Mock Baked Beans Recipe- Vegan Option, Refined Sugar Free

 photo IMG_0923_zps9634ca30.jpgI cooked up a bunch of navy beans, and wanted something tasty to do with them, something that my kids would enjoy. Growing up, some days in school, the lunch ladies would serve everyone hot dogs and baked beans and I thought those were the yummiest kinds of beans. Baked beans still are one of my favorite ways of eating beans. The stuff we had growing up was usually Busch's or Hunts' canned baked beans, but those aren't really available locally, so if I want them, I have to make them myself.
I thought to make baked beans, hoping my kids would like them just as I did when I was a kid... except I'm not sure if I'm really able to call them baked beans if they're not baked at all? And all the recipes I found online for baked beans call for ham hocks or bacon grease and molasses... and I used none, though I think I got the taste close enough even without them. I used chicken fat in mine, but it would work just as well with oil in its place. And I used jaggery in the recipe, which is unrefined cane sugar, which has molasses "built in" to it (since molasses is the leftovers after they remove white sugar from cane syrup), but if you want to use a different sweetener, you can use date syrup or maple syrup in place of the jaggery syrup, or coconut sugar or sucanat with a bit of water, or white sugar with a little molasses. Just add the sweeteners to taste.

Mock Boston Baked Beans Recipe- Vegan Option, Refined Sugar Free

1-2 tablespoons chicken fat or oil
2 onions
4 cups cooked navy beans (I put mine in a crock pot with water and no salt, until soft. You can also use canned, or cooked on the stove top or in a pressure cooker. If cooking from scratch, cook without salt.)
3/4 cup tomato paste
3/4 cup jaggery syrup (or alternative sweeteners- date syrup, maple syrup, coconut sugar, sucanat, or white sugar plus a little molasses) (or more or less to taste)
1/4 cup water
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon liquid smoke- optional

1. Chop up and saute the onions in the fat or oil.

2. When browned, add everything else, and mix well.

3. Cook on low, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, you can cover and bake for 30 minutes, and then you'll have real "baked" beans.

4. Serve warm.


Are you a fan of baked beans? Do you make them from scratch or buy canned? If you make them from scratch, what's in yours? What is your favorite way to eat baked beans?
Does this look like a recipe you'd try?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. I love baked beans. Down South, my daughter's inlaws make them on the stovetop (because who wants to heat up the house in the summer?); those are a fake-barbecued kind, delicious. Meat-free, but hunks o' animal can be added to taste.

    I like to pressure-cook beans with a bottle of beer added, like a stout, something with oomph. Then go ahead and use the beans in the baked beans.

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