My son and daughter love baked beans, but I don’t love the nitrites and preservatives that come via the bacon in the can. Nitrites are a no-no in an ADHD diet and appear in most cured meats. Luckily there are more nitrite-free bacon options available on the market, which opens up the possibility to create baked beans from scratch at home with natural ingredients. The recipe is fairly easy – much of it can be done in the background as you accomplish other tasks (including sleeping, as the flavors marry). The best part is you’ll get more baked beans than you need for one meal, so it’s an easy freezer side that will come in handy for later!
- 32oz pkg dry great northern beans
- 1/2 12 oz pkg NITRITE-FREE bacon (or half of a larger package – doesn’t really matter if there’s MORE bacon flavor!!)
- 1 cup natural (no high fructose corn syrup) ketscup
- 1 cup unsweetened unflavored applesauce
- 5 Tbsps unrefined coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1/2 cup water
Prepare the dry beans according to package directions. There are several ways you can do this. I chose to rinse, then boil them for 45min-1hr, then strain.
As the beans cook, cut the bacon into squares. Fry on low-medium heat in a large frying pan. Let the outsides of the bacon pieces get a bit crispy, then add the onion and cook on low. Once the onion is soft, add other ingredients to the sauce. Cook thoroughly, then set aside.
When the sauce and beans are both ready, mix them together and let them sit overnight in the fridge. The longer the flavors marry the better it will taste.