This mouthwateringly tangy side is loaded with bold flavors.
Our easy baked beans are amazing for backyard barbecues and potluck dinners, and they’re also a simple and healthy side dish option for weeknight dinners. Like a fresh seasonal fruit salad, baked beans are a guaranteed crowd-pleaser at any gathering. Your next barbecue won’t be complete without them!
Bold Flavors Create this Healthy Side
We reimagined classic baked beans with this easy recipe. By amping up the flavors with bold ingredients and a boatload of nutrients, the end result is a mouthwateringly tangy mixture. First, we team white beans with whole food ingredients like bell peppers, yellow mustard, balsamic vinegar, and sugar free ketchup. Then, we use natural sweeteners (like coconut sugar and date syrup) to sweeten up the savory, tangy taste in this recipe.
Unrefined Sweeteners for Baked Beans
Coconut sugar and date syrup add a touch of sweetness without overwhelming the dish with sugary flavor. We choose coconut sugar as our go-to sweetener because it’s less refined and contains more nutrients than refined white sugar. Derived from the sap of coconut trees, coconut sugar is similar to maple syrup. Needless to say, it is not to be confused with palm sugar.
Similarly, we’d like to introduce you to date syrup, the complex syrup with a rich history and promising future. With nutrition and culinary trends returning to heritage foods, we are fortunate to have rediscovered this Israeli sweetener. Luckily, for those of us cutting out the processed foods, date syrup is made simply. By boiling and pulverizing dried dates into a liquidy paste, the texture becomes akin to a looser molasses.
Dates are a whole food and are full of minerals and fiber our bodies need and crave. Potassium anyone? With the resulting taste of butterscotch and caramel flavors, date syrup makes a great case for appearing in easy baked beans. Consequently, date syrup is beginning to appear in nearly every grocery store. With that in mind, you can take advantage of the low prices “new” products seem to get.
Alternatively, if date syrup is a hard find, blackstrap molasses also works in this recipe. The darker the molasses, the better the health content. If you can use either date syrup or blackstrap molasses for this healthy side dish, then you’d most certainly do yourself a solid.
Eat More Beans for Heart Health
In view of the fact that heart disease is rising, beans could be a great first step in an action plan. Eating half a cup of beans daily may be enough to drop cholesterol levels by twenty points. Beans are good for your heart because of their nutrients that help lower blood pressure.
Beans are easier to eat than you’d think with so many great options available. There’s amazing store-bought hummus, refried beans on Taco Tuesdays, and bags of dehydrated spicy chickpeas. Adding beans may be simpler than it seems! Not to mention that sprouted lentils and fresh peas also fall in the bean family. So don’t forget to add those to your list of salad ingredients.
This simple healthy side dish delivers a hearty dose of filling fiber and protein. Because of this, you’ll feel satisfied after your meal, which saves you from consuming empty calories later. Next time you go a barbecue, let others bring the meat! No barbecue is complete without baked beans, coleslaw, and a fresh fruit salad. So definitely make sure those humble sides make it to the buffet as well. After all, variety is the very spice of life.
Easy Baked Beans
- 60 ounces white beans cans (navy, cannelloni, or great white northern), do not drain
- 1 sweet onion medium, diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper or green, diced
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup date syrup or blackstrap molasses
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Add all ingredients to a large casserole or roasting pan, stirring to combine.
- Cover and bake until beans are bubbly and syrupy, about 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, if beans need more cooking time, remove the lid and cook an additional 15 minutes.
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Editor’s Note: This recipe was originally published on August 13, 2016.