Thursday, August 30, 2012

Almost Clean Crock Pot Baked Beans w/Dried beans

Almost Clean Crock Pot Baked Beans

I have tried making truly "clean" baked beans, but I can never get it to taste... right.  We love our baked beans and we've had them for years, so I guess maybe we're just spoiled.  These are pretty close to "Clean" though, other than the BBQ sauce, everything else is good.  Here are a few that at least don't include HFC:

Stubbs Bar-B-Q Sauce
Bulls-Eye Barbecue Sauce (recently changed to no HFCS) -*note, it does have honey in it, but I'm fine with that.

Anyone have any more to add??
We are really enjoying family dinners in our new house!
Anyway, I appear to have finally gotten the right combination of a good crock pot and just the right beans.  My last crock pot had a hot spot and always burned everything in one section and didn't get hot enough throughout the rest of it to ever bake dried beans.  You can just use a pot in the oven if you like, but I am in love with my new crock pot and its... interesting settings, so I've been using it for everything I can.

I also use a variety of beans.  I don't know why... I'm just weird that way.  Using the crockpot takes ALL day.  I would recommend starting them the night before with the water, then adding your broth, BBQ & seasonings first thing in the morning so they'll be all nice and cooked up for dinner time.  These are odd measurements because I had random bags of beans half gone and I lost ALL the rest of my photos, so I can't even look back at them to see:(  Use whatever you want, you'll want to only fill up your crock pot or pan 1/3rd of the way full, because these suckers GROW.

Ingredients: (This filled my 5 qt crock to almost overflowing:)
1/2 bag of white beans
1 bag of black beans
1 bag of Great Northern beans
1 carton of beef broth or vegetable broth
1 medium-large onion
1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
1 Tbsp. Chili Powder for a tiny bit of kick
*My meat eaters love it when I add bacon, sausage &/smoked sausage to theirs.

I LOVE this crock pot.  Seriously, it fits my A.D.D. nature perfectly:)

1.  Put all dried beans in the crockpot.  Fill with water.
**Do not add salt or salt containing ingredients until the skins are soft**

2.  Cook on medium/low for 4-6 hours until the skins of the beans are soft.
**Our crock pot "low" seems to be much closer to the medium on my old one**
***If using the oven, bake COVERED on 300 for 4 hours or until skins are soft***

3.  Once skins are soft, drain 1/2 the water, then ADD broth, onions and barbeque sauce.  If you have meat lovers, you can add sausage, bacon, ground beef, hot dogs... but remember, these are NOT "clean" foods (My husband and 17 year old son don't really care about clean eating when it comes to meat:) To keep it clean, you could use chopped flank steak.

4.  Bake on high (oven 350-375) for 4 hours or until beans are soft.

5.  After two hours on high, uncover the beans and add the remaining seasoning.


Adding the broth as soon as you can AFTER the skins are softened gives them a LOT more flavor.  I used to make the mistake of cooking them in the water too long and they were always bland.

Stir at least every hour.  This helps the beans always cook evenly so you don't have annoying little hard beans in there.

Stir frequently when cooking for the last couple of hours uncovered.  This will prevent the beans on top from drying out, whilst allowing the sauce to cook down to a nice, thick consistency.

These beans cook down to a nice, thick, full of flavor texture that you will LOVE!   Let me know how it worked for you!