Boston Baked Beans

Take this Slow Food Challenge and make some Boston Baked Beans. Soak the beans the night before, boil them with seasonings like molasses and brown sugar, and you’ll have a hot vegetarian dish ready for Sunday lunch or dinner.

Food for Change Meal


Every year on December 10th, thousands of people around the world celebrate Terra Madre Day by gathering ’round good, clean and fair food. This year, we are focusing on Food for Change, showcasing how food is a delicious solution to climate change. Our everyday food choices have a huge impact on the planet. It’s time to cook up a better future!

Get your vegetables!

More vegetarian recipes from the new book A BAKER’S PASSPORT

Susie Norris, baking books, best baking books, recipes, cookbooks, culinary travel, food market gypsy, food blogs

A healthy planet doesn’t have to mean boring food. We are partnering with Camellia Beans and Meatless Monday to highlight delicious plant-forward dishes.


Boston Baked Beans
I never saw a bean field near Beantown in the nine years I lived in Boston, so how did it get its name? Sources tell me Native Americans cultivated white beans, which the pilgrims and puritans eventually combined with maple molasses, the local sweetener from Sugar Maple trees. Later, baked beans were traditionally cooked overnight on Saturdays so on Sundays, the beans were still hot, allowing people to indulge in a hot meal and still comply with Sabbath or Blue Law rules. Brown bread (see pp xx) and baked beans became the delicious Sunday standard. My version has a few modern flavor additions but hews close to what the colonists baked in their ceramic bean pots. Adapt this recipe for your slow cooker, as you can set it up on your way to work, and it will be done when you return home. Note that the beans need a long soak before cooking. For a non-vegetarian approach, add 5 or 6 thick bacon slices as the beans bake.
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  1. 2 cups dried white beans (such as navy or cannellini)
  2. 1 ½ quart (48 ounces) cold water
  3. 1/2 cup (4 ounces) molasses
  4. ¼ cup (2 ounces) maple syrup or barley malt syrup
  5. ½ cup (4 ounces) brown sugar
  6. 1 teaspoon black pepper
  7. 1 cup chopped tomatoes (about 4, peeled and seeded)
  8. 3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
  9. ½ cup (4 ounces) ketchup
  10. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  11. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  12. 2-3 shakes hot sauce
  1. Cover the beans with water in a large pot or Dutch ovenand soak for two hours, or overnight. Once the beans are hydrated, preheat the oven to 300 F and pour all the water out of the pot. Add the fresh cold water and turn the heat onto medium, and allow the beans to boil. Lower the heat to low, and let the beans to cook until tender (about an hour.) Pour the water out again, reserving 2 cups of the bean liquid to add back to the pot if needed. Combine all the remaining ingredients using a large spoon. Bake for about 1-2 hours,, stirring occasionally. Serve hot with Boston Brown Bread as a dinner side dish.
Food Market Gypsy

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