into different sizes. We like to dice one apple into small 1/8″ pieces and the other apple we chop into 1/4″ pieces. The result is that the smaller apples almost dissolve into the sauce while the larger chunks maintain their shape and provide a nice bite of Ambrosia.
These beans are a little sweet, a little spicy, and a whole lot delicious. You won’t believe how the addition of Ambrosia apples sets off the traditional baked bean flavours. We know this is going to become a new winter favourite.
1.5 cups dry, small white beans (they might be called navy beans, fagioli, great northern, or boston beans). You can also use white kidney beans or Cannellinis but we prefer the smaller size.
- 1 onion diced
- 4 gloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2.5 cups strained tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1.5 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 Ambrosia apples – on in ⅛” pieces, one in ¼” pieces
Soak beans in 4 cups of water overnight at room temperature. If you can’t soak them overnight, you can soak them in hot water for about an hour. However, if you use this method, you may need to bake the beans a little longer and you’ll want to check regularly that the beans aren’t drying out.
Pre-heat oven at 300°. We like to use a dutch-oven to prepare our baked beans because it can go from stove-top to oven easily. Sauté onions in coconut oil until translucent. Drain your beans and rinse them.Toss all ingredients into your pan and bring it up to a boil, Add Ambrosia apples, reduce to simmer, cover and place in oven. Bake at 300° for 3.5 hours, stirring occasionally. If the beans start to stick or the sauce is getting too thick, add more water. Remove and let sit for a few minute before serving.
These beans are great as a main dish with a side salad and some brown rice. Or, as a side. They also freeze really well so you can make a big batch, and freeze a few dishes for quick, healthy meals later.